tree care provider using spikes to climb while pruning your trees?
Climbing spikes are sharpened steel spikes attached to the climber's
leg by leather straps and padded supports. These spikes are
traumatizing to your living tree and create unnecessary damage.
Each puncture from a climbing spike produces a certain amount of tree
tissue death around it to some extent, varying from tree to tree. In
most cases isolated wounds will seal, but over time, groupings of
spike holes can cause the entire area on the trunk to die back with no
chance of recovery.
The likelihood of piercing the cambium (living tissue beneath the bark)
is high, even with larger trees and thick bark. If soon after the work
is performed with spikes there is sap oozing from the wounds, the tree
is responding to spike damage. Repeated damage of this type is harmful
to the tree.
So why would climbers use spikes? The use of tree climbing spikes
(spurs, hooks, gaff, irons, etc.) is a once-practiced method of
climbing trees that has proven to be harmful to long-term tree health.
The climber, using one leg at a time, will kick these spikes into the
tree tissue and take alternate steps to ascend the tree - similar to
climbing a ladder.
There are certain exceptions, when spikes are allowed, such as:
when the tree is being removed.
when the tree is dead.
to reach an injured climber.
Professional tree care companies are aware of the dangers of
spikes and use proper tree equipment such as ropes and climbing
harnesses to climb (or aerial lift devices and cranes if accessible).
This, coupled with their training and experience, contributes to the
future health of the tree.
Homeowners searching for qualified tree care companies should
look for the following:
Good References:Ask for references, and check on the
quality of their work. Don't be rushed by a bargain and don't pay
Solid Reputation:Verify professional affiliations the
company might have.
Up-to-Date Knowledge:Ask if they follow ANSI Standards. A
professional arborist will be aware of the current safety,
pruning, fertilizing, and cabling standards.
Contract:Insist on a signed
contract as to cost, dateswhen work is to be
performed, and exactly what is to be done. Insist that climbing
spikes are used only if the tree is to be cut down.
Find a Professional
A professional arborist can assess your landscape and work with you to
determine the best trees and shrubs to plant for your existing