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[TowerTalk] Will trees kill me, too? No.

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Will trees kill me, too? No.
From: (
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2001 11:17:30 EDT
In a message dated 7/4/01 6:23:29 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

> You never hug the pole unless you want to breakout and slide
>  rapidly down it until your belt hooks onto a spike hopefully before your
>  body does. Knees straight both gaffs set and leaning out.
>  Practice close to the ground all aspects until you feel comfortable,
>  then go up to 10 feet, up and down to feel at home.
>  Skinning a tree is not as bad as a training pole, but we had crotch, leg
>  and arm straps along with linemen's gloves.

    All good tips. (Does 'skinning' a tree mean climbing it?)

    I'm a *real reluctant* tree climber. Customers wanted antennas and 
halyards installed in trees so I had to do it. I've installed a bunch of 
halyards for wire antennas as well as 14-15 yagis including a couple of 
402CD's.  Having never observed an arborist I had to learn while I was doing 

    Gaff placement is pretty easy - just poke the spur into the tree bark. 
You need to be leaning back as was pointed out above. Once you've got both 
feet planted, lean forward to unweight the lanyard around the tree. When the 
lanyard is unweighted and both hands are holding it, flip it up so that the 
lanyard is higher on the tree. Step up until you can't go any farther because 
the lanyard is stopping you and lean forward and flip it up again. I'm sure 
we've all seen at some time those logger rodeo events where they race to the 
top of a pole and then rapidly descend; their use of flipping the lanyard up 
is pretty obvious.  Repeat as many times as necessary.

    I always have a lanyard around the tree and climb with two of them. When 
you get to branches, take the hanging one and throw it around the tree above 
the branches. When it's secured, release the bottom one and head up. More 
braches - do the same thing. Lots of times the branches will be so dense that 
all you're doing is alternating lanyards. I'm not comfortable climging branch 
to branch unbelted so I'm always attached to the tree.

    Don't confuse the two belts and do everything the same way each time; 
i.e. throw the *new* lanyard around the tree, LOOK while you clip it to your 
belt, unhook the other *old* one, hold onto the loose end as you weight the 
new belt, when you're weighted pull the old belt back around the tree, repeat 
each step every time. You can paint the ends of one of the lanyards so that 
it's obviously different than the other one.  

    I use my regular trusty Klein pole strap for tree work as well as towers. 
In a tree I have two of them. My regular is a 3-6' adjustable and the other 
tree one is 4-7'. Even at 7-feet sometimes it isn't enough to get around the 
tree. In these cases I use an extension ladder to get up higher where I can 
and/or a one-foot strap extension.  Arborists use rope with a wire inside to 
prevent cutting through it and a 'cat's paw' knot that is adjustable.

    If you want to do it yourself, up here in Washington state you can rent 
spurs and belts at a rental store. Climbing trees is HARD WORK. It's dirty 
and exhausting so you need to be reasonably commited to attempt it. 
>  BE SAFE in all cases. You can always find a tree service that has a
>  climber that can go up and do the work and be on the ground before you
>  can get to the top. Here in So Cal they climb palms like monkeys. They
>  look like they are running up and down the palms. They are doing it
>  everyday all day.

    For tree work they're great. For anything else like anything to do with 
installing an antenna they not so great. If you're going to hire an arborist, 
tell him *everything* he needs to know TWICE so that once he gets up there he 
knows apporximately what to do and give him an HT so that you can give 
directions from the ground. 

    Installing HF yagis in trees is another topic. 

Cheers,    Steve    K7LXC
Tower Tech 

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