Gaffs are a bad idea for trees that you want to keep. I have, and
have used, a set of tree climbing spikes. I also feel the same way
about the hunters climbing steps. They leave open wounds into the
living parts of the tree. If I put in permanent pole steps which will
tend to seal the wound they make, I'm protecting, as best I can, the
health of the tree, while still using that tree.
I'm climbing a tree, where most of my hand and foot holds are limbs.
I HAVE to be careful of every one of them. The pole steps will be
used to help me over some gaps in the limbs, from necessary pruning.
I can climb without them, but I'll be safer with them.
And I'm climbing 60 feet above ground- only a tree-mounted ladder will
do that, and manipulating that ladder has its own risks.
I'm not a professional arborist, but I've been climbing trees for 50+
years, own a tree farm (pulpwood and saw timber) and pay attention to
the health of trees in many environments. I've gotten professional
advice, too. The pruning I do, with care and thought, prevents
pruning by people who will use less of that.
I've also climbed masts and rigging to 100' on sailing ships,
including in the Southern Ocean.
All in all, I'm safer with pole steps in the tree than without. I'd
be even safer if I stayed on the ground, and in 20 years, I'll
probably do that.
Thanks for the help, though. And even for your opinions, even if I
think they're wrong.
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 07:16:43 -0600
From: "TOMMY HALIBURTON" <ROCKETJ10@MSN.COM>
I agree with respect to integrity. I was a "knuckle-dragger"
(Outside Plant Installer - Lineman) and never, ever trusted steps
("Not no way and not no how"). Gaffs were the only way to go.
IMHO, Do not buy used steps as you are asking for trouble. Good
luck in your venture.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of John Ammeter
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 12:26 PM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Pole steps
I retired from the power industry and we quit using those a long time
ago. When they're new it's safe to use them but, as age and corrosion
sets in, they rust at the point where they screw into the pole/tree.
It's impossible to verify the integrity of the steps unless you screw
them out all the way.
If you only need 6 steps then a long ladder should work for you and be a
lot safer, too.
Doug Faunt N6TQS +1-510-655-8604 wrote:
> Does anyone know where I can get half-a-dozen screw-in pole steps at a
> reasonable price? I use a tree for some of my antenna supports, and
> climbing to the appropriate place is I had a few of those screw-in
> pole steps installed.
> Most attachments to trees are a problem because of growth, but these
> can be backed out a small amount every now and then to compensate.
> 73, doug
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