5 Must-Have Gears Arborists Use To Trim Trees Safely
Do you have a great passion for growing and taking care of trees? If you do, you could take that passion to the next level. You might want to consider becoming an arborist to be closer and more hands-on with the trees you love.
An arborist is a trained professional specializing in planting, maintaining, and diagnosing trees and other woody plants. These professionals have spent years mastering their skills to manage the development of trees and keep trees beneficial for the community.
Tree trimming is one of the main responsibilities of an arborist. This is the process of removing dead or diseased limbs to preserve the health and aesthetics of the tree. With this, your trees will look younger and more beautiful.
Tree trimming can be performed using different tools and equipment such as a pole pruner, lopper, mechanical lift, chainsaw, and others. Since it’s a difficult task, many arborists wear gear to keep themselves protected.
Here’s a list of must-have gear arborists use to keep themselves safe when trimming trees:
- Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial to the job of an arborist. It’s a set of gear that keeps you protected from possible injuries when trimming trees.
PPE for arborists isn’t something construction workers would wear. Each gear has a different function to serve and must comply with the safety standards to be suitable for tree work. For example, since arborists often use chainsaws when trimming trees, using regular construction pants may not be enough to keep themselves protected. Instead, arborists need chainsaw chaps, trousers specially designed to prevent catastrophic chainsaw injuries.
Other PPEs arborists need are:
- Boots: These have built-in metal caps to protect your feet from falling objects, especially huge branches and chainsaws.
- Gloves: These protect your hands from sharp and pointy objects such as shards of wood and trimmed branches.
- Helmet: This will protect your head from falling twigs, limbs, and branches, especially when trimming trees from below.
- Eye Protection: When you use a chainsaw, there’ll be sawdust everywhere. Wearing eye gear can protect your eyes from sawdust and other sharp objects.
- Ear Protection: Tree trimming is a noisy task, especially when the chainsaw starts to work. That said, you’ll need earplugs or muffs to protect your ears from unwanted noise.
- Chainsaw Chaps: Chainsaw chaps aren’t your regular PPE trousers. These pants are designed to resist the power of chainsaws, preventing fatal leg injuries.
Never start trimming trees without these essential PPEs. Make sure to purchase them before you get your hands on the task.
A harness is another important gear an arborist must have, especially if they plan to climb a tree. This will help you navigate through the tree easily without the fear of falling. You can also attach other gear and equipment for easy access while on the top of the tree.
When choosing a saddle or harness, you want to make sure that you’re comfortable wearing it while you’re still on the ground. This is important because wearing a harness while hanging up in the tree can be uncomfortable, so you want to reduce that discomfort as much as possible.
- Climbing Rope
Climbing rope will help you climb trees safely. Make sure to choose one designed for tree climbing for maximum support and durability.
Most tree-climbing ropes are static. They come in different colors, materials, lengths, diameters, and strand counts. Here are some features to look for in a tree climbing rope:
- Strong core
- Low stretch
- High strength
- Soft cover
For beginners, it’s important to look for a rope with 24 strand count and 11 mm diameter. These are also called double-braid ropes because they have separate covers and cores—a polyester cover and a nylon core.
Carabiners are small piece of metal that secures the arborist to ropes when climbing. For safety purposes, look for carabiners that have the following characteristics:
- Have a three-way locking gate system
- A minimum strength level of 23-kilo Newtons on the major axis
- Is easy to open and close
As an arborist, you’ll need more than one carabiner throughout your career. So, make sure to buy in bulk and don’t forget to pick your favorite color.
- Positioning Lanyard
Positioning lanyards can keep you in a proper position when climbing. Make sure they meet the minimum strength requirements to ensure safety. You may also consider using flip lines, a steel wire core that can help you flip up and down the tree.
Becoming an arborist isn’t an easy task. The process is often risky, especially when climbing to the top of the tree, but it’s rewarding. To promote safety, wearing the must-have safety gear mentioned above such as harnesses, PPEs, lanyards, carabiners, and ropes is extremely important. Make sure not to proceed with the tasks without them to prevent fatal injuries.