C's Tree Service - Serving New Orleans and Nearby Areas

Ladders and Tree Work

Old School! As impressive as this image is, let's be thankful that the industry has moved away from using ladders to access

Whether via a lift or rope access, removing ladders from the equation greatly reduces the likelihood of injury. For the homeowner who may be tempted to “save a few bucks” and attempt any at height tree cutting from a ladder, I would ask you to please reconsider. There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing the ugly end results of these amateur attempts, and more often than not this attempt to “save a few bucks” results in huge medical bills (or worse). In addition to the fact that a ladder set on a limb or tree trunk is inherently less stable than say, setting a ladder on a wall or roof ledge due to the irregular shape of trees, there is the issue of work positioning while cutting. All too commonly the cutter will find themselves cutting from below or roughly level with the limb, with the usual outcome being the limb either striking the cutter, or knocking the ladder out from underneath them. An experienced arborist, whether working from a lift or climbing, knows that proper work positioning is essential and can set themselves up to be out of harm’s way while cutting. For some tree care professionals, using a ladder for access is still considered acceptable, though generally speaking the individual will ascend the ladder with harness and climbing lines to secure themselves as soon as possible. For me, this approach is a bit clunky and outdated, but in some instances would be acceptable in my mind. Best practice, in my opinion, is to have a primary climb line set from the ground so that at no point is anyone at height without a proper fall arrest system in place. We do regularly employ our orchard ladder for small trees and hedges, as well as to assist in setting up climbing systems from the ground if needed. These ladders, as the name implies, are regularly used in orchards for fruit harvesting, and are specially designed (thanks to their tripod structure, as opposed to a standard A frame ladder) to be set up in the crown of the tree. They are also, and this is crucial, much more forgiving of uneven ground. I’ve known more than a few tree workers and landscapers who have been working off of traditional A frame ladders and sustained serious injury due to falling. In conclusion, please be realistic when assessing whether or not you can safely perform any tree care needs yourself and when it’s time to call a professional. Lastly, when hiring a tree care provider, please make sure they can verify that they are properly insured and licensed for the scope of work. Safety first!

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