Why Tree Climbing Spurs Should Be Avoided With Routine Tree Pruning

Why Tree Climbing Spurs Should Be Avoided With Routine Tree Pruning

With property ownership comes the need for landscape maintenance and tree trimming to protect the health and beauty of your property. While some homeowners and property managers opt to handle landscape maintenance on their own, tree trimming is a more dangerous and laborious task that typically requires the services a tree care company. There are several distinguishing factors between high quality, professional tree care providers and the lesser quality tree workers that cut corners on safety and tree maintenance.

One of the lesser-known distinguishing factors that can have a major impact on the health of your trees is the use of tree climbing spurs on your healthy trees. Tree climbing spikes (also known as climbing gaffs) are sharp steel spikes that are attached to the tree worker’s legs and assist them in climbing up and down a tree for tree maintenance. Although tree climbing spurs may look like a simple and efficient way to scale up a tree to perform tree pruning, the act of inserting the spurs into the tree trunk can be devastating to tree health and longevity.

Climbing spurs can cause a wide range of damage to otherwise healthy and mature trees, so it is important to avoid subjecting your healthy trees to this harsh practice. First, climbing spurs can damage the tree trunk through the puncture wounds created by the spikes. Although tree damage might seem minimal, over a period of time frequent trunk punctures can cause sections of the trunk to die off. Even the thickest and most mature trees can experience tree damage if the climbing spurs pierce the tree cambium, which is the living tree tissue underneath the protective bark. This can lead to sap ooze from the tree, which can jeopardize the tree health and future growth.

In addition, the trunk piercing caused by climbing spurs leaves gaping holes that make the tree much more vulnerable to insect infestations and dangerous tree diseases. What you think is a simple tree pruning can turn into an expensive and time-consuming nightmare if your previously healthy tree then becomes sick and requires costly treatment or even leads to tree death and tree removal. In reality, the only specific situations in which tree climbing spurs should ever be used are with the removal of a dead tree, when climbing ropes, harnesses and aerial lifts cannot be used, when you need to rescue an injured worker or when you need to avoid utility lines.

Because of the significant harm they cause to healthy trees, professional tree care companies avoid their use in favor of ropes and safety harnesses or aerial lifts or cranes. However, many basic tree workers still choose to use climbing spurs either because they are not properly trained on how to use safety equipment like climbing harnesses, or because they are trying to cut corners and save time. Climbing spurs are dangerous for the tree and dangerous for you as the property owners because of the greater likelihood of falling because of the instability of climbing spurs.

If you need tree trimming performed on your property, contact the Certified Arborists of LMC. No one should be trimming your trees using climbing spurs or gaffs.  If you see this about to happen to your healthy trees, with the contractor you initially hired, stop the work and promptly call LMC! As Houston’s premiere tree care service company, LMC will handle your tree trimming needs with state-of-the-art equipment handled with the utmost safety procedures. Your trees will be well cared for by tree care experts who are focused on promoting and protecting the natural beauty of your trees and landscapes. Request a consultation today with one of their Certified Arborists or contact LMC directly for more information.

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