Step by Step – A systems approach to climbing and safety

These are four common examples of red flag indicators. From top left, clockwise: decay organisms, weak branch attachments, power lines and codominate stems.

As with all complex tasks, production tree climbing is a series of processes, actions and forethought. A useful way to combine the physical and mental challenges of modern tree climbing with the proper skills and tools is to use a systems approach. Addressing the task of accessing, ascending and working a tree as a series of systems allows the climber to stay focused, consistent and efficient. When safety, as a core value, is integrated into a systems approach, the climber adds health, professional longevity and proficiency to the job.

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