I was working on a fir in Bellingham at Cedar Grove mobile home park up off Yew and Samish. They have given me a lot of tree work out there. This particular fir was really skinny. A real bean pole. This is a lesson on going up a few more feet.
As a tree climber you are always trying to max the cut to get out of the tree as soon as possible. Sometimes you can drop some huge pieces and other times you have to keep going till you are ten feet away from the top.
Well this was such a tiny little thing, only around 60′ that I set my cut at around 25 feet from the top. There was a mobile home so I had to catch the top and lower it. When I cut her loose she came down and pulled the tree at least three feet. That baby was cocked and ready. It sprang back so hard it through me completely out of the tree. The flip line kept me from going very far. But what a ride.
Just another 10′ feet up and that problem wouldn’t have happened. You try to anticipate these things but it’s not a perfect world in the tree. Always better to go a little higher and take a little smaller piece when you are having to catch the top.
Another safety precaution is to always carry a wedge with you. I have one tied to my belt with a small line. This way when the top leaves and the wedge goes flying, it just swings down on your belt. The wedge comes in handy again when you get to the larger rounds. It keeps the bar from pinching and makes the heavy pieces easier to push off.
After seven years and hundreds of jobs I am blessed to say no serious injuries, no hospital, and no insurance claims. It doesn’t matter how many years experience a person has at tree work, we all have stories about close calls. I know of broken bones, cracked heads and men who gave their lives in providing tree service. I pray for every one of my competitors safety everyday! There’s a lot of great guys out there with good families. My hat goes off to all the tree climbers.
If you need an expert for your job, consider giving DigLynden a call. 360-318-9795.
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