Branch savers (also known as cambium savers, rope savers, rope sleeves, and friction savers) protect the tree from rope abrasion. They also decrease friction on the rope as it runs over a branch. Protecting the tree from damage by climbers is of such fundamental importance to TCI that we require the use of branch savers by every climber in all the events and excursions we host.
Branch savers come in two basic forms:
Rope Sleeve. These are the easiest to place and most commonly used. There are two types:
- The "House Sleeve," made by tree climber Dan House, is constructed of flexible black vinyl conduit. The sleeve comes in diameters to take a 13mm or 11mm arborist rope, and is available in varied lengths for wrapping around different branch sizes. Use the larger size sleeve if your rope has spliced (not sewn) ends.
The "House" sleeve
- The leather branch saver is a sewn pre-formed leather tube. The slick leather surface on the inside of the sleeve allows the rope to run through easily; the coarser surface on the outside helps keep the sleeve in position. The curved shape makes it easy to place over a tree branch, and keeps the sleeve from sliding down the rope if it slips off the branch. The leather sleeve will take a rope 11mm to 13mm in diameter, and comes in one size only. Use a short piece of throwline to pull spliced rope ends through it.
The Ring and Ring Friction Saver (patented by Buckingham) is a thick strap with a ring of a different size sewn at each end. The rope runs through the two rings. This branch saver is used more commonly by professional tree climbers. It takes a little more skill to place it into and de-rig it from the tree.
See "Gear Rater" reviews for BRANCH PROTECTION GEAR