Most of the trees that I climb are in my own yard and I would like to be able to quickly and easily clean up storm damage and dead branches. I would like to get suggestions for a hand saw. For safety reasons, I do not plan on taking my chain saw up with me climbing.
Favorite saws - Great topic.
As Tom mentioned above, I too use the Silky Zubat at 6.3 teeth per inch. Itâ€™s a great tool. The only problem I have is that I would like a more aggressive cut. I always wanted the bigger Sugoi but it looks a tad large and the scabbard is nothing short of hideous.
So, from reading this thread I see that moss has an Ibuki which is the same pitch as the Sugoi (5.5 teeth per inch). That is the most aggressive cut of all the Silky hand saws thus my burning desire to own one.
Other issues. . . Chain saw apprehension.
Consider a good top-handle chain saw.
When youâ€™re trying to clean up a large canopy, you can do a full dayâ€™s â€œhand-sawâ€ work in about 2 hours with a 30 to 40 cc, top handle gas saw. Yes/no? So why even bother with the Silky Saw?
There is nothing â€œNinjaâ€ about a chain saw. You fire that puppy up in the forest and they are gonna come looking for ya. The tree police may know NOTHING about arboriculture but they sure as heck know the tell-tale purr of a fine tuned chain saw. A $500 fine and 30 days in the county work-house? No Thanks.
Yeah, a Sugoi at 5.5 TPI may be just what I need to keep â€œa cut aboveâ€ the incredibly misinformed yet well meaning Tree Police.
Have Ninja â€“ Will Prune -Ej-
P.S. Hand saws. They're great climbing compainons. Glad to see so many REC climbers here carry em'!
It doesn't feel right to me to carry a saw up into a tree.
If a branch is in my way it is up to me to find an alternative way around the obstacle, not just cut it out of the way.
For me, it would be like taking a gun into a church. Just doesn't feel right.
How many climbers do carry a pruning saw up in the tree? Those who do, do you always carry one with you? Even on rec. climbs?
I hope I don't offend anyone with my beliefs but this is recreational tree climbing site and I'd like to see it stay that way.
I respect & appreciate your attitude toward the sanctity of â€œthe treeâ€.
In my case, my only interest is in cutting away that which is detrimental to the tree itself. Dead, diseased, dangerous, etc. . .
Most trees I find out in the wild arenâ€™t worth my time or effort to bother with however, occasionally I will come across a beautiful mature hardwood in desperate need of attention. It is then that I prune with passion!
Your input is always welcome here.
Thanks for posting your thoughts! Electrojake
I take the Silky Ibuki or a smaller pony saw (sheathed) at all times. As a certified arborist, I appreciate how a tree can close off a stub if it is cut properly. Stubs are of course good habitat for wildlife but decay can gain entry to the main trunk via dead stubs. It takes a while for the decay to progress towards trunk failure, but many of the trees I climb are very old and decayed areas DO eventually lead to breaks. It is natures way of getting rid of the old and blemished. However- I do personally have a desire to have these elderly trees stay around for us mortals to climb.
Route clearing is an issue with me as a lead climber. If a team is about to climb the tree, clearing out dangerous branches is a MUST for me as a lead climber in the sense of liability issues (legal and responsible lead climbing).
A solo climb however might be different for me. I might dodge a dead branch and leave hangers intact because no one else is following. Will I still carry a hand saw? Yes. Hand saws have other uses besides cutting.
I ALWAYS carry a handsaw into the tree, partly because it's already on my saddle from work. As Peter says, a handsaw is a multi purpose tool. My current favorite is the Silky Zubat, but I have heard good things about the Kanzawa saws, which are a bit cheaper.
Saws are wonderful tools. I sometimes use them myself when cleaning a tame tree in the park for a childrenâ€™s climb, or to remove a dead limb that might fall on my roof.
But, in the last five or six years I and several others have struggled to gain acceptance for our sport from the forest rangers, wildlife conservationists and scientific types who set the rules and regulations for the nationâ€™s public forests and wilderness areas. Every one of them will tell you very, very quickly that you are not allowed to cut a dead limb out of a wild tree.
Their reason is simple. The tree is only a part of the vast ecological system that makes up our public forests. The roots not only support the tree but they hold the soil in place and prevent erosion. Their shade protects the berry-filled bushes that feed a wide variety of animals. The leaves that drop each fall protect the ground from freezing weather in the winter and they create the necessary ground litter that eventually decomposes into new soil. The trunk and canopy helps protect the forest from Mother Natureâ€™s furious winds.
And the dead limbs are home to thousands of species of insects that are both a natural and necessary part of our world. Those insects are a major part of the natural system that breaks down all the components of the forest so it can rejuvenate. The insects also provide food for songbirds, woodpeckers and all sorts of avian critters.
Some of us might not like insects â€“ they bite, fly in your ears or nostrils, crawl on your sandwich â€“ but donâ€™t tell that to the entomologist with a PhD who might be vice chairman of your stateâ€™s forestry commission. You might find that climbing gear has suddenly been banned from the local woodland.
Some of the biggest and tallest trees in the eastern United States are found in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. We were allowed to climb there every year until some members of our group started kicking away or cutting off dead limbs from those magnificent trees. The district forester quickly approved new rules that now make it nearly impossible for us to climb there in the biggest trees.
Almost every time I try to work with a conservation ranger or forester to legally gain climbing access to a new grove of trees, the question of saws comes up. And, almost every time, the ranger/forester demands that saws, axes and other large cutting implements remain in the truck.
Even Alice Lou, our patron goddess of recreational treeclimbers everywhere, leaves her 24-inch McCullough chainsaw at home when she climbs with us.
What Bill said. No saws rec climbing in wild trees unless there is a specific reason for safety and there is permission. Best way to get kicked out of the woods and ruin things for other climbers is to carry a saw. There are situations where a saw would be needed as Treeman described. I use my handsaws for hazard removal on tame trees. Leave dead wood for wildlife. I have enough trouble with the idea of treading on moss and lichens in the tree. I try to minimize breaking off small branches and twigs but it happens when you're climbing. I'll sometimes throw down a hanger if it presents hazard to climbers with me. When climbing in wild trees leave everything as is as much as possible. Different habitat and tree species present different problems. Going up a wild white pine I might break off dead branches that are spearing me when the trunk is guarded by a thicket of dead stuff, especially if another climber is following. In hardwood trees you can get around just about anything. Wind and weather causes more damage to trees then rec climbers but... we don't need to add to it.
Wild Billâ€™s post rang of experience and maturity.
Reading it will certainly stop and make you think about the big picture. Mother nature and the grand scale of things.
I myself have never been in a â€œforestâ€. Most of the woods I climb in are well worn, swampy, aquifer fed havens for skunk cabbage and mosquitoes.
As I occasionally prune a branch or two, I keep thinking to myself that the protective trust that has been in effect on the public land I currently climb on (a 1500 acre patch near my house), expires in 12 more years. My grandchildren will never climb the trees I so lovingly try to preserve because I know that eventually the bulldozers will indeed come and plant strip-malls and hosing projects where my favorite climbers now stand.
As for the â€œforestâ€. . .
I know they do exist and Iâ€™m sure to climb in one must be magnificent. If I ever have such an opportunity, I would gladly leave the saw at home. I currently climb in whatâ€™s left after the forests are clear-cut and then grow back.
It ainâ€™t pretty.
Bill, that was a great â€œinsertâ€ on our saw thread. Thank you.
all the more reason why my saw is SMALL, and stealthed away where it cannot be seen. I WILL trim dead limbs, but not on a Saturday afternoon when the woods are full of weekend walkers. I'll do it early morn, late night, during the week when the woods are empty.