Tree Branch Weight

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2 years 4 months ago #138119 by CWow
Tree Branch Weight was created by CWow
What is a good diameter of a pine tree branch for safe climbing of 115 lbs. In other words, how wide should the branch be to support 115 lbs.

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2 years 3 months ago - 2 years 3 months ago #138133 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Tree Branch Weight

CWow wrote: What is a good diameter of a pine tree branch for safe climbing of 115 lbs. In other words, how wide should the branch be to support 115 lbs.


I've seen different recommendations. Another way to look at it is to consider there are many variables so a specific diameter value is never going to be 100% valid. For example different pine species can have very different strength qualities. And in the same tree of a given pine species the same diameter limb can have different strength depending on the age and structure of the limb.

So... bear in mind that there are many variables to consider in assessing the safety of a limb you want to set your rope on. With more experience climbing and assessing individual trees and limbs you will be able have a better idea for what works for your weight and climbing technique.

My general rule for first ascent of a new tree of any species and most certainly a pine species is to set the rope at the union of the limb and the trunk. When you are climbing in the upper crown of a pine species and to certain extent any species, the wood is young and fast growing, the annual rings are wide (as opposed to tight) and the wood is less strong than limbs in the lower crown where the limbs are older and growing more slowly.

For a white pine, Pinus strobus I like a minimum 5" diameter for a healthy limb with no cracks or internal rot, rope set at the limb/trunk union.

-AJ
Last edit: 2 years 3 months ago by moss.
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2 years 3 months ago #138134 by CWow
Replied by CWow on topic Tree Branch Weight
Thank you very much for your knowledgeable insight.
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5 months 5 days ago - 5 months 5 days ago #139619 by whirlibird
Replied by whirlibird on topic Tree Branch Weight
Oh wow! I think I just learned what I was afraid of.

Background, climbed of course as a youngster. As an adult becoming more interested in proper care of the trees on the property for good health of them and me. I figured climbing would be a good choice. Just started the AHBTCC and practicing a few simple knots. Thinking of the property, nearly all trees are evergreen with few small exceptions. Strongest of those is the occasional western larch but by far most are weaker species. I am not sure there is a tree on the property that would have a 5 inch limb to use as a rope support. Be honest, am I thinking down the wrong path in learning to climb trees that won't support me in a safe manner?
Last edit: 5 months 5 days ago by whirlibird. Reason: Didn't explain everything I should have.

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5 months 5 days ago #139620 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Tree Branch Weight
You can put your rope around the trunk if you feel that the tree doesn't have sturdy enough limbs to support you. You can climb on two ropes and share load between two limbs. As mentioned earlier, lots of variables here. -AJ
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5 months 4 days ago #139621 by whirlibird
Replied by whirlibird on topic Tree Branch Weight
Hmm. I have watched the AHBTCC through and the knots section multiple times. I have read the Tree Climbers Companion book and working through some of the knots common to the training video, subscribe to a couple of arborist YouTube channels... I don't recall the techniques you suggested from my current limited sources. I haven't climbed a tree using any of the TCI training yet, so am very new. I have spoken via phone to a TCI member that mentioned using multiple smaller limbs to share the weight, but not in detail. How does one learn to use two ropes or use the trunk for rope anchoring (unless you are referring to using a lanyard but I suspect not as you didn't use that term)?

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5 months 4 days ago #139622 by pjenkins
Replied by pjenkins on topic Tree Branch Weight
Hi Whirlibird,
No disrespect to Moss, who is a wonderful climber and teacher. However, at this point, I think you should find a tree that's big enough to support your weight on one limb and practice the doubled-rope technique (with one rope) method we teach in the AHBTCC before you try experimenting with other methods. Master the fundamentals first to stay safe.
Patty
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5 months 4 days ago - 5 months 4 days ago #139623 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Tree Branch Weight

whirlibird wrote: Hmm. I have watched the AHBTCC through and the knots section multiple times. I have read the Tree Climbers Companion book and working through some of the knots common to the training video, subscribe to a couple of arborist YouTube channels... I don't recall the techniques you suggested from my current limited sources. I haven't climbed a tree using any of the TCI training yet, so am very new. I have spoken via phone to a TCI member that mentioned using multiple smaller limbs to share the weight, but not in detail. How does one learn to use two ropes or use the trunk for rope anchoring (unless you are referring to using a lanyard but I suspect not as you didn't use that term)?


If you check out Jepson's "Tree Climber's Companion" you'll see a technique referred to as "Alternating lanyard" or "Alt lanyard technique". I look at a lanyard as a second rope or short rope. It should have the same functionality as your long rope system and have the same life support rating in its component parts. You can also climb on two long ropes "alt lanyard", two separate climbing systems. But more simply and I think this is in the AHBTCC you can create a climbing system with the other end of your main rope. For climbing a conifer where there are branches, but you don't trust their strength you can put your line around the trunk just above a couple of small branches, 1"-4" diameter for example. The typical conifer growth pattern is branch nodes are like spokes at intervals up the trunk, you can take advantage of that. The branches stop the rope from sliding down the trunk and gives you a safe anchor.

The purpose of the AHBTCC is to give you a strong safety protocol and to introduce you to the reliable basics of rope and harness tree climbing. At a certain point all climbers run into unique situations and scenarios that may require additional technique, this basic knowledge well practiced is a good platform to begin the process of solving these climbing technical problems. And ask questions ;-)
-AJ
Last edit: 5 months 4 days ago by moss.
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5 months 4 days ago #139624 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Tree Branch Weight
Also want to mention... I understand that your intent is to climb in the trees on your property. You might consider finding trees outside of your property so that you can practice the techniques you're learning from the AHBTCC without having to deal with trees that don't have ideal characteristics for learning the basics.
-AJ
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5 months 4 days ago #139625 by whirlibird
Replied by whirlibird on topic Tree Branch Weight
I guess at this point I need to take a major step back and see if learning to climb is even a possibility locally to meet the safety needs. I recall in the basic training video to choose limbs at least 4 inches diameter. I almost stopped there. I really don't know that I can get access to trees that meet the safety requirements. Glad I haven't ordered a climbing kit yet until I know I can actually use one.

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1 month 1 week ago #139667 by Doh3oo
Replied by Doh3oo on topic Tree Branch Weight
taken in consideration that i'm still learning, there's a lot of valuable information for me. thanks a lot for sharing. never regret i registered here.
was wondering if i may ask some other questions if (better said when) they would appear? thanks

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1 month 1 week ago - 1 month 1 week ago #139668 by patty
Replied by patty on topic Tree Branch Weight
Yes. Your questions will appear here after you post them. As the moderator of the TCI Forums, I get a notification of all posts. The only ones I delete are the ones that are spam or clearly not appropriate for a tree climbing website.
Ask away!
Patty
Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by patty.

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