Owning property can be a real tree-t, but it also comes with extra responsibilities to keep trees healthy and vibrant. The average homeowner is more than capable of doing some of these tasks themselves, but others are best left to certified professionals — unless you want to wind up losing your limbs rather than your trees.
Take tree trimming, for instance. Each of your property’s different trees and shrubs requires a specific set of practices to survive and thrive. Any qualified tree service provider should know the proper steps and have the basic equipment to handle your trees’ needs — but not all tree service companies are created equal.
One significant way tree companies differ is how they access your tree’s limbs and branches. We highly recommend not hiring a professional who uses climbing spikes to access a tree that will stay in your yard. Read on to learn why.
Understanding Tree Climbing Spikes
When to Use Spikes
Tree climbing spikes, also called climbing spurs or gaffs, are sharpened steel spikes that attach to a tree climber’s legs to allow them to access and navigate through the tree they are servicing. Tree spikes can cause irreparable damage or death to your trees and shouldn’t be used on healthy trees, except in the following situations.
- The tree is being removed.
- There is no other way to climb the tree due to branch height or the inability to access the tree with a lift device.
- The tree is too near power lines.
- There is an injured climber up in the tree.
When Spikes Are Dangerous
Tree climbing spikes damage every part of the tree it pierces, and unlike humans, a tree cannot heal itself. So, using climbing spikes can significantly damage your healthy trees, even if they are larger or have thicker bark, in the following ways.
- They puncture the tree’s cambium — living tissue beneath the bark — causing irregular shoot growth or killing off parts of the tree. As a result, the tree will leak sap from the wound.
- They leave holes that make the tree vulnerable to insect infestations and dangerous tree diseases, including bacterial blight, cankers, or fire blight.
- If the spikes are not appropriately cleaned between servicings, they can carry a disease from your other trees to your healthy trees.
- They leave unsightly gashes and marks in the tree’s bark.
Trust Gaston’s Tree Service for Your Tree Trimming Needs
A good tree technician knows these dangers. Instead of relying on harmful tree climbing spikes, they prioritize your tree’s health and have the necessary equipment, such as a rope system, safety harnesses, cranes, and lifts, to reach the top of your tree without needing tree climbing spikes.
So, it’s essential to find a company with a solid reputation in the industry and community, as well as sufficient insurance to protect you and your property. The tree service company you consider should also follow the appropriate ANSI Standards relevant to tree safety, pruning, fertilizing, and cabling.
Gaston’s Tree Service has served North Central Florida for over 4 decades. In that time, we have invested in some of the best equipment in our area and industry. We employ certified arborists and hold certifications from industry-leading associations. When you need tree services, such as tree trimming or tree removal, that maintain the integrity and health of your trees, contact Gaston’s today.