There are several different methods of tree climbing that may be used, each requiring its own set of equipment. A rope and saddle technique is one method used for climbing and is generally considered to be the best and most popular method because littledamage is done to the tree when using ropes and saddles. The tools needed to use the rope and saddle method include not only a special tree climbingsaddle, but also carabiners (metal clips) and an ascender, which locks into place in the event of a fall. A helmet and gloves are typically also recommended to protect your head and hands during the climb.
Rope, of course, is also necessary when using the rope and saddle method and there are two types: single rope (SRT), which is used for taller trees and double rope (or DRT) for trees less than 75 feet tall. When the SRT is used, the route up the tree is normally a straight line. With SRT the climber advances up the rope with rope slings, mechanical ascenders and assistance of the feet and legs. When DRT is used, on the other hand, the route may not be as straight. The climber using DRT must throw their rope over the branch they intend to climb and then secure it to their climbing saddle or harness. They can then pull on the rope in order to raise themselves upwards towards the branch, advancing with the use of a friction knot such as the Blakes hitch. When cutting down trees another method of tree climbing involves the use of spikes, which can help you to get a better grip on the tree as you climb. This method can be easier than the rope method, but it also poses more risk to both the climber and to the tree. A climbing line and safety lanyard must always be used when climbing with spikes to protect you in the event of a fall. Spikes should be worn with high boots to minimize the danger of being cut or impaled by the spikes.
When using either the rope climbing or the spike climbing methods, having the best equipment possible and making sure you know how to use it is absolutely essential. For arborists who climb trees, knowing the proper techniques for climbing and understanding how to choose equipment is a part of their training. For hobby climbers, however, it is up to the climber to do the research necessary to find the right safety and climbing equipment to ensure the climb can be completed without undue risk. In either case, it is the tree climbing tools that make safe climbing possible.