How Do Arborists Climb Trees? How Dangerous Is Arborist Work?

As an Amazon Affiliate, We Earn From Qualifying Sales. Read Full Disclosure Here

If you are wondering, ‘how do arborists climb trees?’ this article is for you. Nowadays, it is customary to notice skilled professionals climbing trees to maintain them. To remind you, arborists are trained experts who play a crucial role in keeping our urban and rural landscapes healthy and safe.

In this article, I will try to clarify all your doubts if you’re wondering how they climb trees and ‘how dangerous arborist work?’ Furthermore, we’ll closely examine the techniques and equipment used by arborists to climb trees.

If you read this article thoroughly, I guarantee you’ll better understand the arborist’s quick climbing technique and the risks they take to keep our trees healthy. 

Do Arborists Climb Trees?

Yes, arborists climb trees as they are essential and integral to their work. By mounting a tree, a arborist can get a close and personal look at it, providing access and assessing the tree’s health, structure, and stability.

Since arborists are responsible for a wide range of tasks, from pruning and trimming to planting and removing trees, climbing and assessing helps them determine what kind of care the tree needs and what steps they need to take to ensure the tree’s longevity. If you want to learn about techniques that arborists use to climb trees, let me explain them “how do arborists climb trees”.

How Do Arborists Climb Trees? 

There can be several different methods of tree climbing with their advantages and disadvantages. Depending upon the weather and tree condition, some arborists prefer traditional rope-and-saddle techniques, whereas others prefer more modern designs like aerial lifts or bucket trucks. If your garden tree is not tall, the arborist will choose conventional methods over modern ones. 

5 Arborist Climbing Techniques

Single Rope Technique 

During my research on “how do arborists climb trees,” I learned that the single rope technique is one of the most common techniques used by arborists. To perform this method, the arborist will require a climbing rope, a harness, and other gear to help them climb the tree.

In most cases, the arborist ties one end of the rope to the tree and uses the other to rise. This method is also said to be one of the safest tree-climbing techniques that arborists use to put minimal strain on the tree and have greater control over their movement.

Double Rope Technique 

Another popular method similar to the single rope technique is the “double rope technique.” In this method, the arborist will use two ropes to Climb the tree. arborists usually use one rope to pull themselves up and climb the trees while keeping the other as a safety line. You should know that this method is considered more challenging and physically demanding than SRT, but it also offers excellent stability and safety.

Spur Climbing Technique

This one is the most commonly used modern technique by arborists. Here the arborist will need to use spikes, known as spurs. These spurs can be attached to the arborist’s boots & used to grip the tree’s trunk.

I find this method relatively quick and straightforward, but I don’t recommend it. Firstly, you should consult a arborist and ensure he is licensed and certified. Using Spurs to climb the tree can cause severe damage to the tree if not done correctly.

Rope & Saddle Technique

Another technique frequently used by arborists, depending upon the condition, is called the “rope and saddle” method. As the name suggests, arborists will take a help of a rope and a saddle to climb the tree.

They will loop the rope over a high branch while tying a figure eight knot and putting on a climbing saddle. Afterward, arborists use the rope and harness to support themselves as they climb. Since this method is more gentle on your tree if you want the arborist to perform this technique, be ready to pay some extra tips, as this is a bit more time-consuming. 

Throw Line Technique.

Lastly, another excellent method that arborists frequently use is known as the “throw line” technique. Here, they will throw a lightweight line over your tree’s high branch and then use a heavier rope to pull up a second, more robust pipe.

Afterward, arborists use the more robust line to pull up their climbing rope and saddle, making their way up your tree to access and assess it correctly. However, your arborist will only perform this method if any tree lacks low branches to use as a starting point.

Each technique has pros and cons, so your arborist may use a combination of these methods to get the job done quickly, safely, and efficiently. For example, your arborist may use the spur climb to get to a tree’s certain height, then switch to the rope & saddle method for more delicate work.

How Dangerous Is an Arborist Work?

Berlin, it or not, Arborist work can be hazardous. With risks ranging from falling from a height to being struck by falling objects or working with sharp tools, a professional specialist needs to get certified and use the right equipment, gear, and techniques. 

According to OSHA, working on trees is dangerous, with fatal injury rates higher than in many other construction trades. The most common risks you’re likely to face with this profession or being an arborist include the following: 

  • Falling from height
  • being struck by falling trees or limbs
  • Getting injured while working with sharp tools. 

It becomes riskier when a arborist works in the rainy season or work conditions. To minimize these risks, the arborists should always take several safety measures, like using protective gear such as helmets, harnesses, and safety lanyards and following proper pruning and cutting techniques to prevent risks like branches falling off accidentally. 

Regarding safety, professional arborists take various precautions to minimize the risks associated with tree climbing & other work. You are likely to notice a arborist wearing a helmet to protect their head in case of a fall and using ropes, harnesses, and other safety equipment to keep him secured to the tree.

If you notice a particular arborist without safety equipment and improperly climbing a tree, ask for his certification. If you don’t know the importance of a certified arborist, read our article on why arborists need to be certified. An accredited arborist usually undergoes extensive training to climb trees and perform their work safely.

Certified and licensed arborist protects themselves by obtaining insurance coverage. Suppose you are also a professional tea tree specialist looking for insurance policies that cover injuries and accidents. In that case, I recommend checking if the policy covers the following:

  • Medical Expenses, 
  • Lost Wages 
  • Compensation For Permanent Disability Or Death.

Overall, arborist work can still be dangerous. Therefore if you are one, you should take proper safety measures and insurance coverage to minimize the risk of injury and ensure you are protected while working in this challenging but rewarding profession.

Even though there are different tree climbing techniques, arborist work is still considered dangerous. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, arborist work is one of the most hazardous jobs, with Injuries like cuts, bruises, broken bones, sprains, and even death.


How Do Arborists Secure Themselves While Climbing Trees?

I have noticed many arborists tying a rope around the tree trunk and using it as an anchor point for the harness. This helps them in breaking their fall if it occurs accidentally. They also use a combination of ropes, harnesses, and carabiners to secure themselves while climbing. 

What Gear Do Arborists Need To Climb Trees?

Depending upon the tree size, structure, and condition, a arborist will need specialized climbing boots with spikes for better grip, a helmet to protect their head, and many other tools like rope, harnesses, carabiners, chainsaws, and pruning shears.

How Do Arborists Know Which Trees Are Safe To Climb?

As I said, you don’t have to worry if the arborist is certified, licensed, and insured. Certified Arborists assess each tree individually to determine if it’s safe to climb. They often look for signs of disease, rot, or structural weakness that could make the tree unstable & If a tree is safe to rise.

What Is The Most Dangerous Aspect Of Arborist Work?

Regarding risk assessment of arborists, I think the most dangerous aspect of arborist work is working at height, as falls can result in severe injury or death. The degree of hazard may vary according to different conditions and environments. 


After knowing how arborists climb trees and how dangerous the arborist job is, I hope you will take safety measures and call the right guy. It is essential to ensure he is certified and licensed to work in your landscape or Garden.

Since there are many safety measures that a arborist must consider depending upon the condition outdoors, you should consult them first and get a price quote. The arborist consultation fee can be expensive as well.

Even though this job or profession is risky but rewarding, arborists take precautions like securing themselves and using protective gear to minimize the risk of injury. As I said, if you are a professional tree specialist, get insurance coverage available to feel confident while you do your work safely and efficiently.

Whether you are a arborist or want to know about this professional but risky profession, I tried my best to give you a comprehensive overview of their work and the associated risk.

If you liked my article, then consider sharing it. Your share is going to help many people learn about do arborists climb trees as well as how do arborists climb trees, Do check our other helpful guide on arborists. See you in the next post, till then, take care and goodbye.