Ahhh, climbing spikes, a simple yet incredibly helpful tool for arborists. These can be strapped to your foot and calf and sport a metal spike on the inside of the foot. By digging the spike into a tree, a climber can have a more solid footing and move around in the tree with speed and ease. One would wonder why climbers aren’t using these all of the time.
It is of utmost importance to know that climbing spikes should ONLY be used in trees that are being cut down or in parts that are being removed. They should never, I repeat NEVER, be used in any part of a tree that is not being cut out.
The spikes penetrate the bark of a tree and dig into the living circulatory tissue beneath. Each hole punched into the tree disrupts the circulation of water and nutrients and provides an opening for diseases and pests.
We have personal experience in dealing with damage from climbing spikes. We had a large oak tree with a major section of it that had mysteriously died off. During the removal of this dead section we saw the telltale signs of climbing spikes that a previous tree worker had used when pruning the tree. If you ever see a climber using spikes on a tree that isn’t being removed, don’t hesitate to call them out on it!