Planning ahead

As the year slowly draws towards an end, I look back on a very busy year. Lots of interesting, exciting and inspiring events and meetings with tree people from all over the world.

Mind you, we are not quite there yet, there are still a couple to go. Next week I will be joining Phil Kelley in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery to do some work on an alignment of oak trees which are dying back. The plan is to retrench them and finish off the week with a workshop on how the work was planned and executed. I am very excited with the prospect of using DMM’s new Offya rigging trolley for at least part of this work, which involves moving large bits of dead wood over the cemetery’s historical headstones – without causing damage. We will be combing this with Teufelberger’s arborWINCH line, a light-weight, Dyneema-core rigging line which allows very precise technical rigging.

For me part of the planning process involves envisaging the set-up allowing for most versatility and flexibility… I find it easiest to do this by actually sketching it out.

By the way, before anyone can comment on it: the reason I am incorporating Axis swivels into the rig is that the pieces, as Phil described them to me, are bulky and cumbersome – but not very heavy. Obviously, for heavy-duty rigging I would look for a different solution with a higher breaking strength, allowing for a higher safety margin.

In this case the matter is further complicated by the fact that the gear has to be taking either by me or Phil on the plane. The concepts of travelling light and arborist gear clash somewhat, as I have commented on numerous times in the past.

The thought behind the rig sketched out above is that both options allow lengths of rope to be hung off the Rigging Hub. These can be used to spider leg pieces to keep them in orientation whilst rigging them down. Also it should allow us to run a lighter trolley, as otherwise you need a a fair bit of weight on the winching pulley to lower it down to the climber. This way, the climber can simply catch hold of the line and pull the pulley down to himself.

It will be interesting to see how all of this planning stands up to reality.

I will also be shipping gear today for a workshop the following week in Helsinki, Finnland. I have been looking forwards to this event, as similar to the event in Brooklyn, it will feature topics I have not visited in a while, such as an overview and applications of the equipment we have been involved in developing, or working with cranes – as well as new questions, such as “A brief overview of current of how European legislation affects training standards and trends in equipment and techniques in tree care”. Hmmm, right. Let me think about that for a moment… Also, on the Friday there will be the Christmas party of SPY, the Finnish arborist association, which should be a blast.

I would like to thank all of you who have enabled or facilitated an event or workshop in the course of this year. All of this would not be possible without the time and effort you invest into making these things happen. I enjoy and value the opportunity they offer to meet and interact with arborists from many different areas and regions.