Tree rigging can be one of the most complex and laborious jobs associated with trees. You may find yourself having to remove awkwardly shaped branches, a large portion of the tree, or having to avoid damage to surrounding houses and buildings. It’s important to invest in high-quality tree rigging gear to ensure your personal safety and the safety of others.
This article will outline the factors to consider when choosing tree rigging gear and give reviews of the essential equipment you’ll find in tree rigging kits.
Factors to Consider
Ropes for tree rigging need to be thick and have little to no stretch. They’re the main device for lowering tree pieces so it’s important to invest in rope that has a high tensile strength. Abrasion resistance is another key feature to prevent the rope from breaking while tree pieces are being lowered to the ground.
Slings ensure that your lowering devices are mounted snugly on the tree. The best tree rigging slings will be abrasion resistant (to withstand friction from the tree’s bark) and adjustable for various diameters of trees.
For tree rigging, durable lowering devices are needed to ensure that you can lower the dismantled pieces of wood safely. A bollard is an essential piece of gear for tree rigging. They’re installed near the base of the trunk and have a rope system attached which will connect to the felled tree pieces. They help reduce friction and allow for more control when lowering.
Frictionless Winches and Pulleys
Winches and pulleys are essential for tree rigging kits because they help reduce friction. They offer support to ropes to ensure that tree pieces are lowered at a steady pace so the rope won’t lose strength and snap. Be sure to find winches and pulleys that are specifically for tree rigging and able to support heavy loads. Also, be sure to find ones that are compatible with the diameter of rope that you’ll be using.
Now it’s time to take a look at some of best products to have in your tree rigging kit.
Blue Ox Rope Arborist Rigging Rope
Blue Ox Rope has created a tightly braided polyester rope with approximately 7,000 pounds of tensile strength. It’s abrasion resistant and has very low stretch. This double braided rigging rope measures ½ inches in diameter and has a total length of 100 feet.
The rope is neon yellow with black tracers. The zig-zag threading also gives you a comfortable and non-slip grip.
Pros: Has high tensile strength, is highly visible, and has a non-slip grip.
Blue Ox Rope Arborist Bull Rope
This arborist Bull Rope is made with double braided polyester that’s highly recommended for tree rigging. This heavy-dutyrope measures 5/8 inches in diameter and has a total length of 150 feet. It has an incredible tensile strength of 12,000 pounds.
To ensure abrasion resistance, the Bull Rope is tightly braided and has very little stretch. The rope is white with orange tracers.
Pros: Has very high tensile strength, is highly visible, thick and long.
Cons: It may not be compatible with all pulley systems because of thickness (check pulleys before buying).
Progrip Polyester Webbing Tree Saver
Progrip’s Tree Saver flat webbing is made with yellow polyester that’s not only strong but also highly visible. The Tree Saver webbing is tightly woven to ensure abrasion resistance. It has an incredible break strength of 20,000 pounds with stiches that have been engineered and tested for this capacity.
It features reinforced loops to extend its service life. The ProGrip Tree Saver also comes in two sizes: 6 feet x 2 inches and 6 feet x 3 inches.
Pros: Has very high tensile strength, secure end loops, is highly visible, and highly abrasion resistant.
Cons: The length only allows it to be used on small to medium sized trees.
Driver Recovery Products Winch Snatch Block
This winch snatch block is made with a high-tensile strength steel and an epoxy grade finish that reduces chipping and rusting. It increases winch pulling power by using a double-line pull technique. It has a carrying capacity of 16,000 pounds.
For extra strength, the snatch block has a dowel bearing with grease fitting. No disassembly is required to accept a line, all you need to do is swivel it open. This winch snatch block is meant to be used for indirect pulls and as an anchor point. It accepts rope up to ½ inches thick.
Pros: Has a very high carrying capacity, strong design, is less prone to chipping and rusting,and no disassembly needed to feel lines.
Cons: It only accepts rope up to ½ inches thick.
US Rigging Aluminum Pulley With Sheave
US Rigging’s aluminum pulley is made with high-quality aluminum side plates and sheave. The sheave has a bearing in the axle for extra durability. This pulley system is compatible with rope up to ½ inches thick and has a minimum breaking strength of 3800 pounds.
The pulley is lightweight and allows you to install with a runner easily. It’s specifically designed for arborist use.
Pros: Easy installation and made with durable aluminum.
Cons: It only accepts rope up to ½ inches thick.
Forestry Suppliers Bollard Friction Brakes
This tree rigging bollard is great for taking down trees over buildings, driveways, fences or delicate landscapes. Forestry Suppliers have created this plain bollard to lower tree pieces with ease. Not only that, but they also soften abuse on tree rigging ropes and help maximize their lifespan.
This bollard has a stainless steel construction and includes a winch bar and 18 feet of 4-inch-wide nylon webbing. Forestry Suppliers have also made a ratcheted version that allows you to lift heavy objects up and let them down with ease.
Pros: Has durable construction, maximizes lifespan of the rope, and comes in a plain or ratcheted model.
Cons: It’s expensive.
Negative Block/False Crotch Rigging Kit
Instead of buying your tree rigging gear separately, you can also find kits with all of the essential equipment you need. This Negative Block/False Crotch Rigging Kit includes: 150 feet of stable braid 5/8inch rope, a large Port-a-Wrap III plated in Nickle, a CMI ¾ inch stainless steel block, a 5/8 inch Tenex sling, ¾ inch Loopie sling and a large rope bag. The bag large enough to fit all of the equipment, allowing you transport it with ease.
Pros: Has all you need in one ready-to-go kit.
Cons: Need to find out tensile strength and breaking points of all gear included.
When it comes to tree rigging, it’s important to invest in the right gear to ensure your success. There are many dangers involved with felling or dismantling trees, so safety should be your number one priority. And, remember, the best tree rigging kits will have strong ropes, durable slings, frictionless winches and pulleys, and other lowering devices, such as bollards.