How comfortable are you climbing palm trees?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Fahzu, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Fahzu

    Fahzu LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Hey, how many of you full-service guys do minor trimming on your customers' palm trees? and how comfortable are you with climbing gaffs? I have a long time customer who has a couple of palms that have dead fronds that are just out of reach with my extension ladder and I am interested in trying to climb the tree with gaffs and harness. I originally thought about buying a longer ladder, but the ladder idea seems way more dangerous than climbing the tree the right way. Any thoughts? Thanks!
  2. Happy Frog

    Happy Frog LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    Tell your customer to call someone else for this job because you're not equipped for it.
    Explain that some specialize in this kind of work.

    This is what I do.

    Why taking a chance to hurt yourself badly?
  3. mx315

    mx315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    Or be on the hook for replacing palms if the spikes cause problems.
  4. Fahzu

    Fahzu LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    What kind of problems do you get from spikes aside from the obvious holes?
  5. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    nothing, they are monocots, and have a vascular system similar to grass. Unlike a regular tree, which has its vascular system in the cambium, directly beneath the bark

    I agree that palms are very dangerous. being on spikes and a lanyard, with no rope to escape on poses serious problems if a frond comes down on you. Often times the first frond you cut is supporting many more above that are no longer attached. These will come down, trap you, and suffocate you. The other issues are wildlife in the fronds....rts, spiders snakes, etc etc etc

    The other downside to climbing with spikes, versus a rope, is the unsightly holes. nothing major on a coconut, but I would hold you to the boards for a full replacement you did this to my Queen Palm!

    Maybe hire a local, qualified, Arborist under the agreement he/she shares their knowledge with you.

    Stay Safe!
  6. Fahzu

    Fahzu LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Thanks for your reply BostonBull. Honestly, I don't want to do any climbing. In Southern California we have guys trolling the neighborhoods looking for work and knocking on doors. Not certified, not licensed, not qualified, and probably not legal. My problem...when my customers know they can pay bottom dollar to a fly-by-night "tree service" how can I align myself with a legit arborist and appeal to the cheapskates? Do you have a lot of gardeners who bring you regular business? and do you welcome their referals? Is there a protocol on how maintenance guys approach a pro with intentions of doing business?

    I know that's a lot of questions, I'd appreciate any answers you're willing to share. Thanks for your time.
  7. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,421

    Ask Keith Richards about climbing palm trees!
  8. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    look for bold comments above

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