Nearly everyone has climbed a tree at some point. Many school-aged children like to climb small trees in their yards, and some adults never outgrow the thrill of moving from limb to limb. However, just because climbing trees is fun doesn’t mean it’s always safe. Falling out of a tree can result in serious injury or even death. To avoid a potentially dangerous situation, be sure to follow these safety tips before climbing any trees at home.
1. Inspect the Tree Before Climbing
A large, robust tree may look like the perfect place to climb, but you should still inspect it before you swing from the branches. Structural damage is one of the leading causes of climbing injuries. Before you start scaling a tree, look for signs of weakness. Broken branches, a leaning trunk, or damaged bark indicate the tree isn’t safe to climb.
Never climb a tree if it doesn’t look structurally sound. After all, if a branch suddenly snaps, you may find yourself in the hospital. If you notice anything concerning the tree, be sure to consult with an Arborist Near Me. An arborist can prune a tree to remove damaged branches so that you can climb it without worry.
2. Never Climb in Inclement Weather
Depending on the weather, it may not be a good day to climb trees. Be sure to check the weather report before putting on your climbing gear. It’s dangerous to climb if the bark is wet or frozen. High-speed winds could also blow you out of the branches.
Even if the weather seems clear, keep your eyes and ears open. Sudden thunderstorms, for instance, may pose a climbing hazard. Get back onto solid ground quickly if you hear thunder or see lightning.
3. Invest in Protective Gear
Professional tree climbers always wear protective gear. Falling out of a tree can hurt or even kill a person. A minor accident may only cause scrapes or lacerations, but some falls result in brain damage or a spinal cord injury. However, the right gear will reduce the risk of injury, even if something goes wrong.
Protecting your head is a must. Always put on a helmet before monkeying around. A rope and harness are other essential safety tools. Even the most skilled climbers stay on the rope in case they lose their footing. A harness will catch your weight if you do start to fall, and wearing one is recommended regardless of your experience level.
4. Respect Mother Nature
Trees are home to many species, and you’ll find different creatures throughout the year. Birds build nests high in the branches, and rodents often scurry up trunks in search of food. Even insects, like wood-boring weevils, live deep within the bark. Before you climb, you need to know who or what you may bump into along the way.
Aggravating a nesting bird, for example, may lead to an unwanted attack. A bite from an angry spider or hiding snake may result in a trip to the doctor. While climbing, try to avoid other inhabitants. If you notice the tree has lots of nests or hungry creatures, finding another tree to climb may be a smart move.
Safe Climbing Is the Only Way
Although tree climbing may seem like a light-hearted, fun activity, it can also be dangerous. Without proper precautions, you may find yourself falling back to the ground. Be sure to always make safety a priority before embarking on your next tree climbing adventure.
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