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    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

    Measuring Arborist Performance: Energy Expenditures of Climbing Methods


    Arborists are similar to athletes in that they engage in physically demanding work.  However, unlike athletes, little research has been conducted on their energy expenditures. The purpose of this study was to measure the physiological response of arborists engaged in a variety of common tasks.  These included a number of entry systems, body thrust, secured foot-lock and single rope techniques, as well as felling and chipping among other arboricultural tasks. The knowledge of the metabolic and cardiovascular responses to these activities will be valuable in assessing the efficiency of various techniques and also establishing a base of measures for future studies.

    Conference Proceedings Documents


    John Ball is a professor of forestry at South Dakota State University, with a split appointment in teaching, forestry extension, and research. He teaches in the Plant Science Department, where he instructs courses in arboriculture and forest ecology.  Ball also teaches in the Health Department where he lectures for the emergency medical technician courses. Ball also serves as the campus arborist for the university. He previously served as the landscape and tree care manager for Arrowhead Tree & Landscape, a utility and tree care company in Duluth, Minnesota, and as director of technical services at Carpenter-Costin, a large tree care and landscape planning company operating along the North Shore area of Boston. He has more than 120 published journal articles on such topics as tree care, tree–turf interactions, tree worker safety, and transplanting techniques. 

    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

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