ISA offers a variety of educational materials to help arborists improve their arboricultural knowledge. Each month we will feature a product, or group of products that will enhance your arboriculture education. This week, ISA is featuring the Tree Climbers’ Guide, 4th Edition written by Sharon J. Lilly and Alex K. Julius, with illustrations by Bryan Kotwica.
“The Tree Climbers’ Guide is one of very few books written specifically for tree climbers, and the only one that includes the applications of other aspects of a climber’s work (pruning, rigging, and cabling, for example),” said Lilly, who has authored many other ISA publications. “It starts with some broad, basic information about tree biology, identification, and tree health, then lays the foundation of general safety, upon which the other chapters of the book build.”
Written specifically from the tree climbers’ perspective, this newly revised publication was created by ISA to help arborists learn safe climbing and aerial tree work principles and features more than 270 illustrations.
“The previous edition was released in 2005 so it was important that this useful and popular work be updated with the latest information,” said Kathy Brennan, the director of educational products and services with ISA. “Sharon Lilly authored the previous edition, and for this edition, she was joined by Alex Julius. We enjoyed collaborating with these talented authors. ISA is working to expand its pool of content experts and authors, so it is likely that you will see more multiple author publications over the next few years.”
Lilly wrote this version of the book with Julius who also has a background in tree climbing.
“It would not be possible for a book such as this to be written by non‐climbers,” Lilly said. “The addition of Alex Julius as a co‐author brings a more cutting‐edge perspective to the book, but one that is firmly anchored in the latest safety standards and requirements. The illustrator, Bryan Kotwica, is also a climbing arborist, who understands exactly how to orient body position, equipment, and knots to clearly show what is important in each drawing.”
A shared background in tree climbing is not what brought Lilly and Julius together, said Julius. Instead it was a commitment to industry safety.
“Readers can trust that this publication has highlighted key areas where the new and even experienced climber can avoid potential missteps,” Julius said. “As climbers ourselves, we can draw on our own experiences, but more importantly, we can recognize where the risks lie.”
In addition to a new co-author, the new edition of the book includes three new chapters: Moving Rope Systems (MRS), Stationary Rope Systems (SRS), and Climbing Equipment.
“The world of tree climbing techniques and equipment has expanded dramatically in recent years,” Lilly said. “Adding new chapters and expansion of existing chapters was essential to do justice to revolution in tree climbing systems and methods. Climbers who have used previous editions of the book may hardly recognize the 4th Edition because so much has been added or updated.”
Each chapter in the new edition begins with clear Learning Objectives to orient the worker to the knowledge and skills that are important for that chapter, Lilly said. The chapters include Important Terms listed on the opening page to emphasize the terminology needed to communicate with colleagues, employers, trainers, and equipment vendors.
The Glossary and Index aid users in understanding terms and finding applicable passages in the book. The Key Concepts section at the end of each chapter summarize the most important points and The Workbook at the end of each chapter helps to reinforce important terminology and key concepts. Sample Test Questions help certification candidates prepare for the written exam and readers can check their answers using the answer section in the back of the book.
“From a practical standpoint, tree climbers should read this book while they are still in the exploratory phase of their career,” Julius said. “As we know, tree climbing is not just about athleticism, but it also includes an understanding of physics, biomechanics, biology, some chemistry, as well as an eye for art and the respect of the natural architecture of trees. An early review of these concepts will reinforce that learning does not stop once one becomes comfortable in a tree with a chainsaw. Tree climbing is not for everyone, but if when diving into the pages of this book, readers find themselves intrigued by the many facets of tree climbing, they will know they have made the right career choice.”
The Tree Climbers’ Guide can also be used as a study guide for the ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist® and Aerial Lift Specialist® exams.
Purchase your copy at the ISA Store today!