Stay Strong in the Fundamentals with Knots at Work: A Field Guide for the Modern Arborist

Stay Strong in the Fundamentals with Knots at Work: A Field Guide for the Modern Arborist

ISA offers a variety of educational materials to help arborists improve their arboricultural knowledge. Each week we will feature a product, or group of products that will enhance your arboriculture education. This week, ISA is featuring Knots at Work: A Field Guide for the Modern Arborist by Jeff Jepson.

This book’s easy‐to‐follow text with extensive illustrations, unique cross‐reference format, and field guide size make it an ideal resource for arborists looking to learn and master knot construction and application for climbing and rigging.

“It’s a collection of knots that arborists use on a regular basis and some really good ones that they may not be familiar with,” Jepson said. “It’s organized in a fashion that not only describes how to tie the knots but how to apply them to a wide variety of tree work situations.”

Jepson, author of the bestselling The Tree Climber's Companion and To Fell a Tree: A Complete Guide to Successful Tree Felling and Woodcutting Methods, said the idea to write the book came to him while he was visiting his local hardware store.

“I saw a book there about knots for the outdoorsman, which emphasized knot application as much as knot construction.” he said. “You have to put a knot to work—give it a job—if you’re going to remember how to tie it.”

With more than 50 knots and 200 illustrations, Knots at Work utilizes a unique cross reference guide that not only assists individuals with tying knots, but helps reinforce the fundamentals as well.

Jepson says, “There’s been a preponderance of gadgetry that has come out in the tree care industry in the last decade—which is good. But it is not good when people become so reliant on the gear that they forget how to tie the knot that the gear replaced. You can forget to bring a piece of gear to the job, or it can breakdown, but you always have a knot, that is, if you can remember how to tie it.”

With its compact size this book is a great reference that can be utilized in the field and outside of tree work as well.

“There’s a lot of skills for an arborist to learn, especially where they’re new in the industry,” Jepson said. “Learning knots is not only an essential skill of the arborist, but it’s also very satisfying. When you tie a knot you become a craftsman; a creator of one of the oldest tools known to humankind.”

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