The Digital Version of the Tree Climbers’ Guide is Now Available

The Digital Version of the Tree Climbers’ Guide is Now Available

ISA offers a variety of educational materials and products to help arborists improve their arboricultural knowledge and experience. Every month we will feature a product or group of products. This month ISA is featuring the Digital Tree Climbers’ Guide, 4th edition by Sharon J. Lilly and Alex K. Julius.

One of the few books written specifically for tree climbers, the Tree Climbers’ Guide includes other aspects of a climber’s work such as pruning, rigging and cabling.

“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,” said Lilly. “Additionally, the extensive use of color drawings will help readers visualize tools and techniques so that they are better prepared to apply what they have learned on the job.”

The fourth edition has been updated throughout and features more than 270 illustrations by artist Bryan Kotwica that help to clarify and complement the text.

“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 chain saw. 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 fourth edition includes three new chapters: Moving Rope Systems (MRS), Stationary Rope Systems (SRS), and Climbing Equipment. The other chapters, fully revised and updated, are: Tree Health and Sciences, Safety, Ropes and Knots, Preparing to Climb, Pruning, Rigging, Removal, and Cabling.

“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 fourth edition because so much has been added or updated.”

This guide also serves as a study guide for the ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist® and Aerial Lift Specialist® exams.

“This book is not only a study guide for the ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist,” Julius said. “It is also a trusted reference for making safe and educated decisions. Key concepts are highlighted for quick reference both in the text, as well as in the illustrations. This book is not just for the new climber. It can be used by experienced climbers, educators, and equipment manufacturers to home in on areas of tree climbing that deserve more research and innovation.”

Each chapter includes a list of key terms and concludes with a workbook section. The guide also contains appendices with answers to the workbook questions, a glossary, and resources listed for further reference.

“The recurring theme of the book is that a climber makes hundreds of decisions every day—decisions about what safety measures are required; which climbing, rigging, and cutting equipment and techniques to use; what strategies to employ for working a tree; what branches to prune, and how to attach or install hardware in a tree,” Lilly said. “Knowledge and experience are required to make the best decisions. This book provides a great deal of information about advantages and limitations of various approaches, to help guide a climber in making those decisions.”

Purchase your copy of the Digital Tree Climbers’ Guide, 4th edition today.


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