A technique as old as arboriculture itself, tree rigging is the art of safely dismantling parts of or the whole tree, using ropes, blocks, and pulleys. In possibly one of the most complex jobs of tree work, Brandon Cruz uses wood properties, physics, and rope to efficiently dismantle and lower timber from trees.
As an experienced groundsman, Brandon has mastered the ability to choose the proper rigging technique, specific to individual jobs. Brandon must always be aware of the forces generated when rigging, as they can be dangerous if not executed correctly. Lowering heavy branches too quickly can cause ropes to lose strength, causing the tree to snap or break, requiring an efficient groundsman.
Today, tree rigging predominantly uses the tree itself and shock absorbing ropes. Brandon works the tail end of the rope from the ground, coordinating operations with the climber above. The climber must be able to judge the weight of the wood being cut in relation to the rope’s strength. Rigging ranges from awkward branches, large, heavy pieces of timber, and compact drop zones.