Safe Climbing Tips

With the proper training and gear, recreational tree climbing can be safe for both the tree and the climber.


Climbers must always be securely fastened to a rope and use appropriate gear. Always protect trees from abrasion and incidental damage by properly placing temporary anchors and cambium savers.



General Rules For Safe Tree Climbing

  • Always stay on rope. Never disconnect yourself from your rope.
  • Inspect any tree before you climb it.
  • Never climb near power lines.
  • Get training from a qualified instructor.
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Never use leg spikes for recreational climbing.
  • Protect the trees you climb.
  • Be careful when climbing larger or old growth trees.
  • Be careful when removing dead branches.
  • Avoid nests and nesting animals.
  • Avoid trampling ground cover.

Please visit the Tree Climbers International website for the detailed Tree Climbing Rules.


©Tree Climbers International, Inc., used with permission

4 “Must Know” Rules For Tree Climbing in the Great Outdoors


1.  Know your trees

  • Some trees are large and look very strong yet may have weak branch structures. Other trees have shallow root systems or weaknesses that can be hazardous to climbers.
  • In general, trees such as Oaks, Figs, and Eucalyptus have good branch strength.  That said, trees like Oak and Sweetgum are suspectible to Summer limb drop and require caution.

2.  Know your surroundings

  • Always check the weather before you go out.
  • High winds can cause branches to fall and make a climb unsafe.
  • Powerful flash floods can occur with little or no warning due to heavy rains high up in valleys.

3.  Be prepared

  • Bring plenty of food and water.
  • Bring a cell phone and appropriate gear for the weather.
  • Bring a friend or tell someone where you are going.

4.  Be aware of others

  • Avoid climbing in areas where people could be hit by falling tree debris.
  • Remember that people on the ground usually see a climbing rope before they see a climber. They can look right at a tree climber and sometimes never see them!
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