Rob Gibbs and Matt Follett presenting at the Practical Workshop.
Charles McCorkell, Ireland Branch Chair
The Ireland Branch held a Practical Workshop in late June at the beautiful Russborough House and Park in County Wicklow.
We welcomed Rob Gibbs of Arbotec, a training provider based in Northern Ireland, and Matt Follett, a practising arborist from Canada who is currently pursuing a PhD in tree biomechanics.
The event was divided up into three parts. It kicked off with Rob Gibbs presenting and demonstrating twin rope working. This element of the workshop was designed to be a refresher for all climbers who trained before this came out. There were demonstrations to show harness attachment, in-tree anchors and how to make open tree climbing safer and more ergonomic. This was a very engaging workshop and created some good discussion points amongst the group.
In conjunction with the twin rope working workshop, Matt Follett briefly spoke about tree climber anchor loads and stem stress. He discussed different anchor arrangements and how these might correspond to not only the rope load but also the stem stress.
After lunch, Matt Follett provided an in situ destructive experiment whereby real-time data was collected and discussed with the group on negative rigging operations. During a negative rigging scenario, a systematic removal sequence was tested to show the effects of limb retention on the sway dynamics and the bending stress of the tree.
Overall, the event was a great success and was very well attended. We look forward to running more practical-based events in the future. We would like to thank Rob and Matt for making the trip to Wicklow to share their experience and knowledge with us.
This article was taken from Issue 203 Winter 2023 of the ARB Magazine, which is available to view free to members by simply logging in to the website and viewing your profile area.