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MIS303 – Tree Dismantling (2nd ed.) (Non-Member Price)

A Minimum Industry Standard for Tree Support Systems


This standard covers the basics of tree dismantling, including rigging techniques, the use of a chainsaw in trees, and some fundamental concepts of rigging forces and rigging system design. 


Information on equipment inspection, site setup, pre-start checks, tree inspection, rope use, knot tying, the operation of chainsaws, tree felling and tree access is contained within the appropriate MISs for those work tasks.


About the MIS Series


This book is one in a series of Minimum Industry Standards (MIS) produced by Arboriculture Australia Ltd and the New Zealand Arboricultural Association in consultation with the national arboriculture community in both countries. These industry peer-reviewed documents provide a ‘body of knowledge’ which is shared by practitioners and can be used as the basis for training, dissemination of skills and professional development.

MIS303 – Tree Dismantling (2nd ed.) (Non-Member Price)

  • 1: Preparing for Tree Removal

    Introduction to tree rigging and dismantling

    Arriving on site

    Scope of works

    Preparing to remove trees – site setup

    Tree removal strategies

    Tree inspection for dismantling

    Hazard control measures for tree dismantling

    Basic rigging concepts

    Parts of an aerial rigging system

    Selecting and inspecting rigging equipment

    Rigging equipment: general concepts and terminology 

    Rigging equipment inspection checklist

    Aerial rigging systems

    Common components of a rigging system

    Selecting anchor points in trees – tree strength and structural integrity

    Fixed rope anchor points – attaching a rope

    • Running bowline
    • Round turn with 2 half-hitches
    • Main attachment knot plus half-hitch
    • Clove hitch with two half-hitches
    • Cow’s hitch with better half
    • Timber hitch
    • Karabiner
    • Karabiner and sling
    • Shackle or similar connector
    • Other fixed-rope attachments

    Moving rope anchor points

    • Natural crotch
    • Block, rigging block, impact block
    • Pulleys
    • Rigging rings

    Moving rope anchor point attachment components

    • Sling, tape sling, tube tape sling
    • Loopie sling
    • Whoopie sling
    • Dead-eye sling
    • Other anchor points and attachment options

    Rope brakes

    • Trunk wraps
    • Wraps in tree
    • PortaWrap or similar floating friction brake
    • Bollard, drum or similar

    Rigging equipment configuration and proper use

    Example of misconfigured rigging equipment

    Designing a rigging system 

    Rigging system design considerations

    Estimating weight of sections

    • Tree species density table

    Introduction to forces in rigging

    Different loads on components in rigging system


    2: Dismantling Trees 

    Performing works

    Communication during tree work

    Call-and-response protocol

    Hand and whistle signals for use on tree sites

    Using a chainsaw in trees 

    Cut sequences and techniques – branches

    • Straight back cut 
    • Step cut – undercut made first – top cut inside
    • Step cut – undercut made first – top cut outside
    • Step cut – top cut made first
    • Step cut – lateral cuts
    • Scarf and back cut – downward
    • Scarf and back cut – upward
    • Box cut

    Cut sequences and techniques – tree heads and timber

    • Falling the head out of a tree
    • Falling sections of timber
    • Falling sections of timber – landing sections flat
    • Cutting techniques where trunk diameter is greater than bar length
    • Blocking down: step cuts on timber

    Falling techniques for tree dismantling – use of wedges and taglines 

    Rigging operations 

    Rigging attachment point: cut and behaviour 

    • Rigging upright sections
    • Rigging lateral sections or branches

    Rope control during rigging operations 

    Rope control: rope brakes and friction management 

    Installing rope brakes 

    Using rope brakes: adding tension 

    Rope control during rigging operations – general principles 

    • Tips for using rope brakes 

    Returning rigging components 

    Specific rigging techniques 

    Natural crotch rigging 

    Applying friction at the point of cut 

    Techniques for applying friction at the point of cut 

    • Branch removal – wraps method 1 
    • Branch removal – wraps method 2 
    • Artificial rope brake at point of cut 
    • Snatching – wraps at point of cut 


    Minimising peak force in negative rigging 

    • Estimating peak loads in negative rigging 

    Mass damping 

    Bracing a rigging point 

    Floating anchors: highlines and multiple point floating anchors

    Speed line or zip line 

    Running anchor rigging 

    • Running anchor rigging example 

    Lifting systems 

    Guying a tree 


    3: Completing Tree Removal 

    • Biosecurity and transmission of pathogens 

    Completion of works 

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