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  • Welcome to the Arbtalk Knot Guide

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    An introduction to the Arbtalk Arborist Knots guide

    These images are for information purposes only. The views presented that relate to these images are similarly for information purposes only. Arbtalk.co.uk and its contributors cannot be held responsible for any damage to persons or property that occurs as a result of the use of these knots or hitches. They should be used by competent, qualified climbers - and as such, the climber is responsible for his or her equipment and setup. None of the information contained within this guide should be used as an alternative to formal training. As with all new climbing equipment and techniques they should be tried or practiced 'low and slow' in a safe environment.

    All Arborist Knots from A to Z

    Alpine Butterfly

    The Alpine Butterfly can be used to form a secure mid-line loop, which due to its symmetrical form can be loaded from either end.
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    Anchor Hitch

    The Anchor Hitch is an excellent termination knot that cinches closely to the karabiner providing a good secure hitch.
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    Blakes Hitch

    A friction hitch for descending on a Ddrt climbing system. Quick to tie, and dependable, the Blakes Hitch has been an industry standard for several years.
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    The bowline is a common knot for use as a climbing line termination knot.
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    Bowline on a Bight

    A great knot for quickly tying a secure and dependable knot mid-line.
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    The Buntline is a secure and reliable knot that is easy to tie.
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    Camel Hitch

    An excellent choice for when the load applied to the hitch might shift from one direction to the other.
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    Clove hitch

    A quick mid-line knot for various applications
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    A good solid choice for an advanced friction hitch that's easy to tie and reliable.
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    Double figure 8

    A secure and easy-to-tie termination knot.
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    Double figure 8 bend

    Used to join 2 ropes of the same diameter.
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    Double Fishermans Loop

    Used to form a loop used for making Prusiks and other friction hitches.
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  • Our picks

    • How did you get into arb?
      Hi Arbtalkers, we sent out an Instagram post yesterday asking this question and have had some fascinating replies so thought we’d ask here too.
      To see the Insta post and join the conversation click here but can you take a moment to answer this questionnaire too?
      We are keen to find out how people get into arb (and by default perhaps get an insight into how people don’t hear about it too!).
      If you'd like to tell us more, please comment - we'd love to hear from you.
      We're running the poll for just over a week and will share the results afterwards.
      Thanks, Kate & Beccy
      • 45 replies
    • Photo Competition - 🤑Win money for your tree work shots 🌳 😁
      Hi, we're running a photo competition and are offering 3 prizes: £100 for the best photo and 2 x £25 runners up prizes. Closing date: 24/04/22 Midnight.
      Full disclosure: 
      I'm Kate and I work with Beccy at CTC Recruitment. We are specialists who only recruit for the Arb industry and we sit at computers all day; we don't get to go outside and enjoy trees 😕. This means that we struggle to get photographs to use on our blogs, Instagram feed etc. 
      So, we thought we'd run a competition and ask you to send photos of trees, chainsaws, rigging, chainsaw sculpture, safety kit... whatever you have that you think exemplifies the industry and might be eye-catching, funny or interesting. If you send a name with the photo we will credit you and if it's an Instagram post and you send us your Insta account details we'll tag you too.
      If you've got time to trawl through your phone over the next week and drop your pictures in here you'll be in with a chance to win.
      As with all competitions the judges decision is final etc 🤓We'll notify the winners by 02/05/22.
      We'll be very grateful for any entries and hope that it's a bit of fun for us all to enjoy over the Easter break.
      Thank you! Kate & Beccy
        • Haha
        • Like
      • 97 replies
    • Woolpower Cold Weather Clothing Review
      Is this the best cold weather clothing for tree surgeons?
      After many years I think I might have found it, and it comes in the form of Woolpower, merino wool clothing manufactured in the north of Sweden. 
      Naturally you’d expect the Swedes to know a thing or 2 about dressing warm so it shouldn’t be any surprise that their range of clothing does exactly what its supposed to. But is it worth the price tag?
      What price do you put on comfort?
      Woolpower certainly isn’t the cheapest clothing on the market by a long shot, in fact as far as working clothes go its probably right at the top end of the market before you venture into designer labels. I have paid varying amounts for winter clothing over the years and have tried many different base layers from well known brands such as Helly Hanson, Under Armour, and Musto, to more generic brands. Its fair to say that most will do the job well enough, with perhaps just a few extra layers needed here and there as a top up. Having said that, there are many that will just make you sweat more with their poor wicking ability, and we all know what that means when it comes to break time on a cold day. Sometimes you can get lucky with cheaper brands, but in my experience you usually get what you pay for, certainly when jumping up to the next tier in the pricing bracket.
        • Like
      • 8 replies
    • Two Rope Working Consultation
      So following on from the other thread I’m starting this as a more serious discussion as to where we go from here.
      Please keep any responses sensible and constructive, use the other thread for any banter / moaning. 
      This is being read by the HSE so if we want to persuade them that we are a serious professional bunch whose concerns ought to be heard then we need to behave accordingly.
      For staff of the AA or HSE  I have tried to summarise a lot in one paragraph, if I have got anything factually wrong please post corrections.
      So to very roughly summarise how we got to this point: the EU passed a directive in 2004 which the U.K. adopted into our own HSE law, this stated ‘roughly’ that for rope access 2 attachments to separate anchors were required. At this point our industry through the AA and possibly others pushed back against this citing many of the issues that have been raised on the other thread. This push back was successful since at that time almost all tree work was being carried out using DDRT (doubled rope techniques) Helpfully DDRT is classified as work positioning by the HSE and not as rope access, ( basically if the rope is static and the climber moves up and down the rope it’s rope access and if the rope moves with the climber it’s work positioning, don’t ask why!) So we all carried on as normal using work positioning techniques, usually tying in twice when we were cutting and once the rest of the time.  More recently however SRT has been adopted in tree work, this shares much more with rope access and is classified as such by the HSE (fixed rope remember).  So at this point it became increasingly hard for the AA to argue that tree work was a special case since the techniques used appeared identical to the rope access industry which had been happily using 2 lines for a long time.


        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 590 replies
    • Paul, @AA Teccie (Paul)
      Can this article be translated into a couple of sentences for simple folk rather than pages of script which left me no clearer on what / when a change might be imposed?  
      Is it saying that HSE require climbing arbs to use 2 separate ropes rather than the 2 ends of the same rope (for those that still dwell in the 19th century?) 
      If so, when is this likely to be implemented?  Are we non-compliant now?  Is the training non-compliant?  
      I have to admit, after reading it, I wasn't really any clearer on whether a change is imminent now, in the near future or maybe not at all.
      Love & peace,
      Confused of Cornwall..
      Arboricultural Association - Background to the HSE decision on two rope working
      WWW.TREES.ORG.UK A range of tree related help and advice for members of the public as well as tree surgeons.  
        • Like
      • 604 replies


Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
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The Arbtalk Team

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