It is the way to limb and top a tree in close quarters. A man took down a spruce planted 70 years ago right next to our house that eventually leaned against the house. It was about sixty feet tall and thickly limbed with much of it overhanging the house. He set a zip line and brought it down in an afternoon with one helper to keep the landing area clear.
Another great reason for zipping limbs is to move the ground work area from under the tree to a safe distance away. I would do this often when I had a lot of limbs to cut. I'd haul up a dozen straps and caribiners and it would take a few minutes to position each individual cut, so it gave my groundies time to disconnect, cut and chip the branch while being safely away from what is normally the drop zone. About the time they were done, I was ready to send another. The chipper was about 10-20' from the end of the zip line.
On a normal job, I would spend half my time positioning and cutting, then the other half waiting for a drop zone that was free of humans. Zipping saved enough time that it was worth the effort. Less grunt work all around. Dragging branches 50 or 60 feet all day can wear out the strongest ground crew.
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