Hello all! So many of us have a tree or many trees at our homes. Trees are great for many things, shade in the summer, they put oxygen in the air and are a home to many small animals and birds. They are also a great place to hang a swing, all you need to do is get rope up a tree for it, or tie a hammock to them and relax.
My name is Justin and I am a co-owner of a family owned tree pruning and removal business, so most of the time I need to put a rope in a tree is to help with the trimming or removal. I will tell you about the arborist throw rope, a tool that will help you get any rope up a tree without climbing it.
Uses of a rope in a tree or over a branch
You may want to put a rope in a tree for many things, but I am going to focus on when the rope needs to be high in the tree and how to get it there easily and safely.
- When the tree needs to be removed and the rope is used to pull it over.
- If there is a dead or broken branch out of reach, fasten a rope to the branch and to a truck to tear or break it down.
- For a swing, the higher the anchor point of the rope, the longer the pendulum = a longer and faster ride.
How To Get The Rope Where You Want It – The Throw Line
We all know you can’t just push a rope up a tree, but the tool I use can be almost as simple. It is called a throw line or throwing rope. It consists of a very lightweight rope with a weighted pouch attached to the one end. The pouch can vary in weight but 12 or 14 ounces will get the job done. The string is usually wrapped on a spool or stored in a small bag or container and is usually 150 feet long or longer. 150 feet of rope will reach to a limb 75 feet high and back to the ground.
Always be sure the area from which you are throwing the throw line is clear, a little stick can easily create a giant tangle. A folding throw line cube is a great place to store the throw line and it can be thrown out of the cube. It will feed out as needed, creating less risk of catching twigs on the ground. It is useful when working in a wooded area or an area with underbrush.
I throw the rope and weight underhand and to do that I hold the rope in my hand with the weight dangling just off the ground. Then get the rope swinging back and forth. Finally, on the last swing, when the weight is all the way back I pull the rope front and up and let go when the weight is in front of me. The arm motion is similar to a slow pitch softball pitch. By holding the rope and creating a windup, it has much more speed than throwing the weight out of my hand.
Now the weight is over the limb, let the weight fall to the ground and untie the weight and tie the heavier rope to the end and pull the lightweight rope back thru the tree, the heavier rope will now be in the exact place you threw the small rope. Now the heavier rope is in place and you can continue with your original plan.
Fastening The Rope To The Tree
In my case I want to cut down the tree and we need a rope in it to pull it, so I will use a running bowline knot. It is a knot we use often. The knot is made standing on the ground and all the slack in the rope will be pulled through the knot by the knot climbing the rope until it meets the branch or tree trunk the rope circles. You can make this knot anywhere in the rope as long as you have one end to start with.
Here is a picture of the knot.
Running Bowline Knot
My Favorite Throw Line – Dynaglide
My experience with using a throw line is the kind of rope and the amount of weight will make a huge difference. It is extremely frustrating to get the throw where I want it, only to have the weight stay hanging and not fall to the ground, because the weight is to light or the throw line is to heavy and does not slide easily over the bark.
The Dynaglide Throw Line is professional grade throwing rope. It is my choice for our throw line. As implied in the name, this rope will glide over bark and rarely get stuck. It being extremely lightweight, will add extra feet to your throw. I would highly recommend this throw line to be your number 1 choice.
It is a highly visible, snag free throw line made from 100% Dyneema SK75 that is pre-stretched and tensile-set then treated with a vinyl coating. It has a superior 1,000 pound tensile strength! The compact design glides easily over branches and through foliage allowing lighter throw weights. I would recommend a 10 to 12 ounce weight pouch and that will pull the rope over a branch 75 feet or higher. This rope is very light and only 1/16 of an inch thick.
Throw Weight And Line – By Weaver Leather
They make a kit that includes a red, orange, or green throw weight and a lightweight 150 foot, 1/8 inch polyethylene line. You can also choose between a 12 or 16 ounce weight pouch. If you need to reach very high, I would strongly recommend the 16 ounce weight bag as this line is nearly twice the thickness of the Dynaglide and therefore heavier and more weight is needed to drag the line over a limb. The tensile strength on this line is around 300 pounds.
A Throwline Kit – Everything You Need To Get Started
Kutir throw weight comes with a complete kit. It comes with throw weight 14oz, 150 foot 3MM “or roughly 1/8 inch” nylon rope and 600-denier coated polyester storage bag. The throw weight made of strong 600D and metal steel balls inside weighing 14oz. The storage bag can hold the full set with the 150 foot line. Storage bag size is 4″ in diameter x 6” high. Green color weight bag and rope for excellent visibility.
If you are looking for a budget kit, this will get the job done for you. This rope is a little thicker and heavier than the Dynaglide, you will not be able to throw it quite as high because of that. It does come with a 14 ounce weight and with this rope I would recommend either a 14 or 16 ounce weight.
The Weight Pouch – This Little Bag Will Guide Your Rope
Throw weights are made by Weaver Leather and many others.
The sleek, aerodynamic design helps increase the range of the throw. They are available in multiple color options and sizes, these throw weights are the perfect accessory for arborists or homeowners. Ropes, wires, and hoses easily attach to the D ring, creating no limit for the high and distant locations demanded on the job.
The moving action of the No.8 shot that fills these weights helps prevent the weights from hanging up in tree
branches and the coated lead shot is contained in a latex pouch for environmental protection.
A 7/8″ nickel plated ring for attachment of a rope or poly pilot line is box-stitched to the weight.
An Easier Way Than Throwing The Rope – For Tall Trees
The invention of throwing lines has changed the way arborists climb trees. The Big Shot has changed the way we use throw lines by giving you a lightweight, simple, accurate, effective means to hurl your throw weight to new heights, up to 150 feet! This Big Shot accepts a wide range of projectiles and provides fully variable thrust force to limit over-shooting of low to mid-range targets. A Big Shot also solves one of the most significant difficulties of hand tossing throw weights to vertical targets with narrow approaches. With minimal practice, you’ll be able to hit high targets through a small frame of branches and twigs.
Many professional arborist use and recommend this tool for extremely high trees or as their primary way to launch the weight since it offers much better distance and better accuracy. It is also a helpful tool for homeowners to get the rope around dead or broken limbs to pull them down.
That is all about the throw lines and weight bags, I hope it was a helpful guide for you and thank you for reading. I will gladly try to answer any questions.