Research and Data Collection

Our team of arborists and ecologists can assist on any canopy access project.  Contact us to discuss logistics, project design, training or safety.

Ecology work
Climbing ecologist working with nest boxes

Logistics for tree based research

Most canopy based research is  in relatively remote locations, often without phone coverage and well away from vehicle access. Planning is important ensuring you have all the necessary equipment and a backup of all essential gear. Just a faulty SD card can waste an entire team’s efforts for half a day or more.

Considerations when planning tree access projects:

  • Data collection equipment – cameras, tools, data loggers etc are durable, charged and with spares
  • Paper vs digital – data collection software needs to operate offline with forms that are flexible and project specific. We use:
  • . Equipment needs to be robust
  • Canopy access equipment – suited to the type of trees and height gain needed
  • Access specialists require adequate training and experience for the trees / vegetation and type of work
  • Weather – waterproof equipment and data collection tools. Consider fatigue and exposure & fire risk
  • Bulk and weight – how far and/or high does it all need to be carried
  • Communications – talking to the climbers aloft, to other nearby teams or the outside world
  • Emergency planning – What are the likely worst case scenarios and how would they be managed – rescue equipment and training in place
  • WHS / OHS Workplace safety compliance – Working at height is considered ‘high risk work’ all the applicable Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS), Operating Procedures, Policies and documentation needs to be in place.

Data loggers, receivers, transmitters, power

Keep it simple & over engineer – small failures can be very expensive.

The forest is a dynamic place, weather, vegetation, fauna. Once you move upward and start working in the canopy then you have additional movement (swaying trees), access issues, risk and expense so whether you’re putting an iButton in a man-made hollow or a full monitoring / sensors / phone / solar / transmitter setup in a tree, we strongly recommend the equipment is well engineered, comprehensively tested and suited to the task.

Canopy Access – project design

Every researcher knows the risk of trying to ask (or answer) too many questions. Treetec can assist in the design of your project with guidance on what is or is not achievable. What type of things are doable in a tree given the access, safety and engineering limitations.

The primary constraint is usually budget; so talk to us about your parameters early in the planning process enabling you to quickly determine how long a task is going to take, the type of equipment required and the cost.

Canopy Access – OHS / WHS safety compliance

Proofsafe data collection tree
Using a phone and digital form to collect research data whilst in the tree.

Working at height is hazardous, and in combination with remote locations it becomes very difficult to manage safety compliance. Treetec works with a range of government bodies on canopy access projects providing the personnel, equipment and safety compliance systems (and documents) for the canopy components of the work.

Treetec provides training for ecological tree access, this normally falls into two types of tree climbing – simple ladder access e.g. for nest boxes (4 – 6m height) or upper canopy work with all the additional dynamics, equipment, variables and risk that this brings.

The necessity for multiple climbers on site (primary and rescue climbers), with adequate equipment and experience usually makes it uneconomical for an individual or a once off study to staff these projects. This more complex and/or remote work usually requires external contractors.

All Australian workplaces must be as safe as practicable, Treetec can provide project management, consulting, personnel, equipment and paperwork to ensure compliance with the applicable legislation.

Melbourne Arborist