Aerial Tree Rigging

Rigging and dismantling course for aerial tree work (CS41) for safe and effective dismantling of trees from ropes and harness.

Aerial Tree Rigging

(formerly CS41)

Whether you have been carrying out aerial tree rigging for years or are just getting going in the world of arboriculture/tree surgery. There is always something new to learn that will help you get to where you want to be and complete jobs to an even higher standard.

The Aerial tree rigging CS41 course is one of those courses where you may be thinking:

  • ‘do I really need to do this one’,
  • ‘rigging is easy isn’t it?’ 
  • ‘it’s common sense isn’t it?’
  • ‘I haven’t got time to do it, besides I’m doing it all the time!’


Hopefully, you’ve worked past the above comments and can see the importance of gaining you aerial tree rigging qualification. Undoubtedly, it is about not only your safety but the safety of others and adhering to your insurance companies requirements. Almost certainly the first questions your insurance company will ask you is what qualifications do you have to carry out that particular task? In other words, they now want to see your certificates to show that you are competent. 

No doubt you will have seen evidence of poor practice and things that are just plain wrong, therefore we are sure you not only want to do the rigging correctly and safely. But not give anyone a reason to put up photos of you on social media doing things not quite right!

Consequently, if you are wanting to know how to not only carry out aerial tree rigging for the benefit of your safety but the professional reputation of your business then you are in the right place.

Covering specifically but not limited too:
  • tip tie
  • butt tie
  • cradle
  • vertical free fall
  • vertical lowered section
  • of course, lots of other elements are covered within the course!

Our 3-day aerial tree rigging course above all allows you plenty of time to learn the different equipment that can be used. Along with carrying out correct cuts and understanding the rigging process for the assessment on the 4th day.

The aerial tree rigging formerly the CS41 course is ideally suited for you where you will have been actively carrying out the dismantling of trees. Additionally, the course is completed through the use of spikes so you must be familiar with using them! 

Many of you are already actively carrying out aerial tree rigging. However, you may have discovered that as a professional operator you need a certificate of competence to enable you to carry on doing so and keep your insurance. Above all though carry out the job safely so as to reduce the likelihood of being hurt whilst working in the tree.

You may have been asked by:
  • your membership body e.g. Arboricultural Association 
  • your employer
  • or a new contract opportunity to demonstrate competence through certification

No matter if you are fairly new to the industry or have been doing it for over 40 years things are likely to have changed, so it is always possible to learn something new. However, if you are planning to gain your aerial tree rigging CS41 qualification you could have been:

  • struggling to find the right fit in terms of a training provider?
  • confused by all the names, numbers and acronyms for the land based courses that are available to you?
  • worried you will get it wrong or waste your hard-earned money?
  • concerned that it will feel like going back to school?
  • looking to gain a qualification to continue with jobs because legislation has changed?
  • offered a new and exciting contract, but need another ticket/qualification to seal the deal?

Tree rigging? Then we can help you!

No matter which sector you are coming from, and your level of experience. We can work with you to understand your training needs. To tailor a programme and provide courses that will be suitable for you.

Furthermore providing award-winning training through tailored, flexible, friendly, and approachable trainers and assessors.

All courses run with small groups to ensure you have as much time as needed to learn and experience what is required for the assessments if you chose to take them. Trainers and assessors have the experience, are friendly, and approachable.

Finally, as with all Lowe Maintenance courses, you get support and advice via email or on the phone, if you need it in the future, just because you’ve completed the course doesn’t mean you can’t get in touch if you need more information or guidance.

City and Guilds accreditation

Is the certificate you will gain on successful completion of your aerial tree rigging assessment. 

A  three-day course, with a fourth day for the assessment.

Group sizes are no more than four candidates to one trainer, so nice small group sizes. To allow for plenty of discussion and questions. 

You will have access to the Lowe Maintenance portal on booking where you will find leaflets and updates to look through before attending the practical session. 

On this tree rigging ticket you will be learning about:

  • working out anticipated loads
  • kit needed for rigging above and below the load
  • speed lines, zip lines, spider legs
  • assessing the risks involved
  • what you need to do in an emergency
  • how health and safety legislation will affect you, specifically in respect of the two-rope climbing system
  • biosecurity and furthermore the importance of clean tools
  • things not to hit! So, in other words, targets and obstacles underneath the tree, such as conservatories, fences, and prized petunias!

You just need to bring your arborist climbing helmet and tree climbing kit with current LOLER inspection records. 

Bear in mind that this course is physically demanding and requires the carrying of equipment in woodland and countryside environments. You will have to carry the kit and equipment, you have been issued.   

Candidate portal

On booking your course you will be given access to the candidate portal, where you will find lots of leaflets and documentation to read through, ideally before you attend the course. This helps you with the terminology during the course and gives you a heads-up of what to expect in any discussions and practical sessions. There could even be some videos we need you to watch to help embed your learning in preparation for your assessments. 


The aerial tree rigging course is three days, and on a fourth day, you will be assessed by an independent City and Guilds assessor. 

We may be stating the obvious and it is sad that we have to be saying this as it appears it is not common practice. 

When attending a course with us, you must follow any instructions that are given when using any equipment and carrying out tasks, for the safety of all involved. 

For further details please see our terms and conditions for courses.


Other courses of interest to you


Tree rigging CS41 is the use of rope systems to dismantle a tree. There are plenty of occasions when a job will entail a dismantle rather than a straight fell.

Sheds, conservatories and houses all need different considerations when completing tree work.

The lowering rope must be separate from the climbing system and be fit for purpose. Furthermore, the LOLER regulations define the difference between lowering and climbing ropes. Your not allowed to lower on a rope one day and climb on it the next.

First of all you need:

  • chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting 20-03 (formally CS30)
  • felling and processing trees up to 380mm 20-04 (formally CS31)
  • tree climbing and aerial rescue 20-13 (formally CS38)
  • aerial cutting of trees with a chainsaw using free fall techniques 21-08 (formally CS39)

Certainly not. To complete aerial tree rigging 21-09 (CS41) you don’t need aerial tree pruning (CS40) as a pre-requisite.

In short, yes, despite this short answer it will however be a steep learning curve. If you have not climbed very much and are trying to do a fast track method. It is always best to have a bit of time between courses to build up your knowledge and confidence level. 

For this reason and many more it isn’t something we would normally recommend, however feel free to get in touch to discuss your individual case. 

Yes, all rigging kits must be LOLER inspected every 12 months unless stated otherwise. However, this period can be shortened in certain cases.

Almost certainly, if it is fit for use and you have the current LOLER records with you. If you wish to discuss this in more detail give us a call 01729825132.

In normal work yes, in case of an accident or just to be on the other end of the rope. A groundie can see clearly limb length and weight better than the climber and is needed to make the ground area safe for the wood heading down. Also for refuelling and a mountain of other problems that can come upon a tree job

No, only the person cutting in the tree and carrying out the dismantling. You could have someone on the ground with the ticket as they’ll understand what your doing, above all though they have to keep full concentration on the person in the air to make sure they have not compromised their position. 

It depends on the course, some of them may have a bit of size to them as this gives plenty of time to rig and lower sections and plenty of branches and wood to train with. Most noteworthy for us with the aerial tree rigging course, is that we prefer to place you in trees with some significant height.

Finally, this ticket is one of the last you’ll do within the climbing units. For that reason you to feel 100% confident once you’ve passed your assessment, we feel that the trees should be tall.

Once you have the ticket and go back to work the next day you could be put in front of any size of tree. As such you need to know you could handle that situation.

Yes, for this course you will be in spikes all the time as you will have cut off the limbs you would have used for balance. Ideally, you need to have had some practice with spikes before attending the aerial tree rigging course.

For the dismantling of the pole section, it is the preferred industry standard but you can also use a soft strop, however, you certainly must be backed up with your climbing ropes in case the saw hits the soft strop and cuts through it.

First of all it depends on the height of the tree, you may have to change over on the way down so you should be able to complete this change over with ease in trees, before attending the course.

You can use an out of date climbing rope but it cannot be used to hold the same load and it must be in good condition and marked up as a lowering rope. So that it does not creep back into a climbing bag by mistake. Most people use them as tug lines or lashing lines for trailers something quite different to avoid confusion.

No lowering kit cannot cross over into climbing kit; they should be kept separate at all times.

The Art and Science of Practical Rigging is a very good book to look at. Additionally, there are plenty of other books and also some very good descriptions on YouTube but watch out for the rubbish on there too!

We are not allowed to let you train on dead trees yet in your professional life, it is your call to assess the condition of the tree before you carry out the work. If in doubt you should of course seek advice or have a tree survey carried out.

Some fungus will not harm the tree nevertheless it’s always best to consult a tree fungus book or check with someone before starting work and possibly have a tree survey completed. Some examples of useful books are: Fungi on Tree – An Arborists’ Field Guide – Wood and Tree Fungi: Biology, Damage, Protection and Use

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