Chainsaw from a Rope and Harness

The Using a Chainsaw from a Rope and Harness CS39 course runs regularly with us in Settle, North Yorkshire. This chainsaw handling course is ideal for those within arboriculture, tree surgery, grounds maintenance and utility.

Using a Chainsaw from a Rope and Harness

(formerly CS39)

Well done! You have completed your tree climbing and rescue course and now want to use a chainsaw in the tree. The Using a Chainsaw from Rope and Harness (CS39) course is all about making the right cut so no excessive damage is done to the tree whilst you are working in it. Therefore chainsaw free fall course is not about chop and drop or cut and chuck!

Chainsaw handling in a tree is not something to rush, it certainly needs consideration and thinking through. A healthy respect for the chainsaw is a must, you do not want to end up as a statistic!

No doubt up until now, you have already probably been using a silky or chainsaw in a tree with some sort of supervision. But to make sure you stay as safe as possible in the future, you will need to have the Using a Chainsaw from a Rope and Harness qualification. As a result of achieving this chainsaw handling course, it will provide you with:

  • industry best practice details
  • the do’s and don’ts of one-handed cutting
  • certificate to show your competence
  • compliance with your insurance company

Our two-day Using a Chainsaw from a Rope and Harness CS39 course is the perfect chance to:

  • work on your positioning within the tree
  • improving your branch walking
  • learn the cuts to direct the branch to fall where you want it and not hit that expensive conservatory or wall!

The Using a Chainsaw from a Rope and Harness CS39 course is the first course you need to complete, to allow you to carry out chainsaw operations within the tree canopy. As a result, you need to have achieved:

  • tree climbing and rescue CS38
  • chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting CS30
  • fell and process trees up to 380 mm CS31

Before you can attend the Using a Chainsaw from Rope and Harness CS39 training course. 

Many of you are already actively carrying out tree climbing tasks; however, you may have discovered that as a professional operator you need a certificate of competence for a chainsaw handling course to enable you to carry on doing so and keep your insurance. 

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

Are you new to the job or been doing it for over 20 years and things have changed, if so and you are planning to gain your Chainsaw from a Rope and Harness CS39 qualification, have you been:

  • struggling to find the right fit in terms of a training provider?
  • confused by all the names, numbers and acronyms for the chainsaw handling 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?
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.

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

All Chainsaw from a Rope and Harness CS39 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 chainsaw handling 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 chainsaw from a rope and harness assessment. 

A  two-day course, with a third 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. 

Arborists, with this chainsaw handling course, you will be learning about:

  • achieving the best working position within the crown of the tree
  • industry best practice when using a chainsaw in trees
  • tree species and how they affect the cuts you make
  • condition of the tree and checks to carry out
  • how the seasons affect trees and how this will impact you as the cutter
  • target pruning
  • biosecurity measures
  • the different cuts and when to use them, such as:
    • step cut
    • sink cut
    • inboard
    • outboard
    • vertical
    • horizontal
    • V cut
    • holding cut
An exciting extra for you is getting to try out different top-handled chainsaws such as:
  • Echo
  • Stihl MS150, MS201T
  • Stihl battery-powered – as long as it’s not raining!

before you think about buying them and find you do not like them. A fantastic chance to try before you buy!

Also, a huge bonus for you is that you can hire our chainsaws at no extra cost! You just need to bring your arborists climbing helmet and tree climbing kit with current LOLER inspection records. 
Because we firmly believe how do you know what to buy or what you like. As you’ve not done the chainsaw handling course yet!

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 chainsaw from a rope and harness training is two days, and on a third 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.

CS39 Video Testimonials

Other courses of interest to you



We tend to provide the chainsaws as you might not know what to buy until you have done the course. You wouldn’t want to spend hundreds of pounds buying a machine and finding it was the wrong one or one you didn’t like.

No, if it cuts wood it will be fine. There is no best chainsaw because it is down to personal preference and budget.

Only in extreme circumstances and if it is not possible to put in an additional anchor point. Above all it is about staying safe!

Yes, if you have passed the assessment for the tree climbing and rescue CS38 course. However, you may find that getting into a good cutting position a bit harder because you will be tired and have not had enough practise getting into position. Furthermore, the additional weight of the chainsaw can throw you out if your are a little inexperienced. 

Yes, if it is in good condition and has relevant LOLER documentation with it.

No, it is only a free fall course.  So the use of ropes for rigging is not required.

Not really but you do have to finish off the limbs with proper pruning cuts and observe the branch bark collar. The qualification itself doesn’t cover pruning in detail, because that is covered under Aerial Tree Pruning 21-07 (formally CS40).

If you have climbed before and feel confident then no, you don’t have to. However, this is done entirely at your own risk. Consequently, if you fail the assessment due to lack of training time, then that is your responsibility and we accept no liability for it.

No there is no requirement for spikes on the CS39. Due to the damage the spikes can do to the tree in the wrong situation. 

The City and Guilds qualifications last for life. However, it is always good to check regularly to see if there have been any major changes that you should be aware of.

You are advised by HSE to carry out refreshers every 5 years. This maybe different depending on the company you work for, some have different frequencies such as the National Trust, which is every 3 years. Therefore, refreshers are important as they keep you up to date with changes within the industry.

Pre-requisites for CS39 are:

  • 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)

Some suppliers will ask to see your certification. Similarly, there are far more that will not check and just sell you the chainsaw.

If you cut a branch and let it fall to the ground without limiting its descent by use of a lowering rope.

The cuts you will do on the chainsaw free fall CS39 course include:

  • sink cuts
  • step cuts
  • handheld sections

No, however, there is a minimum requirement of 100mm or 4inches. 

The unit covers basic pruning and how to identify branch bark collars and branch bark ridges, for more detail on target pruning you would need to attend Aerial Tree Pruning 21-07 (formally CS40)

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