Safe and non-destructive access to the forest canopy is a primary precursor to nearly all canopy studies. Over the past two decades, canopy researchers and recreationists have developed many tools to overcome the difficulties and hazards of climbing trees. The best methods provide access that is safe, reliable, and appropriate for the objective of the climber. They reduce or eliminate damage to the tree and attendant organisms, which are extremely fragile.
Beginning in the early 1970′s, a number of canopy pioneers began applying mountain-climbing techniques to scale large old-growth trees in temperate and tropical rainforests. Other innovations, such as the use of hot-air balloons, towers, collapsible cots, and portable catwalks helped give canopy researchers the access they needed to make observations and collections within the canopy.
The advent of the construction crane as a tool for near-total access to a large area of forest has made major differences in the types of research that can be done; instrumentation for delicate experimental work in tree physiology has become routine; making long-term observations of canopy-dwelling animals also easy to do at any time of the day or night, and under all but the most extreme weather conditions.
Visit the Big Canopy Database for more info.