That spruce I took down yesterday had two ropes it in. The lower rope I was able to recover, and now have a decent beater rope for tying things down. The upper rope was completely grown over aside from part of the knot. My boss asked me if I thought that's what killed the tree. I said "No, but I'm not 100% sure". Spruces and other conifers have been doing poorly around here lately, and I think it died of whatever's killing all the other trees. I assume it's at least suboptimal, but how bad is a choker in practical terms?