arborist climbing

Climbers and Gear: What Matters Most?

A lot has certainly changed in the tree care industry since I embarked on my climbing career in the early 1970s. Tools, equipment and techniques have all evolved. Back then, manila ropes were in common use for climbing as well as lowering. The working strength of ½-inch manila rope was more than adequate for climbing […]

By the Hour or By the Bid

In the Milwaukee area, where I’ve spent my tree career, I’m one of the few outfits that works by the hour. Most of my competitors work by the bid. There are upsides and downsides attendant with each way of pricing work. I started out working by the bid. I moved to working hourly when a […]

Tree people – those who get the job done – and the businesspeople

Tree Person or Businessperson? Finding Your Niche in the Tree or the Office

The tree care industry, as with most industries, encompasses two basic types of participants with diverging mindsets. There are the production workers – those who get the jobs done – and the management workers, who line up the job and run the business. Diametrically opposed personalities perhaps, though engaged in a symbiotic relationship. In the […]

Fear image

Dealing with Fear

If you’re going to be a tree climber, you’ll have to decide how far you want to progress down that road, and whether or not you have what it takes to do the tough jobs. And if you decide you have the requisite physical as well as mental fiber to take on the tough ones, […]

I Am an Artist

I am an artist. Trees are my medium. Many years ago, my grandfather instructed me to distinguish between the work of craftsmen, or craftswomen, and artisans and artists. Craftspersons’ work, he said, exhibits a fair understanding of their medium. The work of artisans exhibits a deeper understanding of their medium. Artists’ work displays yet an […]

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