Tree work ain’t easy.
They get big and grow in weird places. They’re heavy, hard, unforgiving, and tend to ooze at times for one reason or another. We don’t know what they’re rated for, demanding that we continue to thrive in their world based on training and experience. That experience, though, is hard fought and very much earned. Sawdust fills our boots and hair. Our clothes forever carry the aroma of a mix of chain saw and tree. The hands stay dirty and calloused, muscles sculpted to protect our bodies from the daily drive of climbing trees.
It’s hard …
Yet those of us in this world are blessed, and at the very same time cursed, to call ourselves arborists. To climb trees and never grow up. To embrace the sawdust in our hair and know we will never shake it out. To earn the view we gain of the world around us, granted only by the tops of the trees we play in. To get home tired beyond belief every day, excited to show up tomorrow and do it all again.
It’s hard … but it’s good.
We make a decent living, and we get to be outside. It’s a hard dollar, but a good dollar. We build an instant comradery, as we necessitate the trust of one another’s lives, especially if that means leaving the ground to dance in the treetops. We build lasting relationships with one another and the trees we work with. We become absolutely obsessed with this life in a way I’ve seldom seen. We’re stoked. All the time. Our job is better than yours. I know how that sounds, but we know it’s true.
It’s not for everyone, and that’s proven itself to me time and time again over my career. It’s for the special, maniacal, weird and driven few. The trees choose you, not the other way around. They chew you up and spit you out. The folks left standing carry out this powerful, meaningful and difficult task of caring for some of the largest living organisms on this planet.
I am blessed to live this life. I am blessed to share in this beautiful suffer-fest with my fellow climbers.
If you’re into challenging yourself and pushing your comfort zone, give us a call, we’ve got some open spots. Let’s see what you’ve got.
It’s hard … but if it’s for you, it’s so worth it.
Jeff Inman, Jr., CTSP, ISA Certified Arborist, ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified and an ISA Tree Worker Climber Specialist, is risk manager with Truetimber Arborists, Inc., an accredited, 19-year TCIA member company based in Richmond, Virginia, and Truetimber Academy director.
The author first presented this article as a help-wanted post on Instagram and Facebook earlier this year.