Why do some people want to climb trees after childhood?
I never really chose tree surgery as a profession. In a way it chose me. 24 years ago tree surgery was an emerging discipline with little or no regulation. I was given an opportunity to cut down trees, in a forest, with a chainsaw, at the tender age of 18. Hard work in a dangerous environment, I was in heaven. Climbing trees came with the territory and was a natural progression for an adrenaline fuelled, testosterone filled young man. Hard work in a dangerous 3D environment, I’d attained a state of nirvana.
It’s axiomatic that tree surgery, or arboriculture, is significantly more than just climbing trees. Most young men are inherently risk takers and climbing trees is inherently risky. When very young our ability, limited by strength and size, means we rarely get high enough in a tree to cause ourselves serious injury when the inevitable fall occurs.
Natural selection employing such parameters as fear, apathy, lack of strength and lack of opportunity gradually diminishes the number of people inclined to climb trees.
Today’s arborist works in the same environment and through training, techniques and equipment available he is generally much safer than in years gone by. Safety is relative and it’s useful to remind ourselves that we are still just swinging on a bit of rope waving a chainsaw about.
So why do some people want to climb trees after childhood? In a quest for their own nirvana.