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How to Get Started in Tree Care

How to Get Started in Tree Care

How do you get started in the tree care industry? There's no incorrect way to do it, but there are a few different ways you can get yourself prepared for a career in climbing or tree care work.


Apply for an Entry-Level Position

The easiest route is to apply to work for a local tree care company and they'll train you from there. That’s how many of us got our start. 

Before you apply, do some research on the local tree care companies in your area. I've seen some less-than-legit companies. Your employer should at least be supplying helmets and safety specs. That's a good sign. Some well-known, respected companies don't even enforce helmet-wearing, and that completely blows my mind. Things are changing, in my opinion, and wearing PPE is becoming more and more widespread and accepted.



Develop Your Understanding

Another solid option for getting into tree care work would be to look into local colleges that offer classes in Forestry or Urban Forestry. Honestly, I wish I had taken this route when I was young. The knowledge that is offered at some of these classes can vary. The curriculum may cover tree biology, soil, climate effects, understanding topographical maps, and so on. Other programs that are designed for training arborists mix the science of trees, identification, first aid/CPR, groundwork, climbing basics, and performing aerial rescues.


Teach Yourself to Climb!

The last option is teaching yourself how to climb! This will allow you to go at your own pace, but you won't have anyone to guide you. It is important to note that climbing can be inherently hazardous and should be practiced carefully when attempting by oneself. I wish I had someone to show me how to make a compatible climbing system when I was first teaching myself. I went through a lot of trial and error along with a ton of money before I understood what I needed. I will say that teaching yourself how to do anything comes with a lot of fulfillment when you finally succeed.



Whether you're teaching yourself how to climb, or you're taking classes, we highly recommend the books The Best Practices for Rigging in Arboriculture and The Tree Climber’s Companion. Read them and practice the techniques low and slow! Remember how different it'll be reading the techniques versus attempting them firsthand.

Regardless of what way you choose to get into the tree care industry, please use the appropriate equipment! Not sure what to start out with? Check out Bartlett’s Beginner Climbing Kit. It includes the basic equipment you'll need to get into a tree and begin working. However, it does not include a helmet and you'll want to upgrade your lanyard in time. It comes with a 3-strand lanyard that is simple for learning on, but you may find it easier to use a more premium lanyard.

Once you’ve stepped foot into the tree world, don’t stop seeking out knowledge! There's so much to learn and you can always improve upon techniques to do them safer, smoother, and quicker! 

We would love to hear from all of you on how you got started in the Tree Care Industry! Let us know down below in the comments. Happy climbing!

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