Climbing Trees

By Marjolein from The Netherlands (Tree Girl) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Marjolein from The Netherlands (Tree Girl)
[CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

As a kid growing up, if there are trees around there is an innate need to climb them. But, kids are often thwarted . . . the first branch is too high, the trunk is too smooth or too broad to shinny up, upper body strength is lacking and so on. Still, as outdoor kids get older they begin to find they can more often reach that first limb or otherwise overcome the physical issues that defeated them when they were younger. Of course some kids just leave the tree climbing to others and move on to other adventures. Adult tree climbers have been pretty much limited to arborists, forest researchers, and the occasional timber sale protester, but now, tree climbing is becoming more popular among adults as a sport, whether or not they were tree climbers as kids.

Tree Climbing Japan

A recent article in The Japan Times explained that this sport is becoming increasingly popular in Japan although it had its beginnings there 15 years ago. These modern tree climbers aren’t just trying to scale a tree with their bare hands like we did as kids. Instead they use ropes, harnesses, clips, special knots and pulleys to get themselves up over three hundred feet high.  In the last 15 years, the group Tree Climbing Japan has certified 3,000 tree climbers who take a course and learn to safely climb trees.  The sport isn’t limited to able-bodied people either.  People with disabilities can use the available equipment to climb trees too.

Climbing a Tree

Tree Climbers International

Tree Climbers International was founded in the U.S. in 1983.  Like Tree Climbing Japan, it works to popularize tree climbing by offering all kinds of support.  Not only do they support recreational tree climbers, they also provide training for those that need to climb trees for their work.  If you don’t have an opportunity to take a course in your area,  they also offer a manual and DVD training course for $84.95.  With an in-person course you can use the instructors rope and equipment, but if you take your own course,  you will need to buy everything up front.  To make that easy,  Tree Climbers International offers a kit that includes all the equipment you need and you can purchase it through  Join Tree Climbers International first, and you can get a discount!


Here’s a short video showing the fun that can be had climbing trees.


Whether or not you enjoyed climbing trees as a kid,  there are now opportunities to take tree climbing to new heights.  If this sport seems appealing to you,  follow the weblink above to learn more.


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