Article by Tyler Boutelle Unlike most of you- ski bums, some of us have a “real” summer jobs.- I am one of several local freeskiers that is a tree-climber, tree-worker, urban forester, etc…the correct term is arborist.- I am- actually a certified arborist and card-carrying member of the International- Society of Arboriculture (ISA).- The job involves climbing trees, cutting them down, trimming branches, giving expert advice about tree diseases and potential hazards and of course some heavy lifting.- Notable skiers who are arborist are fellow blaster John Lange, Tom Wayes and Jeff Engerbretson (let me know if there are any others). To become a “tree guy” you can go to some vocational schools or learn skills from several international- arborists organizations, but most people learn on the job.- First, you start out as a “ground guy”, literally learning the ropes of tree work.- Then, if you prove your worth, you become “climber in training”, we put you in a tree and you must endure a year or two of ridicule and endless taunts.- – Next, you may be fortunate to move up to “climber”, if you listen to our golden advice.- Then you become “lead-climber”, “foreman”, and finally “consultant/owner”.- “Consultants/company owners”, by far make the most money and do the least amount of physical labor. Removing big Tahoe trees is easy.- First, climb up removing limbs along the way. When you get close to the top put in your face cut and push the top.- Then push off logs until you can safely fall the remaining stick.- Finally, chip up brush, cut logs into firewood and load the wood into the truck, simple.
There are many benefits to working for a tree service.- You get into great physical shape, lots of cardio and extreme heavy lifting (sometimes to remove trees we do things similar to what Egyptian slaves did to build the great pyramids).- Working at lake front homes you get to take your lunch- on some of the most secluded, private, beautiful beaches on Lake Tahoe.- Also working for a tree company you get all the free firewood you could ever want. Its great cross training for skiing, obviously the physical labor really helps you get and stay strong all summer.- Secondly, it helps you keep you nerves fresh and in shape.- When you are 80′ up in a wobbly tree you do get a bit nervous, but you have to learn to trust your gear and channel those nerves into positive focus and energy.- This feeling is very similar to standing on top of a huge burley line, you always have a little bit of nerves but you focus in a send it.- If you had no nerves at all, I think you would get to lackadaisical and might take a fall or be real sloppy. If this sounds great to you apply at any local tree company, we are always looking for fresh bodies.- There are trees just about everywhere, so there are tree companies just about everywhere.- Also, the recent economic downturn has had little effect on local tree services; trees are constantly dying and need constant maintenance and evaluation.- The recent push for defensible space has actually helped many local Tahoe tree businesses. For more information go to www.treesaregood.org or Google International Society of Arboriculture.