Closer to Nature

Closer to Nature

They start with nervous faces.

They don't know what to expect. They see the equipment and look up at 40-foot, 50-foot and even 80-foot trees, and their eyes become wide.

Then they get off of the ground. And within 24 hours they are in the canopies of trees with confident, awestruck faces. The transformation is amazing.

Who are they? They are women. They are 20- to 50-year-old gardeners, grad students, bird-lovers, soccer moms and nature devotees. And with the help of a two-day Women's Tree Climbing Workshop, they become tree climbers.

WTCCgroup

The women arrive at the Milton, Mass.-based Mary M. B. Wakefield Estate, driving up the dirt road and approaching the old farmhouse. Nerves hang thick in the air.

The instructors - four experienced certified arborists: Melissa LeVangie, a USDA climber; Bear Scovil, a USDA climber: Jen Kettell, an Arnold Arboretum horticulturist; and myself - teach the attendees about safety and using the equipment. We talk about ropes, saddles, helmets, eye protection, knots, hitches, hip thrusting and footlocking. For four hours, we give them an extensive rundown on climbing techniques, proper equipment use and safety.

We have lunch catered by Puddingstone Kitchen. We camp together. We do yoga together in a formal garden. We talk about our highs and lows from each day. We bond.

hammock in trees

By the second half of day one, we are in the trees. The experience is hands-on. Instructors are up in the trees with students, and we talk through the different climbing situations and challenges and celebrate the successes.

On day two, attendees spend the whole day climbing. They climb a Norway spruce that is just over 80 feet tall. It's one of the tallest trees on the property. We install a hammock ¾ of the way up, and one of our instructors takes a photo of the women up there as they enjoy the view. It's a beautiful vista, overlooking the Blue Hills of Massachusetts. We also climb 40- to 50-foot Norway maples. We put markers and bags full of snacks in the trees so people have goals to work toward.

climbing

Sponsors, including Arborwear, Red Ants Pants, Samson Rope and The Davey Tree Expert Company, donate money for food and prizes.

In the end, the experience is empowering. It's a huge part of why I stay committed to the workshop. It's amazing what each woman takes away from the event. It's life changing - for us as instructors to teach these women how to climb, and for the people who through the process become more comfortable with trees and more confident with themselves.

 

Are you a gardener who wants to learn how to climb and get a little closer to nature? Check out the Women's Tree Climbing Workshop on Facebook. Share your climbing experiences with us as well here or on Davey's Facebook page!

Add a comment:
Related Blog Posts
  • Davey Inspires Future Arborists

    Read below to learn more about Davey's experience hosting a kids' climb event at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. The Cleveland Botanical Garden is the perfect outdoor setting for children to run, play, climb and explore Mother Nature’s lush environment.

    Davey joined the adventure at Hershey Children’s Garden to sponsor a kids’ climb event—to inspire children to branch out of their comfort zones and become arborists for the day. More than 500 children participated in the two-day climb to learn basic climbing and safety techniques.

    Davey’s volunteer team included Mark Noark, manager of recruiting and training, Recruiter/Trainers, Joe Shaw and Paul Herb, and Jim Savage, Penn State University urban forestry professor. Noark says all volunteers were necessary to make this event such a success.

    Read More
  • 20/20 Vision

    I could stare at fall foliage for hours at one time, mesmerized by its variety and vibrancy.

    It's exciting to witness the transformation from a lustrous, yet static, bright green canopy to a cornucopia of color among the leaves. The warmer shades of the color spectrum begin to take over, with a few glimpses of purples and plums sprinkled in throughout the leafy scenery.

    But when the winds begin to pick up, even the slightest breeze detaches a few fragile leaves from surrounding tree branches - one by one - gradually revealing the bark and hinting winter is near.

    Read More

Request a consultation

What do you need services for?
Sorry, we can’t seem to find the zip code you specified. Our residential tree care offices may not service your area. If you believe this is an error, please try again. Need help? Email us at info@davey.com.
  • Email newsletter
  • Woodchips
*Please fill out all required fields.