The big picture

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I find myself getting caught up in the mundane trivial details lately and am having a hard time keeping my perspective. Maybe it's just the winter blues (haven't had a sunny day around here since about Sept) but it seems like this happens every year at this time. I guess sometimes I forget why I'm in this business and this is not good. In order to help put things back to rights, I've come up with a list of reasons why I love my job. Help me out - tell my why you guys do what you do. Here's mine-

-I get paid to climb, which I'd probably be being doing even if nobody paid me for it. It's a rare person these days that gets paid for what they'd actually rather be doing.
-The view. Need I say more?
-The challenge, both mental and physical. Anybody can work hard, but it takes something more to give the kind of concentration and focus this job requires even at the end of a grueling 12 hour day.

Ok, your turn
I love working outdoors. I love taking care of these beautiful giants amongst us. I love being willing and able to safely remove these giants when they need to come down. And I love being totally and completely in charge of my own destiny without having to answer to any 'boss' like most employed people.

Also, check the quote in my signature line. :)
I enjoy being at a different location everyday.

I enjoy the workout/feeling of hard work.

I enjoy standing back and being able to tell the difference, weather a removal or prune job.

I enjoy what the tree has to offer us, weather lumber, heat, oxygen, $$ :) .

I enjoy the gear I get to play with while working. :)

There's more, but my eyes are getting heavy.
I love the smell of bar oil in the morning.

Seriously, the reasons already given and...

I like being an old man doing young men's work,

My kids think it's cool,

I need a good scare every now and then to feel alive,

I don't feel like an Irish potato in a necktie,

I like meeting and talking with customers about trees,

I like carabiners,

I'm unemployable,

and just to re-state one, I get paid to do what I truly love to do.

The Branch Doctor's quote says it all really.
Yeah i agree i love my job as well, Can't beat getting payed for what you absolutely love to do! I don't know anyone that loves going to work, or has as much fun at work as i do!
welcome countryboy.

I like what I do for a living too. that means a lot to me. Can't imagine having to punch a clock and work in an office allday, no thanks!
Now this is my kind of thread.:D

For me it's simple... I am a climber. Not just as my job but as a lifestyle, which is probably why I'm single.:lol:

But seriously, climbing defines me. It takes a special kind of person to be a professional tree climber. It's not a profession for the weak or the meek. I love the fact that VERY few people can or would do what I do. I suppose one could accuse me of being an adrenaline junkie and my job more than suffices that hunger.

And hell yeah I love carabiners! What red blooded climber doesn't?;)
I love carabiners and climbing stuff. just got to get the climbing things higher than 20 feet into my system. :D
or just keep landscaping (planting trees for you tree guys to prune in 15 or more years), maybe thats the deal...
I fell into tree work, climbing, by accident. Did a storm damage tree for my folks and my passion for it just took off from there. Tree work just made sense to me & I love doing it. Job satisfaction...hell ya!

But seriously, climbing defines me. It takes a special kind of person to be a professional tree climber. It's not a profession for the weak or the meek. I love the fact that VERY few people can or would do what I do.

That is a lot of what I miss about the job. Yeah, I do it on the side now and also do the climbing competition, but it is just different when you know longer earn your oats through climbing.

Simply put, I got priced out of the job. Now I have had to change how I define myself. Chasing a paycheck doesn't make that very clear at times. But stability does and adrenaline......well, there are other rushes out there.....spin on a snowboard, flying, yeah, I still get my fill.

I miss hurting trees though :roll: I miss work here in Germany. Days where I knew this tree has survived 2 world wars and a holocaust, but today I'm coming :O ..........
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  • #13
I got into this business as a way to pay my way through college. Now that I'm out of school, I find that I'd rather being doing this than what I went to school for. It's funny how the most important lessons are never the ones you set out to learn.
I got into it because it payed more than landscape stuff, then discovered its addictive.

The clarity while climbing, physical workout, and daily sense of accomplishment. Watching the chipper work and the MS200 are also high points of the job.

The Texas heat can really take the fun outta climbing in a hurry though.
Thanks for the welcomes.

I worked landscaping for 2+ a little, years and We had a guy subed to remove some tree at the mall we maintaned. When i saw him climb the removals, and helped him with roping, i was hooked. I called him and asked if he needed anyone, I started Jan 2 two years ago, I won't be looking back. Couldn't ask for a job better suited for me. There would have to be a VERY big price tag on the job that took me away from climbing.
Simply put, I got priced out of the job. Now I have had to change how I define myself.

I hear that loud and clear.
If it is any consolation it does get better with time. My "identity crisis" happened about two years into my current job as the City Arborist for the City of Boston (been here five now). I still miss being a full time climber, but I do the comps and rec climbs all the time to keep the jones off.

I still love what I do and wouldn't change it for anything, but you are right, climbing is a special kind of lifestyle.
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  • #17
OTG - Dude, you are the city arborist for Boston?!?! That's freakin' awesome! If the competition for the job was anything like little ol' Bellingham here in WA, you must be one well qualified arborist!
I got into it for the love of climbing and the love of trees. Now climbing is pretty much a bore most of the time, but the love of caring for the trees has intensified. I'll climb as long as I am alive, but it no longer defines me, thank goodness. 5.5 hours today rigging down 2 big oaks. Bo-ring. There is so much more to arboriculture!:D

O and I had to swap out a snap on my scare strap for a carabiner when i took my ctw test. I hate carabiners, and bar oil, but I intensely love caring for trees.
I have a tool fetish. I love being outside and I find climbing a tree or running a saw peacful and relaxing, as hard as that is to understand.
I used to free climb, but after my son was born my wife got paranoid about that, and thanks to help of this group I am now set up well enough for what I do, and to do it safely, which means more tools:D
I have a tool fetish!!!!

I like the problem solving of removing hazards that can potentially cause tens of thousands of dollars in property damage.
I like the look on the faces of spectators that have never seen a good climber and crew in action.
I like the money.
Like many others said, I like cool tools, the thrill, the occasional scare.
I hated being on unemployment and food stamps every winter, so last May I took a job at a plant that pays well, but I hate it. I'd much rather be doing tree work March through November, but DuPont won't employ me just December through February.
So I'm a part timer now. :(
I got into tree work from the ground up, so to speak. Have a tree farm with new generation pines in the state set aside program that has been in the family since the early 50's- of course, a lot of thinning and replanting has happened since that was started. Worked construction, and finally ended up working for a rural power company on the right-of-way. Got certified to climb and found true love. Good warm feeling when you get to remove someones potential problem trees/ limbs and they come out and thank you. Granted, that did have it's down sides- such as ROW clearence. Started my own business before 9-11 and haven't been able to dedicate my full attention to the best job I have ever had due to still being activated. Just getting up in the trees next to the sky is like my own little touch of Heaven. And playing with all the neat new toys are fun too.:D