"Oregon’s Aspiring Tree Climbers Reach New Heights"

"Students at Cottage Grove-based national tree climbing school push themselves to the limit to become professional pine cone collectors".

"Tree climbing is an indispensable component of forestry work, serving as a vital means to access the canopy. In the Northwest, pine cone collection is one of the primary reasons for tree climbing. Without the ability to collect cones, scientists would face significant challenges in understanding tree health, and reestablishing forests would be an arduous task.

But cone collection is dangerous work and involves maneuvering in some of the world’s tallest trees. As a result, the U.S. Forest Service mandates that all climbers acquire proper certification.

Tree climbing school, located in Cottage Grove, Oregon, is a four-day crash course in tree climbing that takes place every June. The event hosts some of the country’s most skilled climbers and climbing instructors, drawing in students from all over the U.S. who work as biologists, arborists, technicians, and even smoke jumpers. Skill levels range from experienced climbers to absolute beginners."

Noah Thomas reports for Oregon Public Broadcasting January 30, 2024.

Source: OPB, 02/14/2024