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TOPIC: IDEA Website to find local trees? Sound good? :)

IDEA Website to find local trees? Sound good? :) 1 year 1 month ago #137751

  • lukehesluke
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Hey lovely people: have been toying with this idea to make a website for finding nearby trees to climb

I love climbing trees. I'm a complete amateur (only free climbing, etc) but would like to do it more. This is pretty difficult to do consistently in the urban hell-hole that is London. Couldn't find anything like a directory of good spots, so thought I'd give it a try myself

As I'm just a novice, I would like to get a better feel for how or whether or not something like this could help more experienced climbers. QUESTIONS:

- What kinds of things do you want to know about a tree before attempting a climb? Free climb vs rope? Easy vs hard? What kind of tree? Location? Pictures? Description? (etc)
- SAFETY: Would pictures of individual trees be enough to let Johnny Anybody know that a tree is safe or dangerous? Is this unavoidable?
- ENVIRONMENT: Public website could be seen by dozens (hundreds?) of people. If they all start climbing the same trees (multiple climbs a day), will this damage the tree irreperably?
- Is this a good idea? Would this actually be useful to any of you (cityfolk especially)? Is it stupid and I'm an idiot? (promise I won't hold it against you)

Otherwise, just general feedback. Openly interested in youse guys' opinions

Much appreciate you guys
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IDEA Website to find local trees? Sound good? :) 1 year 1 month ago #137755

  • patty
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Hi Luke,

I think a public website about climbable trees is not such a good idea. For starters, most municipalities prohibit tree climbing in parks due to liability issues, so publicizing where you are climbing is an invitation to a run-in with the law. You also mentioned potential tree damage issues, which is a real concern. Better to keep your climbing trees' locations private, to be shared only with responsible climbers that you know.

You've asked lots of questions about tree safety, which can't really be answered here on the Forums given the many factors that go into identifying safe and hazardous trees. Also, the climbing itself has inherent dangers due to improper technique, faulty or inappropriate gear, etc etc. I really urge you to get some training in technical (rope-and-saddle) tree climbing if you're going to do it. (We [TCI] offer an "online tree climbing course" in our webstore which includes our "Tree Climbing Basics" DVD for the practical training of setting ropes, knots, climbing, etc.; and it includes our online manual for all the safety, gear, weather, etc etc info. $85 bucks may just save your life.

Stay safe up there!!

Patty Jenkins
TCI Executive Director
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IDEA Website to find local trees? Sound good? :) 1 year 1 month ago #137758

  • lukehesluke
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Thanks for your thoughtful answer patty

I've asked this question in a few places and the consensus agrees with you. I think the most productive thing for me to do would be to compile as much information as I can about laws, regulations where I'm based: London

This is the only real piece of information missing for a person like me as there's courses (such as yours :) ) online and around the country. And as for climbable trees, there's a lot of risk involved in publishing that information

Cheers for helping change my mind ;)
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IDEA Website to find local trees? Sound good? :) 1 year 1 month ago #137759

  • moss
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It might be constructive/useful to create a website/forum to encourage like minded folks to get together and climb in your area. If you can get some pro or rec rope and harness climbers involved you'll have the opportunity to see how they do it.
-AJ
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IDEA Website to find local trees? Sound good? :) 1 year 1 month ago #137768

  • Greenluck
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The website/app would need to have the exact GPS location(s) of the tree(s) and maybe a user driven rating system for tree set-points (this would help users to determine if the set point is legit). Old fashioned directions could help also. Other key info to include would be species, height, diameter, and estimated # of pitches. It would also be great to know if it's a champion tree. Field notes or general notes would also be helpful along with pictures. Having the website support different languages would also be very helpful since not everyone speaks A-mer-i-can. The website/app should also allow you to do a set point anywhere- state forest to toxic waste facility; it's the end user that has to set their own risk level tolerance. Legality of the site is also the end users responsibility and I'm sure a disclaimer could state this in several different languages.

A shared google map would be a great addition, and much easier to develop then a new app. Both an app and map would require people to share their knowledge which sadly looks like it will be a problem.

Promoting the location of big and old growth trees helps others enjoy and appreciate them just like you do. Can trees be over-loved? Sure, but we are talking about a very small population of recreational tree climbers or at the very least a very small population of tree loving loving hikers. I'll put it this way, what would you know if someone somewhere didn't share some of their knowledge with you? Answer = not much. I think your initial idea is a good one despite the resistance here. Being closed handed with knowledge helps no one. Also despite the resistance to your idea I bet a lot of the naysayers would use the site or app once it is launched. To take a line from a unrelated 90's movie "if you build it they will come".

Anyone looking for locations of old growth trees to climb in southeast Ohio? I'm happy to share...even without a "are you worthy test" that others seem to want to conduct before sharing information.
Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by Greenluck.
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IDEA Website to find local trees? Sound good? :) 1 year 1 month ago #137772

On the topic of sharing the location of a tree, which for me is typically a superlative tree as opposed to a tree that I have climbed, I tend to err on the side of caution and make sure I have thought through the potential outcomes, which may include additional foot traffic, etc.

In most cases it's not going to be a big problem, but there are lots of examples out there where trees have suffered compacted soil, etc. As with most things, it's a matter of striking the right balance.

There may also be times when seeking publicity for a tree could be a good thing. One possibility is if an old-growth tree on public land has been marked for logging, and it's legal to climb the tree. A tree climb with several climbers and a local news reporter documenting the climb could show that this forest marked for logging actually has lots of other public benefits that the logging plan didn't take account of.

Great discussion and thanks for starting this thread.

Matt
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