Training for Entry-Level Tree Workers
LEARN SPIKELESS CLIMBING TECHNIQUES. No tree climbing experience necessary!
Length of program - 5 full days
Maximum class size — 3 students
Money back guarantee — TCI guarantees you will learn how to climb safely or we'll refund your tuition.
Practical Training for Working Climbers
Tree work is difficult and extremely dangerous. There is no middle ground when you work in the trees. What you do is either right, or it's wrong – with potentially disastrous results. That's why worker safety is our first concern and primary emphasis. Throughout our program, students learn the right way to do things as well as the right things to do so they are safe and their work is competent and efficient.
TCI's tree climbing program for entry-level tree workers is designed specifically for working arborists. Students learn and practice skills and techniques which are used daily on the job. First you'll learn everything you need to climb safely; then we'll teach you more advanced techniques and skills. While some theory is taught, our emphasis is on practical, hands–on training. Most of your class time is spent in or under a tree. And, due to our small class size of only three students, you'll get plenty of individual help.
The TCI Program for Entry-level Tree Workers: Program Content and Outline
Peter "Treeman" Jenkins, the founder of TCI, is an ISA-certified arborist with 25 years of accident-free production climbing experience. He has also been teaching tree workers and recreational tree climbers at all skill levels for over 25 years, with no accidents to date. Students come from all over the world to learn from him.
Prerequisites: Must be in good health, with weight appropriate to height. Must speak some English. Treeman was raised in Texas and can speak a little Spanish, but he is not fluent.
Gear: We prefer to train climbers in their own saddle if you own one. If you don't, the TCI school has one you can use, as well as all the other gear you'll need for class. Bring ankle or full-height boots to protect your ankles during foot ascender use. If you don't own gear, we suggest that you NOT purchase it until after you have taken our training, when you'll have a much better idea of what's needed.
Cost: $1,150 per person, does not include food and lodging. Advance registration and deposit are required. Students who fly to Atlanta and stay at the TCI Guest House may not need to rent a car for transportation; talk to us about details.
TCI's scheduled classes are shown on our calendar. We prefer that you register for one of those. However, if our dates don't work for you, contact us (if emailing, please include your phone number) to see whether it's possible to set up other dates. A minimum of two students is required for a class to be confirmed. We keep an active waiting list.
Please read our cancellation policy completely.
The success of each TCI class depends upon every student's participation. We schedule a maximum of only three students per course, and we do not overbook. If you don’t show up, your absence has a major impact. Therefore, TCI has the following cancellation policy:
- If your plans change and you need to cancel, you must call us at least three weeks ahead of time. This gives someone on our waiting list enough time to make arrangements. We will refund your deposit minus a $50 cancellation charge.
- If you cancel less than three weeks ahead of time, you will be responsible for your entire program tuition unless we are able to fill your slot from our waiting list.
- In the event of a health or family emergency (for which we may require documentation), we will refund your tuition minus our standard cancellation fee.
- TCI reserves the right to deny program participation to students who cancel without adequate notice.
Lodging is available at the TCI Guest House, where some parts of the program are taught. Many restaurants and grocery stores are within walking distance.
Recommended reading: TCI teaches Jeff Jepson's P.R.E.P. system of preparing for tree work, and we highly recommend his book, The Tree Climber's Companion, which we consider the "Bible" for tree workers. We also recommend Jepson's other two excellent books, To Fell A Tree and Knots at Work. All three books are available onsite and in our website store, and are sold by other vendors.
ISA CEUs (continuing education units) are available for this program.
See pictures of our classes in our Tree Workers Program Gallery.
What You'll Learn
The First Two Days: TCI's BASIC TREE CLIMBING COURSE
In the first part of our program, students learn all the fundamentals for climbing large trees safely using the “traditional” doubled rope technique (DdRT). You'll learn how to place ropes into the tree and how to set up your climbing system, learning and repeating each knot many times to put it into “muscle memory”. You’ll also get detailed information about how to assess a tree's condition (is it safe to climb?) and guidelines for tree protection. Students spend the entire two days in the field in or under our teaching tree.
The Next Three Days: TCI's "BEYOND THE BASICS" Class
This course moves students into the more technical areas of tree work. Like the first two days, students get plenty of coaching and practice using the new skills you're learning.
Start low, then grow.
Techniques are taught low to the ground first. Students practice them over and over until they are in your "muscle memory." Then you will practice in the tree.
Advanced climbing technique
You will learn split tail climbing technique; this will help you increase your climbing efficiency and be able to adapt to different climbing conditions.
We spend alot of time on positioning, with emphasis on two styles of lanyards and how to use other parts of the climbing rope to hold yourself in place.
Students are taught knots for lowering wood out of a tree both vertically and horizontally. They will also practice using two lowering devices -- the GRCS and the portawrap.
Students receive a TCI course completion diploma upon Program graduation.
See our gallery of photos from past and recent courses for tree workers.