TCI Climbing Program for Entry-Level Tree Workers

Tree work is difficult and very 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 4-day program, students learn the right way to do things as well as the right things to do so you are safe and your work is competent and efficient.

  • Length of Program

    4 full days

  • Cost

    $1,250 per person

  • Prerequisites

    In good health, with weight appropriate to height.

  • Maximum Class Size

    3 students


LEARN SPIKELESS CLIMBING TECHNIQUES. No tree climbing experience necessary!

Most of our students have never climbed a tree with a rope and saddle. No worries! First you'll learn and practice everything you need to climb safely. Then we'll teach you more advanced techniques and skills that are used daily on the job. 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, you'll get plenty of individual help.

Download the Tree Worker Program Outline

Our Spring 2024 class schedule is posted on our calendar.


TCI's Tree Worker Program instructors are known for their vast knowledge and experience, patience, and ability to communicate clearly. Remember to bring your sense of humor -- you can expect to laugh alot while you're learning!

  • Peter "Treeman" Jenkins

    Peter "Treeman" Jenkins

    "Treeman," the founder of TCI (in 1983), is an ISA-Certified Arborist with over 25 years of production climbing experience. He has also been teaching tree workers and recreational tree climbers at all skill levels for over 40 years, with no accidents to date. Peter no longer climbs for tree work, but in addition to teaching, he is happily performing residential tree inspections for risks and hazards as a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) tree inspector. He is a founder, four-time past-president and active member of the Georgia Arborist Association.

  • TJ Convery

    TJ Convery

    T.J. Convery, “TreeJ,” has been doing tree work in Atlanta for over 25 years and is a member of the Georgia Arborist Association. He is an outdoor enthusiast and adventurer, also a life-long power boater, sailor, and boating safety instructor, as well as a Merchant Mariner (Captain). He does mission work with Honduras Outreach and United Methodist Men.

    • Jepson

      "I remember when I first started doing treework back in the '80's. Peter was one of my most influential climbing mentors. He was an effective teacher because he was both knowledgeable and passionate about what he does. And he is funny. What a great combination! Thanks, Peter!"

      Jeff Jepson
      Author, "The Tree Climber's Companion"
      and other books for tree climbers
      One of TCI's earliest climbing students

    Please contact us with inquiries or to register. Make sure to include your phone number!

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT OUR PROGRAM: Please read it all the way through and then call with questions and/or to schedule.

    • Cost

      The cost for this 4-day program is $1,250. When you register, we will take a $500 deposit by credit card. The balance ($750) by cash or check will be duye on the first morning of class.

    • Prerequisites

      No experience is necessary! Some of our students are landscapers who want to expand their services. Some are folks who want to do their own tree work. Some are young people who want to enter the arboriculture industry, and many come from tree services who send trusted employees to us for training. Many of our students know very little about trees and nothing at all about climbing them. If that is you, you're in good company! But no worries -- after four days with us, you will feel confident about your goal to climb and prune a tree.

      Must be in good health with weight appropriate to height, and at least 18 years old.

    • Scheduling

      TCI's class schedule is shown on our calendar.  Please call to register — we do not register students by email.

      Sometimes we can schedule a class upon request. Call to see what's possible. A minimum of two students is required for a class to be confirmed.

    • Location

      The TCI Entry-level Tree Worker Program is taught only in Atlanta, Georgia. We meet at the TCI Clubhouse, 1290 Merry Lane NE, Atlanta 30329, on the first morning. Class is held either at the TCI Clubhouse or at Blackburn Park, 7 miles due north. The Clubhouse carport is fully equipped for teaching in the event of rain.

    • Illness

      Safety is TCI's highest priority: safety for our students and safety for our instructors. Fortunately, protection against Covid, the flu, RSV, etc. is pretty easy, since the vaccinations against these infections are so effective. Also, TCI's courses are taught entirely outdoors, adding another layer of protection. So, while we prefer that you are vaccinated, we do not require vaccination for participation in our class. As has been our policy in the past, we may require the wearing of masks if/when you are in close proximity to our instructors and the other students in the class.

      Whether you are vaccinated or not, if you have been exposed to or tested positive for Covid (or flu, etc.) just prior to taking our class, please call us, and do not come! We will work with you to get you scheduled into a class at a later date.

      Thank you for your cooperation.

    • Gear

      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 you'll need and use. We have all the gear for your training, including all the gear in the pdfTCI Climbing Kit for Entry-Level Tree Workers sold by WesSpur and American Arborist Supplies. However, if you own a saddle that you are comfortable in and a helmet, please bring it/them with you.

    • Lodging

      Most of TCI's students stay at the TCI Clubhouse, where the program is taught. When you register, we will talk with you about transportation details and how to get to the Clubhouse from the Atlanta International (Hartsfield-Jackson) Airport. The cost for a four-night stay (the night before class starts through the last day) is $300.

      There are other places to stay in the immediate area of the TCI Clubhouse. If you want a recommendation, please feel free to ask.

    • Cancellation Policy


      The success of each TCI class depends upon every student's participation. We schedule a maximum of only 3 students per course, and we do not overbook. If you don’t show up, your absence has a major impact on us and on the people who are waiting to take our training.

      With that in mind, TCI has the following cancellation policy:

      If you need to cancel, you must call us at least three weeks ahead of time. (We prefer to know as soon as you know.) The vast majority of our students come from out-of state or from another country. This gives someone on our waiting list enough time to make travel and personal arrangements to take the course. We will refund your deposit minus a $50 cancellation fee.

      If you cancel fewer than three weeks ahead of time, you will forfeit your entire deposit unless you are able to fill your slot with someone else. In that case, we may refund your deposit minus a $50 cancellation fee.

      In the event of a health or family emergency (for which we may require documentation), we will refund your tuition deposit minus a $50 cancellation fee.

      TCI reserves the right to deny future program participation to students who cancel without adequate notice.

    • Certificate

      "Certification" of tree climbers is provided by any organization that we know of. However, upon satisfactory completion of our program, students will be given a certificate signed by your instructor. Show this to a potential employer along with the course outline, and you are sure to get a job!

      TWP CERT

    • ISA CEUs

      This course is approved for 32 continuing education units in the following ISA categories: Certified Arborist, Climber Specialist, Utility Specialist, Municipal Specialist, Aerial Lift Specialist, and BCMA Practice.

    • Recommended Reading

      We highly recommend Jeff Jepson's book, The Tree Climber's Companion, which many arborists consider the "Bible" for tree climbers. It is not necessary to read this book before coming to class.

      We also suggest Jepson's three other excellent books, To Fell A Tree, Knots at Work, and Groundie. In addition, we recommend the ISA's excellent publication, The Art and Science of Practical Rigging by Peter Donzelli and Sharon Lilly.

      All five books are available onsite at TCI Headquarters and in our website store.


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