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 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.

  • Prerequisites

    In good health with weight appropriate to height.
    Must speak some English.

  • Length of Program

    5 full days. Taught April through November.

  • Maximum Class Size

    3 students

  • Cost

    $1,200 per person


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 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


Both of our Tree Worker Program instructors are known for their vast knowledge and experience, patience, and ability to communicate clearly.

  • Peter

    Peter "Treeman" Jenkins

    "Treeman," 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 30 years, with no accidents to date. Peter no longer climbs for a living, but in addition to teaching, he now performs residential tree inspections for risk and hazards as a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) tree inspector.

  • Robert Tews

    Robert Tews

    Robert is an ISA-Certified Arborist and production tree climber with 20 years of injury-free production climbing experience. He has been teaching tree climbers since 1998. He runs Treeventure Services LLC in his home town of Jacksonville, Florida.


  • "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

  • "Your training was a life-changing experience for my employee."

    Lauren Lanphear
    Forest City Tree Protection Co., Inc.
    Past-President (2007-2009),
    International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)


Be sure to read through this critical information


TCI's class schedule is shown on our calendar. Most of our classes fill up quickly after we announce them. If you see an open class that you can attend, we urge you to sign up for it immediately. Call us 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.

Cancellation Policy


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 on us and on people who are waiting to take our training.

With that in mind, 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. (We prefer to know as soon as you know.) 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 or we are able to fill your slot with someone else. In that case, we will 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.


In Atlanta, lodging is comfortable and convenient at the TCI Clubhouse. The Clubhouse kitchen is fully stocked for cooking, and linens are provided. Many restaurants and grocery stores are within easy walking distance. Two days of the program are taught here. The cost is $50 per person per night. Students who take this program in Atlanta and stay at the TCI Clubhouse do not need to rent a car for transportation. Talk to us about details.

In Jacksonville, we recommend the Aloft Hotel (how about that name?!) close to the Jacksonville airport at 751 Skymarks Drive (904-714-3800). Rates vary depending upon the season. Grocery stores and restaurants are nearby. If you want to share a room with another student, let us know and we will try to help you arrange it. The tree worker class is taught at Cedar Bay Retreat at 1030 Baisden Road in Jacksonville, about 5 miles from the hotel.


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 and WesSpur. However, if you own a saddle, please bring it with you.


At the end of the program, students will be given a certificate which states that you have graduated from our course. Show this to a potential employer along with the course outline, and you are sure to get a job!



This program qualifies for 32.5 ISA CEUs in the Practice, Climber Specialist, and Certified Arborist categories.

Recommended Reading

TCI teaches Jeff Jepson's P.R.E.P. system of preparing for tree work. We highly recommend his book, "The Tree Climber's Companion", which many arborists consider the "Bible" for tree workers. It is not necessary to read this book before coming to class.

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

All four books are available onsite in Atlanta and in our website store.

See for yourself!

Here are a simple outline and some photos to give you an idea of what you'll be doing each day in our program.

Contact us with inquiries or to register. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR PHONE NUMBER!