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Published: January 9, 2020

Becoming an Arborist: Embrace Struggle, Seek Challenge

How many parents send their kids off to school with high hopes of them one day growing up to be an arborist and work in the tree industry?   If any of you know of some please give me their contact information!  There is little encouragement for today’s youth to take interest in tree work and consider the career path of an arborist.  The stigma of backbreaking labor and mindless brush dragging is outdated and needs to change.  The lack of experience in the tree industry is staggering.  I see young men go out on the weekends and mountain climb, ride dirt bikes, heck, parkour is a thing????  But nobody wants to climb 80-foot Sycamores or help maintain a 100-year-old oak and get paid well to do it?

This is a trade that will never be outsourced overseas and is a profession to be proud of.  There is a large void in the market right now and it is a heck of a time for young people to learn a craft that can provide for them a very satisfying career.  The days of lifting back breaking logs for minimum wage are fast disappearing.  The safety technology and equipment availability have turned this job into a skilled position that should be held in the same regard as all the other skilled trades.

If I could just bottle the feeling of pride and accomplishment I have when I hit the ground after hours spent in the air swinging from limb to limb safely and properly maintaining a tree for a customer I would have applications flooding the mailbox.  People shy away because it is difficult, too physically taxing, and at times intimidating.  Yes, this line of work has challenges far outside the realm of everyday 9 to 5 jobs but with those unique challenges it has unique rewards.  Bear with me as I try to tie this all together with a quote

To live is to struggle, to survive is to find meaning in your struggle.


Today we have become very proficient in eliminating external struggle and discomfort, yet I think we will all agree that mental health does not enjoy the same modern comfort. Many people state that they feel sorry for those that must work out in the cold or the heat due to their exposure to discomfort.  I in turn feel sorry for them.  There is no bed softer and warmer than one climbed into after a day clearing storm damage after an ice storm.  For decades to come this will continue to be an ever growing, lucrative, and HEALTHY career choice for those who are able to see the human need for challenge and struggle.  Becoming an Arborist is a great way to assign meaning to it!

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