From Xplor for Kids
August 2012 Issue

Wild Jobs: Tree Climber Ryan Russell

Publish Date

Aug 01, 2012

Arborist Ryan Russell goes out on a limb to keep trees healthy.

Q: What does an arborist do?

A: Arborists are like tree doctors. When trees get sick, I figure out what’s wrong and try to fix the problem. If trees are undernourished, I give them fertilizer. Sometimes trees need dead, broken or diseased branches removed, so I climb up and trim them off.

Q: Doesn’t that harm the tree?

A: No, it actually keeps it healthy. Removing branches keeps diseases from spreading and helps the tree heal faster.

Q: What’s the worst part of your job?

A: Trimming pin oaks. They have tons of sharp, pointy branches. Cut limbs get hung up in lower branches, and I usually climb out of a pin oak feeling like a pin cushion.

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

A: Climbing trees for a living is pretty cool.

Q: Cool, yes. But isn’t it dangerous?

A: I’ve gone through lots of training to learn how to do it safely. I always wear a helmet, a climbing harness and other safety gear. I inspect the gear before each use to make sure it’s not damaged. And, I always work alongside another arborist to help watch for dangers.

Q: How long have you been climbing trees?

A: When I was a kid, I learned to shimmy up a hickory sapling until it started to bend then ride it to the ground. I’ve been climbing trees ever since.

Also in this issue

You Discover

With summer winding down and autumn gearing up, there’s plenty to discover outside in August and September. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Predator vs. Prey: Tiger Moth vs. Bat

The struggle to survive isn't always a fair fight. Here's what separates nature's winners from its losers.

How to: Make an Underwater Viewer

Build an underwater viewer to calm the water and see what you’ve been missing.

Camping With Dad

My brothers and I have camped dozens of times with our scout troop. We know plenty of tricks to make camping fun and comfortable.

Back to School

Some little critters are born knowing how to survive. Others need to learn a few things before they’re able to make it on their own.

Strange But True

Your guide to all the unusual, unique, and unbelievable stuff that goes on in nature.

This Issue's Staff:

David Besenger
Bonnie Chasteen
Chris Cloyd
Peg Craft
Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Chris Haefke
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Kevin Lanahan
Kevin Muenks
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White
Kipp Woods

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