When asked about a fear of heights, CEO, Larry Coalson, describes himself not NOT having a fear of heights, but rather a HEALTHY fear. Sitting 40 feet up in a tree doesn’t bother him the way it would your typical person. Even sitting at the edge of a cliff with a 200-ft drop doesn’t paralyze him with fear—unlike other people who get dizzy just thinking about it. Larry, on the other hand, views sitting on the edge of a cliff like sitting on a 10-ft wall. If you sit properly, your chances of falling are unlikely. BUT if you’re acting foolish, dancing along the edge, or just being plain dumb, then yes, you just might fall off!
Tree trimmers trust to some degree the trees that they climb onto. It doesn’t mean, however, that they trust all trees. Some trees can be too hazardous to climb, such as ones that are dead or rotting. Other trees could be too skinny and frail to give even a 50-lb child any sense of security, let alone a 180-lb man with a heavy chainsaw. This is why proper training and experience play a crucial role in keeping a tree trimmer safe, as well as the entire field crew and the property that the job is being performed at.
In San Diego, a couple of local trees that can make a grown man sweat with uncertainty are the lemon-scented eucalyptus and any tall Mexican fan palm whose crown is beyond the reach of a boom lift, so it therefore has to be climbed all the way to the top. Both of these trees (although technically, the fan palm isn’t a tree) grow tall and lanky—even known to soar past 100 feet in height. And not only are they tall, but they’re skinny and flexible. Bad combination for a tree trimmer, who couldn’t care less about swaying back and forth 60 feet up in the air on a tree trunk with a diameter of less than a foot. His only hope is that he’s not too heavy to cause it to snap.