Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - Page 13 News List

Surgeons of the canopy

Tree-climbing arborist techniques are a relatively new method of trimming branches in Taiwan, with only five people certified by the International Society of Arboriculture

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

Weng says one of the toughest tasks he ever undertook was having to venture out onto a lone branch that hung over a traditional house.

“I had to sit on the branch and cut the end off while preventing it from falling on the roof. I had to keep my balance, withstand the branch jerking from the cut while grabbing the end. I could have easily fallen off.”


As a relatively new trimming method in Taiwan, the business has its challenges.

“People either don’t know about it or believe that it’s too dangerous,” Du says. “We actually charge about the same as the traditional method, but people have this misconception that since we don’t bust out the large cranes and heavy equipment, we should not be charging this much.”

But more institutions are starting to take notice. Three employees of the Taipei City Government’s Parks and Street Lights Office were also in the black bear enclosure, helping out with various tasks. Wu Bing-hsuan (吳秉軒) says that they’ve been training with Climbing Tree since July and just purchased their equipment for their own projects.

“Our supervisor has allowed us to try this method in our parks in Neihu,” he says. “The certificate requires one-and-a-half years of climbing experience, and we are working toward that goal.”

Wu says one reason so few people have the certificate is that until this year, it entailed two trips to Hong Kong. Du says the general success rate is between 30 and 40 percent, and many people don’t have the resources to make that many trips.

But next month, the Taiwan Arboriculture Society will host local exams for the first time — with Weng and Du as examiners. Wu says by the time he is eligible for the exam, there will be many more certificate holders in Taiwan.

Weng and Du also have their personal goals: Weng has his sights set on scaling the major “sacred trees” of Taiwan, while Du wants to climb as many different species of trees as possible.

“Each species is a different experience — from physiology to growth status to what you can see up there and the general atmosphere,” he says.

This story has been viewed 4056 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top