Campus News


To prune a white oak tree near the UGA Health Center

JOB DESCRIPTION: “I am climber on the tree crew.

“We do everything that is required to maintain the trees on campus—-including soil improvement, cabling and the removal of trees on university property. For tree removal, we use a crane and a lift truck.

When you are in front of a 5,000-pound tree trunk—just inches away from it—cutting, and the trunk is suddenly swept away by the crane, it is pretty tough to maintain your guts.”




OTHER WORK EXPERIENCE: “My foundation for tree work began when I worked for the Omaha Public Power District doing line clearance.

“But, I have actually learned the most about tree climbing after beginning this job.”


MOST REWARDING PART OF MY JOB: “Improving the trees’ health and thinking through challenging situations. Since there is so much construction and development on campus, the trees often suffer.

“As a result, we work on improving the soil and aeration around the root zone. In this way I think we make a difference.” 

MOST CHALLENGING PART OF MY JOB: “The most challenging part is -removing trees. During the two years I’ve worked here, I’ve seen a lot of trees come down due to construction and drought damage.

“In addition, climbing a tree with a chainsaw in hand can be pretty dangerous. My parents certainly worry about me. They are pleased I have finally found something that I look forward to doing each day, but they do maintain a healthy level of concern in respect to my profession.

“After I learned to climb, it wasn’t long before I traveled to my mother’s to climb and prune her trees. I recall that she was initially excited as I ascended the rope, but later retreated to the house, no longer able to watch. In tribute to my mom, I have affixed a Big Daddy Ed Roth decal to my safety helmet titled ‘Mother’s Worry.’

“In addition, I had my Dad come out on a job and I asked him what he thought about it. He quickly replied, ‘I think you should find another line of work.’ ” 


IF I WASN’T DOING THIS JOB: “I would still be working in the field of arboriculture, possibly pursuing further my education in urban forestry.”


OFF THE JOB INTERESTS: “Most of my free time is spent working in the private sector. I have my own tree service.

“But when time allows, I do enjoy running, snowboarding, reading, photography and traveling locally.

“I also spend a lot of time with my dog, Belle, and go running with her. I used to take her with me on most of my side jobs. This became problematic, as she likes to chew and pull on the ropes.”


FAVORITE ATHENS SPOTS:  “The Mayflower Restaurant—where I -usually eat on Saturday mornings.”


ORGANIZATIONS:  “I am on the Clarke County Tree Council, to which I was elected this year. We work on the town’s tree ordinance, educational programming and landmark tree preservation.

“I am also a certified arborist and member of the International Society of Arboriculture.”


THE PERSON I MOST ADMIRE: “I am very appreciative of Dale Carey for his help and advice. I came to the university two years ago with an understanding of the fundamentals of tree work.

“With his guidance I have been able to build on the foundation, enabling me to work independently and become a certified arborist.

“Phillip Sills is pretty cool too.”

MUSIC AND MOVIES I’D RECOMMEND TO OTHERS: “I enjoy alternative country music, and my favorite movie is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”


ISSUES THAT CONCERN ME MOST ABOUT THE WORLD TODAY: “I would have to say our president and the Iraq war. 

“Also, oil consumption, mass deforestation and waste.”