Climbing a tree is an excellent way to have an outdoor adventure.

Let’s Get Started

A tree-climbing adventure should be lighthearted and free. Here are a few tips to make sure you have a safe and fun experience.

Amazing!

Amazing!

Awesome!

Awesome!

Check the weather. Always check the weather before you start. Never climb during a thunderstorm, in strong wind or wet conditions that can be very dangerous or make branches too slippery. You can climb trees in any season though freezing temperatures can make wood brittle.

Good Job!

Good Job!

Dress Appropriately. Wear clothes that are loose-fitting so you can stretch and move freely, but not so baggy they could get caught on something.

Amazing!

Amazing!

Find the right tree. Look for a healthy tree that is not leaning. Check for signs of rot or fungus at the roots or on the tree, roots that are separating from the ground, or large cracks or splits in the tree’s trunk or bark. Some trees are better than others for climbing! Hardwood trees like sycamores, oaks, or maples will have sturdier branches.

Wonderful!

Wonderful!

Look for signs of danger around your tree. With an adult look for things like power lines, fences, or structures that could make the area unsafe. They can also help you identify and avoid trees with poison ivy, wasp or beehives, ants, and wildlife that you wouldn’t want to disturb.

Awesome!

Awesome!

Start low. Find a tree with low, sturdy branches and use those as a starting point for your climb. You may need to jump a little or use your feet to push off the trunk to reach the first branch. Once you grab that first branch, use your legs so that you can get on top of the branch. Feel free to ask for a boost from an adult too!

Fantastic!

Fantastic!

Take your time! Take time finding the next sturdy branch to grab and climb up to. You want to plan and focus on each move. Be brave and ambitious, but don’t climb too high. This is your adventure and you want to make sure it’s safe and you feel comfortable.

Good Job!

Good Job!

Find your spot. Find a comfortable spot where you can sit and enjoy the view. What do you notice outside that you’ve never seen before? Does your yard or park look totally different from up high?

Wonderful!

Wonderful!

Remember your way up. You will want to use that same way in reverse to get back down.

Keep the ”rule of three” in mind before and during your climb. This means, whenever you can, try to have two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot on the tree at all times. 


And parents, remember nobody is too old to climb a tree.

Great!

Great!

Document Your Discoveries

Photo: SeventyFour
  1. Draw or describe your tree your Nature Notebook.
  2. Map your path up the tree so you remember how to get up and down. Try different trees and compare your climbing progress over time. 
  3. Make a list of wildlife and plant discoveries you observe.

Bonus: Adopt a tree and keep track of it throughout the year. 

 

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