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About Pathfinder

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  1. Is it too deep to say because I like trees and plants and seem to have some inate skill in growing and tending to most things that grow. I am also no longer able to work in an indoor environment due to certain health issues. I am also not tied down by a wife or children. I am a free agent and can go anywhere and practically do anything in the entire world. Honestly i'm not sure I will ever be a tree surgeon in the same way as most of the people on here. I am drawn more to the science side of things. Sure its nice to climb trees and its nice to play with chainsaws and strip them and rebuild them. I do the same with my motorcycle and car. Its not rocket science. But I do enjoy the theory side more than climbing and cutting. If I got to the end and never climbed a tree, I would be a little sad maybe, but its not the end of the world. I could have a successful career and never climb a tree or cut a log. Does every Arborist only climb trees and chop them? I thought some of you did tree surveys, worked in tree nurseries, worked on pest control, advised on planting, worked in plantations maintaining tree stocks, worked for DEFRA, worked as tree officers within councils, tree scientists within Arboretums. Yes i get that this forum seems to be more aimed at the people who cut and climb, but are there not other parts to being an Arborist, other career paths that don't include climbing and cutting? From everything I've read and the Arbs I talked to prior to making this decision, its a lot more than lets climb this tree and lop limbs off it. Some people choose to never climb, but instead choose to manage. Some choose to pursue careers in the science of pests and diseases, some do soil, some work on the hybridisation of trees, some do surveys, some do planning. Lots of paths to progression. I really want a path that makes a difference. There are a lot of people who cut and climb, so trying to get a foothold in an already saturated market would be crazy. At least in the UK. I might have more luck abroad. In fact I do intend to work abroad after I finish. Not sure where yet, but I have family in Canada and Australia and getting work visas for either of those two countries is a lot less hassle when you have relatives that are permanent residents. In short I don't limit my view to, I must climb trees and start a chainsaw everyday. I look at the entire picture and decide what works for me. From what you've said cutting and climbing is a young mans career path. So I should leave it to young people and experienced people. Instead I should focus on a different area.
  2. Would you suggest going straight for the degree after the Level 3 and then pushing into more of a management role and specialising in something other than the climbing and surgery aspect? I'm not inflexible and while I do see myself pursuing something along those lines eventually, I was hoping to do a bit of the practical side for a few years prior to embarking down the degree route and into something more advanced within the industry. In the next two years I have to undertake between 300 and 630 hours of work placement / professional development. I was rather hoping by the end of that I would have some idea of whether pursuing the climber end of things would be for me. Or maybe working towards a career as a ground worker could be a better choice. Similarly would a career in Forestry be a better choice than pursuing Arb. I'm open to all possibilities. But until I have some experience I won't know what will work for me. All being well my course ends in a couple of years and I will be doing something in the industry after that. As long as what I do is challenging I will thrive.
  3. I was hoping to curb my adrenaline junkie requirements, a bit. ;) My life has been a bit of a long list of very scary things looking back on it, with free climbing and cave diving probably topping the lunacy list. Chainsaws so far haven't really given me the willies. Using them around immature younger people (at the college), yeah that might do it.. But still maybe it is a midlife crisis in some ways, but I also kind of can't work indoors anymore for other reasons. I could have done Hort, but I'm looking for something with a little more fun in it. I just wish I'd taken the leap 6 years ago when i first contemplated doing it. The working outside in all weathers doesn't really faze me. I was formerly a Roadie for 15 years doing stage builds (in all weathers) and occasionally climbing and rigging. In 5 years I will hopefully have some idea of what I want to do in the industry. For now its more of a learning experience. Have a good day. :)
  4. While it might be late to be a full time climber, arboriculture is a lot more than just climbing and cutting trees. Nothing says you have to be a full time climber, in fact as my climbing instructor explained, you don't even need to do the climbing to get a Level 3 in Arb and Forestry. Climbing is an optional module and not required by C&G to pass the course. You could choose to do something else related to trees as an endgame and just do the climbing bit for fun. Albeit this may not apply to the OP since he wanted to become a tree surgeon, which technically isn't an Arborist, its generally just someone who paid for the tickets and probably did them over a couple of weeks (or at least thats how my course leader differentiated between the two). As I stated earlier I really don't see me climbing indefinitely after I get my tickets (and I'm honestly more likely to go with a MEWP down the line since I already have past experience with them). My future lies with the more theoretical end of things. I realise that I'm coming into this profession quite late. That leaves me with a handful of possible routes to take, but in all honesty getting a level 4 and 5 and doing something academic or biochem is the end route I will follow. I quite enjoy Soil Science and Pests and Diseases, so think that may be where I will end up in the future. Maybe take the odd climbing gig on the side for fun or if I need to surveys for research. I'm of the belief that you should push yourself until your body says no. When you reach that point, find something else to do. While I can haul my ass up a tree, I will probably do so, but some day in the future I will wake up and say enough is enough and move on to a different path. I will probably never be rich doing this, but if it makes me happy, then so be it. Money isn't everything, happiness on the other hand is. If you can get both and have not much stress while doing it, its even better. Whether this path will give me that is unknown, I know office work didn't, warehouse/logistics and construction jobs didn't either. Sorry for the long post. I appreciate your view, MattyF.
  5. My course manager has offered to connect me with some past students that operate around York, but I'm not tied to York. Apart from the three days I spend at Askham, I also spend time near Scunthorpe and in Sheffield. I can easily work from any of those locations, which makes for far more opportunities. Failing all that, I will apply to the Peak District Park Authority and National Trust, although it probably wouldn't be paid. As long as I'm working outside, I'm happy.
  6. Brad apparently does. Maybe he isn't quite as elite as he thinks he is.
  7. I don't think in this day and age you can be just one thing. So while you might be a top freelance climber, you should ideally also have enough tickets to work in at least two other professions/areas as well. That way you can always make money, no matter how little work you have as a climber. Maybe you are a climber as your primary job, but in days gone by that would also have mostly qualified you as a rigger working for a company like UK Rigging. Throwing in FLT, HGV and MEWP tickets can add to the portfolio and grant more opportunities. This has been my approach to working for most of my life and if you embrace this sort of ethos, its unlikely you will ever have a problem finding work.
  8. I'm much the same, but probably a bit older. I'm studying near York. I need to find a work placement/job after half term, preferably a paid one. I never realised what a pain it would be to go back into education at this point in my life. Still the end of this leg of the journey will more than make up for any hardship. I'm hoping once I've got CS30/31 (next summer), I can pick up enough work before I start year two to pad my finances a bit and buy some climbing kit and a chainsaw.
  9. Guessing you have a problem with the finite amount of trees that are available. Or do you commute to mainland for work?
  10. I'm just starting down the Arb route. I'm 45 and fully expect to not be able to climb trees like I climbed rock faces 15 years ago at Uni. My fitness is nowhere near that level. Saying that I am not physically weak and can lift a fair amount of weight at the gym, but my fitness level 15 years ago was at a much higher level than it currently is. As I see it, I don't plan on running an Arb business at 60. I would prefer to move into teaching and disease research when my body no longer wants to take the abuse. Its probably not the route for everyone, but I think in the long term I can achieve more through research and academia, than by working directly. My current plan is to get my Level 3 for now, work, build up experience, work abroad for a bit and then progress to a full degree in Hort, possibly with an eye on taking up a career in pests and disease research, and/or teaching something in relation to what we do. In many ways its too early to be more specific than that.


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