He's climbing to success

  • Article by: SHEILA MULROONEY ELDRED , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 18, 2012 - 1:32 PM

How I Got This Body: For 23 years, Paul Jirik has been climbing trees for a living. It keeps him physically and mentally fit -- and, he says, it offers a welcome respite from his day job.

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petertreemanFeb. 19, 12 7:03 AM

Hey Paul, That was a nice article on you. I agree with all the things you say. Working trees will always keep you fit and mentally alive. I know because I worked with my own small tree care business for 30 years–recently retired. I am a certified Arborist in Atlanta and run a tree climbing school. I want to make a couple of observations about the photograph of you. First, you're not wearing a helmet. Many tree climbers get injured and killed by not wearing a helmet. I'm sure you take down a lot of dead trees that have fragile branches. It is only a matter of time before you get struck by a falling dead branch. You might want to think about purchasing a good helmet with chin straps. It will eventually save you from major injury or even a fatality I noticed you were using like spikes on what appeared to be a perfectly healthy tree. You might want to consider spikeless tree climbing methods. Spikes injure trees, and sometimes kill trees. This is especially true of pine trees where punctures attract pine bark beetles. Also consider cambium savers to isolate the rope from rubbing on the branch were your rope touches the tree. It will save your ropes considerable wear, increase climbing efficiency, and provide a much more professional appearance, especially to homeowners that have a little knowledge about proper tree care. Good luck in your tree climbing career. This work will keep you very healthy and fit. Peter "Treeman" Jenkins

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georgetreeFeb. 19, 1211:54 AM

Shame on the Star Tribune for failing to perform even the most minimal of research. If they had they would of discovered that Paul's method of working and lack of training are abismal. He and those like him represent all that is wrong with the tree care industry in Minnesota and likely they United States. It's not that Paul doesn't want to do a good job, safely, it's that he doesn't even know that what he does is injurious to the trees and that his work methods are suicidal. He works without another trained climber. He's not even wearing the most basic of safety equipment. Paul, you need to get yourself to the Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course at Bethel University in March. There you can begin to receive the training you so desperately need. In the interim I suggest that you leave the tree pruning to trained professionals.

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shameonstribFeb. 19, 12 4:07 PM

No Helmet, No safety glasses, No positioning lanyard, and Spikes on a prune=unsafe for tree and operator. I hate to think that someone who reads this story may go out and hurt or kill themselves or others. It's dangerous enough for those of us PROFESSIONALS who follow the proper regulations put in place to keep people safe. Wear chaps, Don't cut unsecured from a ladder, and call a pro to work at height.

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