By UMC University Relations

Students in Rick Abrahamson’s arboriculture class at the University of Minnesota Crookston climbed to new heights this past week. 

A visit by experts Liam McClannahan from Branch and Bough Tree Service, St. Paul, Minn., and Chad Giblin from forestry resources at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities led students during an introduction to tree climbing. Between the two, there are some 30 years of experience as tree specialists.

Prior to the lab, students in the class including Devin Brown, Zoe Everett, Tou Yang, and Quinn Bauer, conducted a risk assessment of several ash trees on campus under the guidance of Abrahamson, a lecturer in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. McClannahan and Giblin spent part of their visit reviewing and evaluating the students’ assessment of the ash trees as part of the lab. 

The common thread running among the students was a love of nature. For Bauer, a senior majoring in ecological restoration, a passion for trees comes from growing up among them in his hometown of Mondovi, Wis., while for Everett, a Post-secondary Enrollment Option student from Crookston, Minn., the class is one that simply piqued her interest. 

Brown, an agricultural aviation major and senior from Festus, Mo., has planted hundreds of trees on his own and as part of planting shelterbelts, and Yang a senior from Spring Lake Park, Minn., wanted the experience as a major in natural resources.

Along with climbing, the introduction to arboriculture students learned about basic pruning techniques, tree rot assessment, and important safety measures for climbing.