What makes a good climbing tree

The perfect tree? Maybe the tree that is perfect for everybody is out there somewhere, but it is more likely that everyone's idea of "perfect" is going to be different. For someone in the Southeast a big live oak or Australian pine might fit the description. It would be hard to imagine a better tree to climb than some of the big redwoods in California, and the old growth conifers in the Pacific Northwest are pretty dramatic. In the Midwest we have big beech, oak, pine and hemlock, as well as many other species, all of which have their appeal.

I personally favor deciduous trees because the broad, spreading tops usually have a lot of places to visit and the option for getting away from the trunks is usually greater than when climbing conifers. This is merely personal preference though. You will find wonderful trees in both groups once you start looking for them.

For me, looking for trees inns a close second place to actually climbing them. Most people find that once they start the sport of tree climbing they also start seeing trees. In other words they start looking up which is something not many ground animals do. You will probably find yourself driving along highways assessing the trees for their climbing potential. Or maybe tripping while walking in town because you are watching the treetops rather than the sidewalk.

Winter in the temperate regions is a good time to spot trees in deciduous stands. With the foliage off, a nicely structured tree, even fairly deep in the woods, will be apparent to someone looking for it. Summer time makes finding trees a little less convenient, but once you start tree climbing, your view tends to be upward and the good ones can't hide!

The following are general characteristics of the two groups of trees - deciduous and conifers:

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