Tree climbing with Joel Love and Jane Packman

Jane: Armed with only a tree chart and camera we set off for Highbury Park, a mere 8 minutes walk from our house, and boasting the best selection of trees for miles.

Joel: We already knew a few good trees from previous visits, so we headed in their direction. This time we were going to identify them as well as climb them.

Jane: En route we spotted a new one, nice branches within reach, but the added danger of brambles all around it’s base. Joel was first up. We identified it as an oak (although what type we don’t know – not that good yet!)

Joel: This tree was especially perilous because all of its branches seemed to go in the same direction. You couldn’t move around it very easily. This became problematic when it came time to come down.

Jane: Yeah, I got the fear a bit – having suffered from a bike accident in June – a renewed streak of self-preservation has set in. The next tree is my nemesis, another oak that you have to jump up quite high to get hold of the first branch. Joel managed – I’m going to succeed next time!

Joel: The bark on that one was pretty rough, though. I managed to gouge myself on both arms on that one! We then moved on to another tree we knew was good. Sadly, it had been damaged somehow – there were dead branches everywhere. We thought we should give a chance to recover, so we moved on to the final tree of our tour.

Jane: Most impressive was Joel climbing one of the largest oaks in the park. Unfortuantely my girliness played against me – I’ll need some more upper body strength to do this one. You can’t climb up very high, but balancing along the big branch to reach the trunk looks like good fun anyhow.

I took a series of photos as he climbed up that we’ll post shortly.

Joel: (Won’t that be a treat!) Look out for more tree reviews in the near future – weather permitting!