Recommended reads #7

The crew at Hévéa have produced a stunning book, Grimpeur d’Arbres, Suspendus entre ciel et terre, a lovingly craved oeuvre, which follows in loving detail the development of tree climbing techniques from a historical perspective, zooming in closer to examine the developments of the past forty years. The book is beautifully produced, very high quality imagery with great attention to detail. You can flash the pages with a dedicated mobile app to access further background materials, such as rare video footage, documents or imagery.

The book traces how arboriculture emerged as a profession in France, the founding of associations and emergence of collaborations. It touches upon extended applications of tree climbing techniques, such as for canopy research purposes in the tropics, for recreational or pedagogic purposes, it also traces the development and role of tree climbing competitions, from Lahnstein in 1993 onwards, from their humble beginnings, acting as a conduit of information and one of the very few networking opportunities, to where they are today.

Where the book really shines though, in my opinion, is where it mentions individuals and groups who made significant contributions towards making tree climbing what it is today. It is good to see these untold stories documented for posterity and credit being given where due.

The book does a good job of reflecting the rich tapestry of modern tree climbing in an arboricultural context, the team who put this all together put a lot of time and effort into this very fine tribute to climbers’ culture – a big thank you to them for that! There a limited number of copies available, so if you do happen to stumble across one, you can certainly spend €45 on many worse things! You don’t speak French? Ok, but actually it is worth it for the images alone – and you’ll get the genreal gist.

Comes highly recommended.