Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Caltrans’ tree-climbing maintenance crews are a popular subject on Career Day as displayed by students who chose this field trip.

by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 12/2006

Go Climb A Tree, Part 2 - More Tree Maintenance Demonstrations in El Monte

A class field trip with a Caltrans Maintenance crew is awe-inspiring to a young kid when his toy truck becomes life-size, and orange, and there’s real work to be done.

Just ask students from the Willard F. Payne Elementary School in El Monte, who on October 31, got a lesson in reality when District 7 East Region Tree Maintenance crew from Whittier, rolled in five trucks to the school yard to demonstrate worker safety in tree trimming operations under the direction of Area Superintendent, Vern Gemeinhardt and Supervisor Greg Flores and Region Manager, John Janton.

The children were shown special clothing, boots and climbing gear, spurs, saddles and ropes. They were told about the laws, regulations and policies pertaining to tree work, worker safety and standards.  For example, there are different requirements for working around and maintaining clearances to high voltage lines and low voltage wires.  And, while tree trimming operations involving climbing are in progress, a qualified climber must be on the ground to direct operations and to assist in rescue if a hazardous situation occurs.  

“Roadside vegetation enhances the quality of travel which is one of the goals and visions of Caltrans’ Maintenance Program,” said Janton.  “California has tremendous geographic, physical and environmental diversity, representing those found in nearly every part of the world.  Teaching and demonstrating vegetation and tree management to as many children as possible may result in just one of those kids joining Caltrans in the future and making a contribution.” 

An aerial demonstration of the hydraulic equipment. A repelling maneuver is part of tree trimming and a favorite demonstration. Tanker Trucks roll into the school yard for the East Maintenace Region School Outreach program. The watering display is a big favorite.