Skip to content
CityLab
Culture

Need to Escape the City? Go Climb a Tree

Recreational tree climbers relish the peace and quiet they find in the urban canopy. As the hobby gains traction, they hope more cities will allow it to flourish.
relates to Need to Escape the City? Go Climb a Tree
Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

In a special hammock about 50-feet above the ground, Tim Kovar sat back and relaxed. Surrounded by green leaves and birds, the only giveaway that he was in the middle of Atlanta was the sound of cars in the distance. That didn’t matter; he imagined it was a babbling brook.

Kovar is something of a tree-climbing savant. He has traveled the world in search of trees to scale, working his way up to the canopy in 18 countries and 49 states. (He plans to check Alaska off the list soon.) A full-time tree climbing instructor in Oregon City, Oregon, he’s part of a global group of adventurers who explore this uncharted layer of our cities.