Tim Tannahill, of Spokane, WA, climbed, limbed, topped and fell this 137 ft. white fir tree Sunday at his uncle, Ray Tannahillís, place on Rudo Road.


By Marcie Stanton

   When Ray Tannahill decided to have hazardous trees removed from his property on Rudo Road he knew just who to call. His nephew, Tim Tannahill, 41, of Spokane, WA, has been climbing and topping trees in the Tacoma, WA, area for over eight years.

   Tim, who previously worked construction, began his tree topping career after he went to work for a company contracted with Labor Ready, a temporary labor agency. Tim started out dragging brush and feeding chippers and then was approached about tree topping. It sounded like something that suited him and heís been climbing and topping trees ever since.

   Timís skill is in high demand in populated areas of Washington where hazardous trees need to be removed, such as residential areas. He has also done work for power companies, topping and felling trees that are located close to power lines. According to Timís son, Zeb Tannahill, 20, of Enumclaw, WA, his dad was trained by the best tree topper around, making his dad the second best topper that he knows. Zeb says that he is his fatherís ďground guy,Ē sending saws up to his dad on the lines, filling the saws with fuel on the ground, clearing brush away from the topped tree and making sure Tim is safe.

   Zeb has been working with his father since he was 13-years-old. He says that he tried tree topping like his dad but decided he preferred to do his work with his feet planted firmly on the ground. The Tannahillsí choice of saws are the Stihl MS 200 T for the limbing of the branches on the trees and the Stihl MS 660 Magnum for the actual cutting. Angela Mason, Timís girlfriend, says she loves to watch him climb and top trees, and she appreciates the fact that he is very educated at what he does and that safety is the number one thing on his mind.

   Larry Tannahill, former jeweler and now a broker, of Clarkston, WA, says his son got his first taste of tree climbing when he was five-years-old, growing up in the Lewiston/Clarkston area. Tim climbed a walnut tree and after realizing how high he had climbed wanted help getting out of the tree. His father told him he had to get out of the tree on his own, something his father still goes by. Except now the trees are much taller and much more dangerous. The white fir shown in the photos measured 137 ft. tall and took Tim 1 ľ hours to climb and limb, top and fall, all in a days work for an expert tree topper like Tim.

Tim Tannahill begins the climb of the tree that he topped and fell near Rudo Road Sunday.

Limbing the tree takes perseverance, patience and strength.

Topping the tree and felling parts of the tree as the descent down begins.

Zeb Tannahill sending the Stihl 660 saw up the ropes to his dad so Tim can begin felling parts of the tree as he descends.

Tim and Zeb make a great father/son team.