Chris O’Bryan has been part of our team for over 5 years and
became the Arborist 2 years ago. You might spot him in the Garden,
just look up! A few weeks before the camp, I asked him to bring his
tree climbing gear, talk about his job as the MBG Arborist, and give
some fun tree facts that might instill an appreciation of
trees. Getting up in front of kids can be daunting; all those
skeptical, youthful stares while you’re wondering if they have any
interest at all in what you are saying. I assured him that the pre-teens
would definitely like to know how he safely ascends our mighty
The day came, and we had 45 minutes scheduled for his talk. We
met in the shade of the lovely Pine Grove on a hot summer
afternoon. Despite having walked across the Garden, then taking
turns going into the building for water breaks, when Chris arrived
with his gear and information the campers became contented little
sponges. He proudly shared with them for almost an hour and a half,
only stopping to get back to our class for parent pick-up.
He showed the kids tree trimming techniques and how different tools work, throw bags for preparing a
climb, and he let them try on the waist belt. He talked about tree basics, like the difference between
deciduous and coniferous trees, leaves and needles, and parts of a tree. The students prodded with many
questions about things such as galls, life and nutrient cycle, and historic trees. They were excited to hear
that, on October 3, they could come to the Garden to watch the tree-climbing championship during the
Urban Forestry Conference! They were rapt. All the students were very interested in our special guest
and the possibility of a future career in (the) trees.
Want to have Chris speak at your educational gathering? Contact
For updates and more!
Central Daylight Time Hours:
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Central Standard Time (Winter) Hours:
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
We are located at:
750 Cherry Road
Memphis, TN 38117
(Between Park & Southern)