The Difference Between Rocks and Trees
What I discovered is that unlike rock climbing, where you ascend by grabbing onto rocky holds and use ropes as a safety measure, tree climbing is actually more like "rope climbing;" you actually climb the rope more than the tree. The tree provides a guide as you ascend up, and a place to rest when you tire. (Tree climbing is a real abdominal work out.) Also, when perched on a tree, you can set up a multi-pitch like in rock climbing; once you climb as high as your rope, connect yourself safely to the tree via a lanyard, disconnect from the climbing line, and then throw your ropes up another level and continue the process upwards.
In any case, tree climbing is a fun activity to do, especially since you can do it in more places than you can in rock climbing. But can you really climb anywhere?
"Technically, every state or city park has rules against it, but depending on where in the country you are, and how big the park, people get away with recreational climbing everywhere," Roach told me, adding that if you don't damage the tree or the public safety, there's nothing socially or environmentally wrong with it.