I spent years trying to find out which tree, out of all the many trees in the world, is the very best tree. This entailed looking at all the characteristics that make a tree the best, such as its beauty, the number of leaves it has, the amount of shade it gives, its flexibility in the wind, and so on.

In many ways I was inspired by other popular contests and investigations into other high-quality categories of things, from human beauty pageants to the Oscars. If we can determine the best candidate in those categories, why not trees?

Once I started looking at trees’ relative bestness, I also become interested in other tree qualities, such as tree dopplegangers. This project, as part of the Best Tree in the World, is an outgrowth of that overall investigation of trees’ testable characteristics.

In this project, I tested the climbability of three trees.

Each tree’s test has been edited into two different videos, one showing the visual experience of the climb as seen from the point of view of my swaying video camera, and the other showing a still image of the tree overlaid with the sound of my increasingly heavy breathing.

You can watch those videos at the links below:

Climbability 1A and 1B

Climbability 2A and 2B

Climbability 3A and 3B

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