Palm Tree Trimmer Jeffrey Carlton Shares His Perspective

Huntington Beach resident Jeffery Carlton, a certified tree care safety professional for family-owned David’s Tree Service, has been trimming palms since 2009. He often works on 60-foot trees and climbs many of them with just a rope and harness. “If you’re afraid of heights, it ain’t gonna happen,” he says. “Even if you’re not, it’s kind of eerie when you’re up there. It takes a while to get used to it.” Even with the harness, it’s a dangerous job. Carlton once fell out of a 50-foot palm but “landed on my feet, like a cat.” Despite the risks, he loves his job. “I’m really happy in a bucket truck.”

Photograph by Priscilla Iezzi.

Years to learn
the ins and outs
of tree trimming

Approximate height
in feet of the tallest
palm he has trimmed

Minutes it takes to
trim most palm trees

Number of palms
he can trim in a day,
using ropes to climb them

Number of palms
he can trim in a day,
using a bucket truck

Height in feet of
the company’s
bucket trucks

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