Svenska Trädföreningen
Place: Malmö 9 November 2023


Adaptive Tree Climbing for Rehabilitation and Therapy programs


Introduction to creating, TreeHab: Adaptive Tree Climbing for Rehabilitation and Therapy programs

In 1997, Dr. John Gathright Pioneered Adaptive Tree Climbing in Japan to help people of all abilities to climb big trees for rehabilitation and therapy. In 2007 he graduated from one of Japan’s foremost Universities, Nagoya University , with the world’s first doctorate in “The Physiological, Psychological and Societal Benefits of Purpose Specific Tree Climbing Programs.”  John also founded Tree Climbing Japan (TCJ) which holds Scientifically designed ECO Tree Climbing Programs nation wide in Japan. 

Those programs have gained national recognition and awards for their contribution to helping Japanese Society.  Though the program Dr. John’s team have helped over 600,000 people climb trees with out any accidents or injuries.  

Initially, TCJ facilitated and lead private adaptive TreeHab activities but since 2010 TCJ works directly with groups and organizations to help individuals through various organizations to climb trees. This not only empowers the climber but also the organizations that participate and help.  Since 2009 Chubu University has been leading Japan in Training Special Education Students so that they can hold special tree climbing experiences on campus. 

This is an Introductory Work Shop into how to create Special Purpose Specific Tree Climbing Programs for people with special needs. Dr. John is also a tree lover and has incorporated many factors into the programs that been able to access not only funding and opportunities to help people but have also created unique ways to provide better tree care and benefits the tree climbing trees and communities. 

This is an introductory work shop that will take a deep dive into how to create Purpose Specific Tree Climbing programs. 

With TreeHab programs we have learned how important it is to realize the uniqueness of each person and every type of challenge.  A truly diverse team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists that can work seamlessly with highly skilled tree climbers and arborists is extremely important.  The team must foster a true love and appreciation for helping people with challenges to reach new heights. 

We love our Special Challenge Climbers! We have learned to see better from our blind climbers. We have learned Sign Language in the tree tops from our deaf climbers. We have learned the true power of “Magic Hands” from our climbers who climb without fingers. We have shared tears of joy and marvel,  as we watch children leave their wheel chairs to climb into a big tree. We learn all sorts of things from our Autistic children.  We have watched families health from trauma as they bond in the top of trees.  

TreeHab opens the door for Magic in the Tree Tops. 

During the Work Shop we will help you create of vision of what type of TreeHab program you would like to do. We will also cover the following:

  • How do I create a TreeHab program that helps people and trees and benefits society.
  • Where and How to find a suitable tree climbing field
  • Where and How to create partnerships and find sponsors for TreeHab programs
  • How to decided what type of program you would like to initiate
  • How to create a medical and legal team that supports your activities
  • What are the unique and special training required over and above Tree Climbing Skills
  • How to create a sustainable and diverse TreeHab team of volunteers 
  • What are the Societal Benefits of TreeHab Programs?  
  • How to ensure that the TreeHab Programs are Financially Stable

The workshop will be in a very candid and intimate muliti media presentation about TreeHab in Japan. The setting will also invite interaction, questions, and feedback. 

The goal is offer a true vision and understanding of what a TreeHab Organization is and How it is created. 

Hours: 09.00-12.00

Course fee

  • 4 000 SEK
  • 3 500 SEK for members of the Swedish Chapter

All prices excluding VAT. The fee includes tea/coffee and lunch.

Course leader

Dr. John Gathright, a 38-year resident of Japan and expert on Japanese Arboriculture (Arborists), will share his unique perspective on both traditional and modern pruning and tree care techniques in Japan. John pioneered modern tree climbing and arborist training in Japan, yet he has also advocated for preserving traditional Japanese Tree Climbing and Pruning Traditions. During this presentation, he will share a unique and captivating peek into arboriculture in Japan.

Plats: Malmö 9 November 2023


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