Tree sitting

Protester climbing to a tree sit 35m high in Upper Florentine Valley, in Tasmania, Australia.

Tree sitting is a form of environmentalist civil disobedience in which a protester sits in a tree, usually on a small platform built for the purpose, to protect it from being cut down (speculating that loggers will not endanger human lives by cutting an occupied tree). Supporters usually provide the tree sitters with food and other supplies.

Tree sitting is often used as a stalling tactic, to prevent the cutting of trees while lawyers fight in the courts to secure the long-term victories.

Tree-sitting was once a children's pastime. In the early 1930s, when endurance contests raged across the U.S., it became a child's contest for kids to climb into their backyard trees and, serviced by siblings and local businesses, attempt to win prizes for the longest sit.[1]


Tree-sitters in trees claimed by Pacific Lumber in Humboldt County have been subject to forced removal by hired extractors. The practice started with a single extractor in the late 1990s but in 2003 Pacific Lumber hired teams of climbers to remove dozens of tree-sitters, particularly in the Freshwater area East of Eureka, California.

Most of the extractions in Northern California are done under the leadership of Eric Schatz of Schatz Tree Service, a well known professional arborist.[2]

List of tree sits

The tree-sitters' camp in Berkeley, California protesting the planned removal of coastal live oaks as of 2008-07-08. The protesters were in the trees from 2006-12-02 to 2008-09-09, making it the longest running urban tree-sit in history.[3][4]

Some of the more notable tree sittings include:

Tree villages

A view of the Fall Creek village showing aerial walkway

A tree village is an extension of the tree sitting protest, involving several tree houses. The "Fern Gully" in Northern California lasted over 20 years, ending in 2008 with agreement not to fell the stand of old growth redwood trees.[33]

Tree houses

In the United Kingdom tree houses have sometimes been occupied for a year or longer. One treehouse, BattleStar Galactica at the Manchester International Airport, held 12 people.[34] Such tree houses often have lock-on points for protesters to chain themselves to during evictions. Such tree houses have been used at Newbury bypass, Crystal Palace[35] and Epsom.[36]

See also


  1. Chapot, Hank (26 June 2008). "Tree-Sitting, Since 1930". The Berkeley Daily Planet.
  2. Walters, Heidi (20 April 2006). "Eric Schatz: Tree-trimmer? Monster? Gentleman? Fall guy?". North Coast Journal. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  3. 1 2 Trott, Ashley (19 June 2008). "Tree-Sitters' Supplies Removed From Oaks by University-Hired Arborists". The Daily Californian. Berkeley, California: Independent Berkeley Students Publishing Company, Inc. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  4. 1 2 Taylor, Matthew (27 November 2007). "Reader Report: Grandmothers Break Oak Grove Siege". The Berkeley Daily Planet. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  5. Copyright NZ Native Forests Restoration Trust. "NZ Native Forests Restoration Trust :: Our history". Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  6. 1 2 Fountain, Henry (June 18, 2006). "Rising Above the Environmental Debate".
  8. Rampton, Sheldon (2000-08-12). "When Helicopters Attack: A Near Accident Leads To Coverup" (PDF). Center for Media and Democracy: Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  9. Archived May 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "A new fight for old growth". Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  11. Archived February 17, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. Still Wild Still Threatened – Styx Valley (2011)
  13. Greenpeace – Styx Valley Global Rescue Station (2011)
  14. "Perth Independent Media Centre". 2009-09-10. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  15. "Perth Independent Media Centre". Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  16. "Plans for homes next to Worthing's Titnore Woods voted down". BBC News. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  17. Bulwa, Demian (4 December 2006). "Tree-sitters act to save oaks at stadium site". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  18. Jerome. "Perth Independent Media Centre". Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  19. "Earth First! Humboldt". Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  20. "West Virginia Tree Sitters Halt Mountaintop Removal Blasting". Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  21. "Treesit stopping blasts in West Virginia". Demotix. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  22. Suggs, Charles. "Treesitters descend, threatened with chainsaw, $50,000 bail". Climate Ground Zero. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  23. "Camp Florentine: About Camp". Still Wild Still Threatened. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  24. Guttata, Clem. "Tree Sit Halts the Blasting on Coal River Mountain (YES, AGAIN)". West Virginia Blue. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  25. Lannom, Andrea. "Marfork Coal Co. Granted Permanent Injunction". WBOY Channel 12. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  26. "MARFORK COAL COMPANY, Plaintiff, v. CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:10-cv-00069 DAVID AARON SMITH, et al., Defendant" (PDF). In The United States District Court For The Southern District Of West Virginia Beckley Division. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  27. Moore, Catherine. "'Tree-sitters' take up residence to fight strip mining". The Register Herald. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  28. "Marfork Coal sues tree-sitters over state protest". The Charleston Gazette. Associated Press. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  29. Miranda Gibson,
  30. "Australian tree-sitter ends 15-month protest after bushfire". BBC News. 2013-03-07. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  31. "Canadian Protesters Stopped an Oil Company from Drilling on Burnaby Mountain—for Now". Vice Canada. December 2, 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-19.
  32. "Arrest of Jakub Markiewicz, tree defender on Burnaby Mountain (20 Nov 2014)". Mavaddat Javid. Nov 24, 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-19.
  33. Nieves, Evelyn (23 September 2008). "Last tree-sitters come down from Calif. redwoods". USA Today. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  34. "Life on the Battle Star (Do or Die)". Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  35. Wiedel, Janine. "Eco Warriors". Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  36. Blamires, Diana (27 August 1998). "Judge allows eco-warrior, 11, to carry on living in protesters' tree house". The Independent. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
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