Sami Baker clearly remembers driving past a crew of arborists in Christchurch years ago who were dangling from trees holding chainsaws and thinking ‘that would be a dream job’.
Fast forward several years, and the 26 year-old is now the one dangling from great heights – most recently above an earthquake-ravaged SH2 near Kaikoura.
“We got called in to abseil down the cliff faces and remove all the trees that were in danger of coming down,” she explains. “It was a great learning curve but a bit scary because the earthquake had pretty much destroyed the road. You really had to trust your training and the crew members around you.”
Sami is now half way through her three-year apprenticeship with Christchurch and Wellington-based arborist company Treetech. She is learning practical skills on the job while also studying towards her Level 4 Certificate in Arboriculture with Primary ITO.