Afraid of heights? Forget being a tree topper. What are the qualifications for such a high profile job? Insanity would probably help. Experience in the circus maybe? Here's the job.
Photo courtesy Washington State Digital Archives, AR-07809001-ph003696, n.d.
Note the guy sitting on top of the tall spar tree to the left of the railroad engine. He's way up there, maybe 100' or more. Teamed with a steam donkey and cable rigging fastened on top of the spar, you've got the ideal set up for efficiently yarding and loading logs on railcars - also known as high lead logging. Not only does a tree topper need to climb the tree, cut off the top and attached rigging, he has to also limb the tree on the way up of all branches using his trusty axe.
Photo courtesy Washington State Digital Archives
I trust this job payed bonus wages. An extra $0.10 an hour?
One question: Once you've topped and limbed a spar tree, how long could it be used before it became dangerous and subject to breakage? The amount of weight being hoisted and stress on the now dead tree had to be huge.