The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) recently wrote a letter to the National Geographic Channel requesting the removal of their “Big Bad Wood” program, due to its “dangerous and unprofessional depiction of commercial tree care operations.”
TCIA and ISA express concern that “Big Bad Wood” glorifies unsafe, unprofessional conduct that would put lives at risk if used in the field.
“Tree care is one of the five most hazardous professions in the country, according to independent research,” the letter says. “Fatalities are all too common, and serious injuries occur daily. To advance safety, respected arborists are hard at work with associations, professional societies, certification organizations, and government at all levels to reduce the accident and fatality rates among workers in the trees. Too many scenes on “Big Bad Wood” undermine those efforts and defame thousands of professional arborists in the U.S.”
“While there are depictions of skilled professional tree services, the violations depicted on your program are numerous and egregious,” the letter continued. “They are not small, technical violations, but life-threatening violations of state, federal and industry professional standards and safety practices.”
TCIA and ISA maintain that professional tree care, performed safely, can be equally compelling to the “Big Bad Wood” audience.
“[TCIA and ISA] stand ready to assist [the National Geographic Channel] in creating a show that attracts ratings and showcases the skills and safety practices that members of our industry employ in the field every day,” the letter says.