IAA Internship Stories: Chase Oaster

December 1, 2015

How many adults can say they spent their summer climbing and hanging from trees? Chase Oaster certainly can. Oaster, a Landscape Management student at the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA), interned this summer with Bartlett Tree Experts, where he was involved in tree removal, pruning, and spraying. He learned many new skills but climbing was his favorite part of the job.

When Oaster wasn’t dodging falling bees’ nests, he spent much of his time on tree pruning and removal; tasks that call for extreme safety awareness. Any wrong move or miscalculation during tree removal can result in serious injury or even death, according to Oaster, who received in-depth safety training from Bartlett. Safety is at the core of all tree work and protective gear is worn at all times during each operation: safety glasses, hard hats, gloves, and chaps.

Oaster was largely involved in tree pruning, which meant that in addition to his regular safety gear, he strapped on a safety harness and grabbed a chainsaw before climbing a tree. Oaster stated that even though it was dangerous, pruning was fun and rewarding. In addition to safety equipment, Oaster stressed the importance of clear communication among crew members. If someone was in the wrong place at the wrong time, injury could occur.

In addition to climbing and safety procedures, Oaster learned to operate cranes and manage the crew. The internship taught him the basics of tree service and helped solidify his desire to pursue a career in that industry. Throughout his internship, Oaster gained extremely valuable knowledge and made great connections that will help him climb the management tree as he moves forward in his career. With the great experiences and knowledge gained, Oaster said his favorite part of the internship was looking back at a finished product with pride.