Oregon arborists Brian French and Will Koomjian started the project in February 2007, with the twin goals of climbing the giants and updating state and national big-tree registries. O'Connor has been with the team since the project's inception, and videographer John Wallis joined in August 2007 to help document the effort. Team members use non-invasive climbing methods and equipment, and work to raise awareness about the importance of trees to our ecosystems.
French's fascination with trees is lifelong; at the age of 22, he became one of the country's youngest certified arborists. "It's life-changing, to climb a tree," he says. "When you get someone up into a tree, in contact with it, people aren't the same afterwards."