Anthony Alvarez, the Baby Gorilla himself, is a Maine native. He has been a tree climber since childhood and remembers climbing tall white pine trees as a little kid with no fear, sometimes “borrowing” his father’s hammer and large spikes when he could not reach the lowest branch.
After leaving his hometown near Bangor, Maine, Anthony attended the Rochester Institute of Technology in Upstate New York to study Mechanical Engineering. The years of math and physics have been indispensable towards his career in tree service. Anthony apprenticed under a couple of different tree climbers and worked in tree service for two years after college before starting his own tree service company in 2010. After giving it a lot of thought, he named it Baby Gorilla Tree Service.
The reason for this weird name is that Anthony wanted to stand out in Rochester, NY and now in Taos and Santa Fe, NM as a creative tree sculptor amidst a phonebook full of tree services with names like Al’s or Bill’s Tree Service. The name was carefully crafted to be both memorable and revealing. Adult gorillas do not climb trees. They instinctually fear heights, somehow knowing that such a large animal falling out of a tree might injure or kill itself. Baby gorillas, on the other hand, are fearless and explore the world around them by climbing on almost anything. They climb on their families’ backs and in trees for play and to escape danger. Anthony often says that if he ever grows up he doesn’t plan on climbing trees with chainsaws for a living. He claims to be acrophobic to this day, although admits the fear has subsided gradually over the years of being a tree climber.
Anthony moved to Taos, New Mexico in the winter of 2011 to help his family care for his beloved Grammie who was suffering from dementia. It was a labour of love, and he soon became enchanted with Taos, NM, discovering its beauty with his Grammie in what would be her final years. Though there aren’t as many trees that need trimming in Taos compared to Rochester, NY, Anthony has decided to grow some roots in Northern New Mexico. He currently splits time between Santa Fe and Taos. This summer, Anthony and his Queen Lynn welcomed a healthy baby girl into the world. Her name is Seda, and she is a Baby Gorilla, too.