Pete became excited about treehouses at age 5 when his dad built him a treefort behind the garage of their Ridgewood, NJ home. The scope and size of Pete's treehouse fantasies expanded from there, but all of that appeared to run its course by the time he received his driver's license. Pete's treehouse fantasies returned after graduating from college in Colorado with an economics degree. The carpenter and homebuilder within him could not be silenced, and with an eye to become "the treehouse guy", Pete embarked on a unique career path. The 1994 publication of Treehouses; The Art and Craft of Living Out on a Limb, the first book of its kind, has inspired him to write five more books on the subject. His latest book, titled Be in a Treehouse, details the technical aspects of building in the trees along with showcasing treehouses from all over the world.
Pete runs Nelson Treehouse and Supply, a thriving treehouse building and supply company, and Treehouse Point, a treehouse Bed & Breakfast located outside of Seattle. His latest endeavor is hosting Animal Planet’s hit television series, Treehouse Masters.
He lives with his wife, Judy, in Fall City, Washington and has three adult children who he happily works with daily in the trees.
The love of treehouses must be contagious because Judy gets as excited about the arboreal structures as the rest of her family does. When she's not busy running Treehouse Point (with the help of an incredible staff!) Judy loves to cook, play soccer, hike and drink tequila with her friends. She married Pete nearly 27 years ago and is an excellent mom to their three fantastic kids, three dogs, a large cat and a bunch of chickens.
Emily arrived as the Nelson's first born when Pete and Judy were only dreaming about how they might live a life built around treehouses. Having been raised around the goings on at Nelson headquarters, Emily knows the ins and outs of the biz and specializes in reigning Pete in. When Emily isn't running all things related to her treehouse swag and supply business, Be in a Tree, she can often be found chatting loudly with Pete on her parent's front porch with her dog ToastyRoastyMunchyBun.
After being refined at various educational institutions for the past few years, Henry, twin of Charlie, is has officially busted onto the treehouse scene! A key member of the travel team, and a night crew regular, Henry is quickly mastering building in the trees. Tasked with building all of the compostable toilets used in the treehouses, he is known for his signature Hank Tanks. When Henry is not busy swinging a hammer you can probably find him hucking a Frisbee out in the backyard, or sporting a backpack and exploring the great Pacific Northwest.
Born into the world of treehouses, Charlie is Pete Nelson's son and one of the carpenters on our build crew. Growing up in, among, and dangling from trees, Charlie has enjoyed this unique perspective, and thoroughly appreciates the effect treehouses have on the trees and on the people who interact with them. He has accumulated a broad set of treehouse building skills that he looks forward to passing on to future generations of treehouse builders, just as previous craftsmen have done with him. A trained guitar builder, he is also a recent graduate of a boat building program in Seattle.
Daryl was born in New England, then moved west with his family at the age of 10. Growing up with a father who was a contractor, Daryl has been around building all of his life. While attending the University of Washington, Daryl met Pete through a mutual friend. The rest is history; over 200 treehouses in over 6 countries later, Daryl lives and breathes treehouses. He also enjoys outdoor activities like snowboarding, mountain biking, and hiking with his wife Nicola (who he met at treehouse workshop!), and their faithful dog Rusty.
Toby was introduced to woodworking at a young age in his father's shop and has been following that path in various forms ever since. He brings 25 years of building experience to Nelson Treehouse and Supply. He shares a love of gardening and the outdoors with his wife Jennifer, and is kept on his toes by three year old son, Arrow. Toby is often accompanied at work by Neko the dog.
After 20 years of 'ground house' building, Scott has decided to take it to the trees! Born and raised not far from Fall City, WA, his childhood days were spent in the woods constructing forts, rope swings, and hideouts. Now many years later, he is feeling young again at Nelson Treehouse! As the son of an engineer, Scott is always looking for a creative way to find solutions. As a teenager, Scott's wife Robyn helped care for and teach the Nelson kids, so things have truly come full circle. In his spare time, Scott can be found dodging the trees on his skis, or backpacking amongst them with his son, Cedar.
Alex's childhood passions were tree climbing and building forts. His career as a builder began when he was just a teenager working as a framer, finish carpenter, and cabinet builder, punctuated by sabbaticals for travel and college. He became a project manager and then a general contractor, and was looking for more creative, artistic, and adventurous work when he met Pete at a Global Treehouse Symposium. Alex feels fortunate to be surrounded by such passionate people, building inspired retreats in beautiful, vertical environments.
Hailing from tropical Cleveland, Ohio, Patrick only recently found his home in the Pacific Northwest. At his first construction job, building a brew pub in his hometown of Rocky River, Patrick was inspired when he helped transform a tired old building into a work of art. He went on to build skate ramps, and ran his own residential construction business specializing in outdoor living spaces. Patrick was bitten by the treehouse bug after building a treehouse for his nieces and nephews.
Chuck was born in the year of the monkey, which may explain his love of being in the trees. It started at an early age, in the back yard of his Boston childhood home. The love of building has been a preoccupation, and an occupation, for most of his life. Chuck has been a General Contractor in Seattle since the late 1980's, but has worked on projects all over the country and around the world. His delightful partner Teri Fox, convinced Pete to hire Chuck in 2008. Since then, he has been growing younger by the week working with the Nelson crew.
Ian Franks' most memorable childhood moments were spent building forts on his family's wooded lot just 15 miles from Fall City. Following his schooling at Evergreen State in 2003, Ian decided he'd be happiest working with his hands. A heck of a fine wood worker, Ian has done Timber framing, Straw bale and Cobb construction. A team member since 2012, Ian is a valuable member thanks to his keen attention to detail and creative problem solving. When Ian is not building, he is likely to be coaching or playing Rugby, his lifelong love.
After finishing school in North Carolina, Dylan drifted to the west coast where he joined forces with the Nelson crew. Since then he's been roaming the country with a tool belt and an upbeat attitude, living the happy life of a treehouser. Thanks to his previous experiences in technical theater and doing mechanical fabrication, Dylan approaches treehouse building with powerfully creative perspective. Also, he can move things with his mind.
Seanix is originally from Indiana, but now resides in New Jersey with his “lovely and wildly intelligent” wife, Camille and their son, Hagen. Seanix prefers to keep his feet off the ground, by spending most of his time in the trees. He must come down for very important things like spending time with family, playing musical instruments, and nourishing himself, but plans are underway to alleviate (or as he puts it, “to elevate”) this situation.
Devin's first treehouse building experience came from building his own three-story home in the trees where he lived for many years. He thoroughly enjoyed the building process and the happiness his project brought to everyone who saw it. Somehow, it seems really difficult for people to be in a bad mood around a treehouse. Perhaps it is because of the playful mystery associated with treehouse living? Once, Devin spent his time traveling around the world and living in a treehouse of his own. Now he enjoys helping create castles in the sky for others.
John got his first taste of helping someone make their building dreams come true when he was just a kid and he helped his mom remodel their family home. Since then, he's been honing his carpentry skills for the last 25 years as builder, remodeling custom homes. When he was offered a position to work with wood in the trees as part of the Nelson crew-it was a no brainer! John, who has lived in the Seattle area for the past 35 years, finds that building treehouses is the perfect place to mix magic with fine wood working. He still loves using his carpentry skills to make people's dreams come true!
All the way from Massachusetts, Geoff Ayr joined Be in a Tree as the head of the shipping department. With his flowing locks and ever-evolving facial hair, he knows how to have a good time - in and out of the office. A professional mountain biker, Geoff has traveled all over the country competing in some of the gnarliest bike races. Not only that, but he has a knack for playing in the dirt and building the courses he rides! A budding carpenter and eager treehouse truck driver, Geoff has quickly become an integral part of the team.
Adam joined our team after taking a three year (non)vacation building cell phone towers in Hawaii. Needless to say, Adam is not afraid of heights. An expert climber and exclusive member of Brothers Cage (members being John and Adam) he has quickly become a key asset of our travel team. A skilled pool player, Adam enjoys finding the local pool hall near all of our builds to play locals and dazzle them with his mad skills and sultry smile.
Aaron began learning construction after his childhood home burnt to the ground in a wildfire in Santa Barbara, CA. After helping his parents rebuild, he became hooked on unconventional construction methods, and began building and leading workshops in earthen dome building in California and Spain. His passions for building with creativity and whimsey led him to a serendipitous meeting with Pete in 2014, and the rest is history. He still has to pinch himself when he is reminded he builds tree houses for a living.
Charlie Spitzack grew up building tree houses in the woods of Minnesota. During his heyday, there were 5 scattered around his childhood home. The last one fell down on his 18th birthday, and for a long while he wandered the world a bit dazed and confused, until he found Nelson's Tree House & Supply and started building them again.
Travis is a Pennsylvania born guy with over ten years of experience building in the trades, primarily as a finish carpenter. An avid hiker and adventurer, Travis has swung a hammer from one pole to the other - the North Slope of Alaska to Antarctica. He is also a Reefnet Fishing Captain on Lummi Island, Washington - a traditional Puget Sound Fishery for salmon. With a particular interest in small space design in trees, on wheels, or ground, Travis relishes a creative building challenge. He is also a novice juggler.
Nelson Treehouse and Supply officially has a Safety Officer. Joining our team in 2015 with an array of skills and experience, Elaine has quickly become our office superwoman. Handling everything from the phone and email to travel arrangements to safety meetings, she does it all. Outside the office Elaine has traveled to over 20 countries. Her other hobbies include horse showing, dog showing and gardening. Elaine and her husband have four terrific children and one exceptional granddaughter. Our office now feels complete.
The Swiss Family Robinson's Treehouse was Shane's favorite part of Disneyland as a kid and not just because of his name. A jack of many trades both in and out of the construction field, he loves the variety and creativity that comes with building treehouses. A former lawyer who couldn't be constrained to a desk, he also works as a ski guide during the winter in the local Cascade Mountains and in the summer he loves cooling off in the nearby swimming holes.
Garrett is Nelson Treehouse & Supply's and Be in a Tree's swiss army knife. Armed with a camera and a hammer, GP handles a multitude of tasks including video production, photography, marketing, product development, shipping and carpentry. With the spirit animal of a monkey, it's not surprising he ended up in the trees. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, sewing, and jumping off cliffs into water.
Rolf is a swiss born, southern scribed migrant who has set seed in the cedar forests of the NW and is pursuing the crafts of wood. Rolf is happiest spending time with his family, drawing, sawing, milling wood and building. These labors keep him breathing with a smile.
Chica came home with the Nelsons after their year in Spain. She does not speak English, and for the most part rules the house. Chica adores Pete and is happiest when he is home.
Mutt: daughter of a tramp
Occupation: shop dog, family dog
Hobbies: harassing squirrels, running, chasing sticks and balls
Favorite trick: tree climbing
ToastyBun was adopted by Emily in 2012 and has quickly risen in the dog ranks because of her blinding cuteness and piercing puppy eyes. Although her age and breed are unknown, she has the heart of a big dog, the bark of a small dog and likes to give quick "love bites" to visitors of the shop. Neko is her role model and together they roam the shop grounds birdwatching and horse wrangling.
His Christian name is Fernando, after the bull who preferred smelling flowers to fighting. He goes by Nando for short. He enjoys cured pepperoni, saw dust piles, good conversation and chewing on furniture corners. We are hopeful he will grow out of the chewing and into chilling- it is a necessary quality to be on the NT&S dog crew.
Rusty (aka rustofferson, trusty-dusty-rusty, rustafari), was born into the treehouse industry and has been involved in more treehouse builds than most humans could ever hope for. At an early age, he accidentally fell out of a treehouse. He turned out to be fine, but now has a much greater respect for safety. He's the crafty veteran of the treehouse dog crew; he's been there, done that and seen it all.
In Loving Memory Of . . .
"Charlie the Dog" Atkins
Nelson Treehouse sure has thing for Charlies. The newest dog on the block seems happiest when trailing Neko, the dog pack leader, around the shop. Charlie is 10 years young and has a weakness for horse poo. When this lab/husky mix isn't roaming around outside, he can be found nestled at Scott's feet.
It takes a badass cat to be recognized in a crew of dog lovers. Fluffier than life, this cat lives to hunt, roam his kingdom of chickens and lounge in front of heaters. His friends call him by his name, his enemies don't call him anything because they are all dead. He is the most interesting cat in the world.
Victor Shade Nelson
A typical Nelson week would not be complete without a call regarding Vic's whereabouts. She is a wizard with the ball and prefers to take herself on walks.
Huxley is an only child and is spoiled rotten. He loves being the center of attention, and is quite jealous of other dogs (or humans) stealing that spotlight. He even has his own instagram @huxley_el_jefe . He is a 100 pound lap dog that loves nothing more than a good cuddle.