Tree sitting is often used as a stalling tactic, to prevent the cutting of trees while lawyers fight in the courts to secure the long-term victories.
Tree-sitting was once a children's pastime. In the early 1930s, when endurance contests raged across the U.S., it became a child's contest for kids to climb into their backyard trees and, serviced by siblings and local businesses, attempt to win prizes for the longest sit.
Tree-sitters in trees claimed by Pacific Lumber in Humboldt County have been subject to forced removal by hired extractors. The practice started with a single extractor in the late 1990s but in 2003 Pacific Lumber hired teams of climbers to remove dozens of tree-sitters, particularly in the Freshwater area East of Eureka, California.
Some of the more notable tree sittings include:
A tree village is an extension of the tree sitting protest, involving several tree houses. The "Fern Gully" in Northern California lasted over 20 years, ending in 2008 with agreement not to fell the stand of old growth redwood trees.
In the United Kingdom tree houses have sometimes been occupied for a year or longer. One treehouse, BattleStar Galactica at the Manchester International Airport, held 12 people. Such tree houses often have lock-on points for protesters to chain themselves to during evictions. Such tree houses have been used at Newbury bypass, Crystal Palace and Epsom.