This route is hard to get off the ground without using the tree. Once you get past the fist 10 ft, the route is a 5.6-5.7. But with the polished start of this route, I would call the start a 5.9 for sure.
I agree that this climb is not easy to get on at all. I lead Roo dog and used top rope on this one. I think i started from Roo Dog also. I think it needs a higher grade just for the entrance. But it is a nice climb to put a beginner on, granted they are small enough to be lifted ;-)