"My uncle's 1970 Chevy C-10 pickup had a 3-on-the-tree (column); Reverse was pull back and up, 1st was straight down from reverse, 2nd was push forward and up, and 3rd was straight down from 2nd".
Drifter--this was the standard 3 speed pattern on cars for years. The column shift mimicked the floor shift which had reverse on the top left, first on the bottom left, second on the top right and high on the bottom right. This pattern transfered to the 3 speed column set up you described. This was the standard "3 on the tree" pattern The last car that I drove that had this set-up was a 1977 Chevelle I don't think any domestic car had the "3 on the tree" after 1977. I believe that the lighter duty half ton trucks may have carried this into the early 1980s.
There was a period in the 1920s when the Dodge, before it was bought by Chrysler, had a different shift pattern. From my mother's description, third gear (or high) was on the top right. The reason was that when one was traveling on the highway, the gearshift was up and out of the way of the passenger. However, by the 1930s, the pattern was standardized as I described above.