Our Arborists Take On The Tree Climbing Championship

This past month, the Ohio Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (OCISA) hosted their Tree Climbing Championship (TCC), on May 6, at the American Legion Memorial Park in Marysville, Ohio.

The purpose of the TCC is to provide climbers with a place to showcase arboricultural skills, share innovations in tree climbing gear and techniques, exhibit safe tree care practices for the public, and just have a great time outdoors! This year the OCISA also had a kid’s climb available for children to experience climbing like an arborist.

Ahlum & Arbor President, Chris Ahlum, and Sales Arborist, José Fernández, chaired the event and spent months preparing and setting up logistics. We also had four of our crew members competing in the TCC: Brittany Horne, Sam Baltodano, Stephen Burton, and Jacob Vaughn.

What Happens At A Tree Climbing Championship

The TCC consists of five preliminary events where all climbers (men’s and women’s divisions) compete individually. The highest scoring climbers advance to a final Master’s Challenge. The Master’s Challenge tests their overall skill in assessing a tree, installing a climbing line, and working throughout the tree to fulfill various tasks. There is a time limit to this event.

The Main Events

The five preliminary events consist of:

  • Throwline: testing skill in installing a rope in a tree from the ground
  • Aerial Rescue: bringing an injured climber out of a tree safely
  • Belayed Speed Climb: testing how fast a climber can ascend a tree
  • Rope Ascent: testing how fast a climber can go straight up a rope
  • Work Climb: descending through a tree while completing various tasks

The top scoring climbers from each division will go on to represent the Ohio Chapter at the International Tree Climbing Championship in Albuquerque, NM. The community of tree climbing arborists is not all that large. While most of the Ohio TCC competitors this year were residents, the final roster included climbers from Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, and Ontario, Canada.

Our Arborist Team’s Results

From Ahlum & Arbor, Sam scored first place in the speed climb and work climb, Stephen second in throw line, and Brittany third in Aerial Rescue, Speed Climb, and Throwline. We are so proud of all of the competitors and their dedication to learning more and testing their skills. Education and safety are both important to our foundation at Ahlum & Arbor and we can’t wait for the next competition!

TCC is an annual event that is typically rotated between venues in northern, central, and southern Ohio.  Check out the Ohio Chapter ISA website for more arboricultural events taking place!