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ISA Hosts International Tree Climbing Competition
Congratulations Champions James Kilpatrick and Chrissy Spence
Photo: David James, courtesy of ISA


James Kilpatrick and Chrissy Spence, both from the New Zealand Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, took home the title of champion in their respective divisions at the International Tree Climbing Championships in San Antonio earlier this month.
Photo: David James, courtesy of International Society of Arboriculture

More than 60 of the world's best male and female professional tree climbers representing 18 countries competed for the title of world champion at the International Tree Climbing Championships (ITCC) on April 2 and 3 at Brackenridge Park in San Antonio.

After placing highly in Aerial Rescue, Secured Footlock, and Work Climb, James Kilpatrick of New Zealand took home the championship in the men's division.

Chrissy Spence of New Zealand won the Masters' Challenge in the women's division following her first-place finish in the Work Climb and second place in Aerial Rescue. This is her fourth title, making her the first female 4x champion.

Both Kilpatrick and Spence were the 2015 Asia-Pacific Champions going into the competition.

Full results and more information are available at

The event - organized by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and presented by The Davey Tree Expert Company - showcases arborists in action and helps educate the community about professional tree work. The annual competition provides an educational opportunity for tree climbing arborists to demonstrate and learn new climbing techniques, interact with other competitors, and provide public exposure for the profession. Rules for the competition follow industry safety standards and help train climbers to work more safely when performing professional tree work.

"Though the tree climbing championship has a competitive spirit, it is an educational event that focuses on safety," says Jim Skiera, executive director of ISA. This is the 40th Anniversary of the ITCC, which began in 1976. "The competition attracts the best of the best from around the world and people are drawn to the event to watch and learn. Those who have been coming for years call it 'edutainment,' learning while having a good time with family and friends."

A simultaneous Arbor Fair and Expo provided additional opportunities for the public to learn about the benefits of trees through educational display and interactive activities for children and adults. It is important for the public to understand that safe proper tree care requires knowledge, training, and expertise, which is why most tree care tasks should only be performed by professionals.

"ISA provides training and education on safe work practices for tree care providers; especially for those working aloft," adds Skiera. "The ITCC along with the Arbor Fair helps provide the public with a better understanding of the skills it takes to properly climb and care for trees."

For more information about ISA, visit

Association news and events are listed at To view the calendar of upcoming events, visit the "Event Search Center" on

If your association has news and/or events that you would like featured on, please send your information via email to

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May 19, 2019, 12:24 am PDT

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