Arborists go out on a limb to do their jobs, sometimes climbing 50 feet or more to trim branches.
On Sept. 9, more than a dozen climbers showed their skills at Murray Park (south of Salt Lake City) during the annual Utah Tree Climbing Championships, hosted by the state’s chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Equipped with ropes and harnesses, arborists competed in five events to determine who would advance to represent Utah in worldwide competition next August in Honolulu, Hawaii.
“I used to fight wildfires,” says Salt Lake City resident Ben Folsom, who now works for ArborCare. “This is more dangerous.”
The aerial rescue is the most difficult of the five events, says Mike Marett, Sandy City arborist and president of the Utah Community Forest Council, which formed Utah’s International Society of Arboriculture chapter in 1999.
“The climber that does well here has a good chance of winning the whole thing,” Marett says.
Good tree climbers always emphasize safety, but also enjoy the adrenaline their job brings.
“The element of risk is part of the excitement, part of what makes it fun,” student climber Adam Jensen said.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune