Professional tree climbing competition held as part of regional arboriculture conference

March 17, 2016

For Immediate Release
March 17, 2016

For information, contact:
Amanda Shell Jennings
Moxley Carmichael


Nearly 40 professional climbers will compete in a regional tree climbing competition at Lakeshore Park on Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20. The event is held in conjunction with the annual conference of the Southern Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) at the Knoxville Convention Center on March 19-22.

The majority of the competitors are from eight southern states and Puerto Rico, with several climbers joining the competition from as far away as the United Kingdom. Spectators are welcome this weekend at the free event.

Climbers will compete in five qualifying events Saturday:

  • Aerial rescue, testing the ability to rescue an injured climber from a tree
  • Secured footlock climb, testing vertical ascent skills
  • Belayed speed climb, timed event to traverse predetermined route
  • Work climb, testing agility and speed in moving with rope and harness
  • Throw line, testing ability to accurately place a climbing line

The challenges are designed to test skills used by working arborists. Top scorers in the male and female qualifying rounds will advance to Sunday for the chance to earn the title of Southern Chapter champion and eligibility to compete in the international competition in Fort Worth, Texas, on August 13-17. The champion will be named at the opening reception at the Knoxville Convention Center exhibit hall on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Approximately 600 arboriculture enthusiasts will be at the Convention Center for educational events, keynote speakers, industry exhibitions and certification tests. The trade show features more than 70 exhibitors offering products and services related to research and scientific professional tree care and cutting edge-equipment to use in our profession.

The Knoxville Convention Center will host the ISA International Annual Conference in 2019.