The North American Tree Climbing Championship (NATCC), competitors come from throughout the continent wide competitive championship event. The Masters’ Challenge was held on Sunday at Branch Brook Park, an Olmsted historic Park in Newark, New Jersey.
This annual event provides a competitive but educational opportunity for working arborists in North America to demonstrate and exchange new climbing techniques and equipment, as well as, safe work practices. The event was sponsor by Husqvarna, a power tool company developed and manufactured in Sweden since 1872.
An arborist by definition is an individual who is trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining individual trees. An arborist, or (less commonly) arboriculturist, is a professional in the practice of arboriculture, which is the cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants. An informal term is ‘Tree surgeon”. Arborists generally focus on the health and safety of individual plants and trees, rather than managing forests or harvesting wood.
The competition tests a climber’s skill in swiftly, strategically and safely scaling a tree while performing an arborist’s tasks. The contestants are judges on speed, agility, strength, safety and rescue techniques. For speed the participants climb the tress, and have top make contact on the various markets in the trees, demarcated by orange ties.
The Climbing competition is rotated throughout the member’s organization in North America. New Jersey arborists was the hosting state chosen for this years competition, Branch Brook park was chosen for its wide tree diversity and large size trees. As recounted by Sonia Garth, of International Tree Climbing Championship, (ITCC), the sponsored organization, “Branch Brook Park was selected because of the nice trees and they thought it would be good to bring some recognition of the wonderful work the Branch Brook Park Alliance is doping to revitalize the park”. The arborist planted a new tree there to replace an old oak that was lost during Hurricane Sandy”.
The winners of the NATCC in the men’s and women’s categories were Cormac Nagan of Durham, NC and Marilou Dussault of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. These winners will meet up with the winners from Asia (Auckland, New Zealand), and Europe (Strandbad, Thun, Switzerland) competition, at The International World Championship held prior to the Annual Conference, to be held in August in Toronto Canada. Newark’s Parks are valuable assets to the city and its surrounding communities, many time we forget it’s beauty because we are too close, we can’t see the forest for the trees. The arborist remind us of the gem we possess in Branch Brook Park.