Arboriculture students take to the trees for Fleming’s annual Tree Climbing Competition

Peterborough ON – (October 28, 2021) – Students in the Arboriculture Co-op program put their skills to the test in Fleming’s annual Tree Climbing Competition on September 17.

Students worked hard to develop their skills and prepare for the event and their future careers. Although the event had to be postponed a couple of times due to pandemic restrictions, the participants were ready. They competed in five categories, listed below, and through support from the local community as well as the arboriculture industry, prizes were awarded to the participants, with grand prizes for men’s and women’s division champions Ashley Solomon and Robert Hill.

Winners of Fleming’s Tree Climbing Competition Ashley Solomon and Robert Hill

In a normal year, winners would have the chance to compete at the Ontario Tree Climbing Championship. Unfortunately, due to Covid measures, OTCC won’t be taking place this year. 

“This year we worked with a very light crew of staff and student volunteers to meet COVID-19 restrictions, but the students came together and showed everyone what it means to be a professional in the industry. Hats off to all the great climbers and congratulations to Ashley and Robert,” said Brian Saxon, Professor, School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences. 

A special thank you to this year’s sponsors: Lindsay Marks Work Warehouse; Whites of Lindsay; TreeScape Certified Arborists; Frost Campus Bookstore; Petzl – Ian Neve; Vermeer Canada – Port Perry; Head to Toe Outfitter; Logan Tree Experts; Coulson Bros. Arboriculture; Colonial Tree Service; Wyoming Tree Service; Maple Leaf Ropes; Universal Field Supplies; Jordan Repairs; Designs By Devries – Peter Devries; BC Plant Health Care; Stihl Canada; TreeStuff; Davey Tree Expert Co. of Canada; Shepherds Utility Equipment and Sales; Ethic Tree Creations; International Society of Arboriculture Ontario; Lakeside Tree Experts.  

Tree Climbing Competition categories:

Tree Rescue Event
A climber must ascend a tree and rescue a geared-up 200 lbs “dummy in distress”. The student rescuer must adhere to a set protocol based on a specified emergency. This is a time-based event, and points are awarded according to the protocol and emergency.

Throw Line Event
This event is timed and tests the contestant’s ability to accurately place a throw and climbing line into the tree at heights between 12 and 20 metres.

Belayed Speed Climb Event
Each contestant is timed climbing up a tree from the ground to a height of approximately 15 metres where they ring the finishing bell.

Ascent Event
Students are required to tie and test their SRS system on the ground prior to ascent. They are then timed to ascend to a height of 30 feet to ring the bell.

Work Climb Event
This event tests the contestant’s ability to efficiently move about in tree to perform various tasks. At each station, the contestant rings a bell. Bonus and penalty points are gained based on safety, performance and competence.