Mark Chisholm won his 18th straight title at the New Jersey Arborist’s Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) Tree Climbing Competition.
Chisholm competed against 22 participants and finished with an overall score of 184.67, taking first place in four events–the secured footlock, aerial rescue, workclimb, and belayed speed climb–out of five:
• Secured Footlock – Chisholm climbed to a height of 15 meters in 16.41 seconds using only two lines and his upper and lower body strength
• Aerial Rescue – Chisholm ascended a tree in a simulated rescue attempt of a distressed climber that was perched 35 to 40 feet above the ground
• Workclimb – Using a climbing harness and rope to move up and around the tree to ring a bell and perform a simulated work task at five designated stations, Chisholm scored the most points, 72.67.
• Belayed Speed Climb – The Belayed Speed Climb is a timed event that measures the ability of the contestant to climb a tree while using the branches and a fixed rope. The climber is on belay while ascending the set route to the top of the
tree. While belayed, Chisholm scaled a 70 foot tree in 47.59 seconds.
• Throw Line – Chisholm completed the challenge to earn 25 points, by installing throw lines and climbing ropes into set targets within the tree. (30 is the max)
With this win, Chisholm moves onto the ISA’s International Tree Climbing Championship, on July 24 and 25 at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill. He has won the international title on two previous occasions. The event will be held in conjunction with the STIHL Tour des Trees, an annual cycling event to raise funds and awareness for the work of the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE) Fund.
“It is such an honor to be able to participate in the championship series,” said Chisholm. “Competing is a fun and exciting way to raise awareness about tree care. It is both a pleasure and a passion of mine to compete in the tree climbing competition, as well as educate the public on the importance of trees.”
Chisholm, who works as a professional arborist with the family-owned Aspen Tree Expert Company in New Jersey, has been a spokesperson for STIHL Inc. since 2001.