Mark Chisholm, one of the top tree care experts in the country and a Stihl Inc. spokesperson earned a first place finish at the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) New Jersey Chapter Tree Climbing Competition. The win earns him a spot in Toronto in August at this year’s ISA International Tree Climbing Championship, a competition he has won three times before.
“Being able to combine my passion with my career is what has motivated me from the start,” said Chisholm. “I’m honored to be able to keep competing in tree climbing competitions, and I plan to keep coming back to help educate about the importance of trees and continuing to raise awareness about tree care.”
Chisholm bested 15 participants and finished with an overall score of 180.33, taking first place in the belayed speed climb, secured footlock, throw line, work climb and aerial rescue events. Highlights of his performance in the various disciplines include:
Belayed Speed Climb – It took Chisholm 15.47 seconds to climb a tree using only the branches and a fixed rope.
Secured Footlock – Chisholm then climbed to a height of 15 meters in 15.99 seconds using only two lines and his body strength.
Throw Line – Chisholm earned 26 points, and tied for first in this event, by installing throw lines and climbing ropes into set targets within a tree.
Work Climb – Chisholm held on to the lead after scoring 71 points while 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.
Aerial Rescue – Chisholm earned 43 points in the simulated rescue attempt of a distressed climber that was perched 35 feet above the ground.
Master’s Challenge – Chisholm held on to the top spot in the master’s challenge and took home his 20th title.
A third-generation arborist, Chisholm works with his father, mother and brother at their family-owned Aspen Tree Expert Company in Jackson, N.J. He has been a spokesperson for Stihl Inc. since 2001.