Gaithersburg, MD—SavATree tree ascension specialists Antonio Turcios, Maximo Merino, and Jose P. Bonilla spent Saturday racing through contests in Montgomery County in Gaithersburg, Maryland. They were competitors in the International Tree Climbing Championship (ITCC), a series of arbor contests that have been held since the 1970s.
The games include: a work climb where contestants must climb to five stations in a tree, completing a task to advance to the next level; an aerial rescue where contestants must reach and safely lower an injured climber (a life-sized mannequin); a throwline, which tests the contestants ability to place lines in a tree at heights ranging from forty to sixty feet; a belayed speed climb of sixty feet; and a secured footlock which gauges the ability to perform a forty foot vertical. Nick Bomber, Operations Manager for the SavATree Springfield Branch in Fairfax County in Massachusetts, was actually one of the judges for the throwline event.
The ITCC was conceptualized by Dick Alvarez in 1975, who ran these events in his company, Arbor Tree Surgery, to maintain the classic skills that would prepare a climber to complete an aerial rescue with only a rope. The ITCC does more than test these skills, however, the ITCC have brought the manufacturers and those who use their products together, leading to a proliferation of inventions and tools designed specifically for tree care. The safety standards throughout the world have benefited from these developments as well as enjoying an increased amount of respect for climbers and their role in the community. These tools and safety standards allow arborists to better care for and maintain the environment.
After placing thirteenth in the competition, Antonio Turcios said, “This is probably one of the most fun events to go to. We get to meet people from all over who have the same interests as we do, and there is definitely a sense of camaraderie. You never know what innovations could come as a result of this. Sometimes I think people forget that to prune and care for trees, you have to be able to actually get up into the tree – this competition reminds us how important that ability is.”
About Us: SavATree is the green choice for tree care and lawn service. The company is an Environmental Protection Agency Performance Track Partner, an Audubon International Partner for the Environment and accredited by the Tree Care Industry Association. Certified arborists provide expert analysis, recommendations, and environmentally sensible services to help customers maximize the health, beauty, safety and value of their landscapes. Services include tree pruning, , insect control treatments, , organic tree and lawn care, hybrid program options and more. SavATree is headquartered in Westchester NY with 19 branch offices servicing homeowners, businesses, institutions and historic properties in CT, DC, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PA and VA. For more information, please .
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