WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -
When you think of Wichita, not everyone thinks of tree climbing. But one group of people says you should.
‚ÄúMost of these folks here are people who climb on the daily. They‚Äôre gonna be then guys that are very hands on. Out there every day, pruning trees to mitigate risk, dead branches and removing big trees, NAOM event organizer, Chris Coates said.‚ÄĚ
This weekend, Wichita will be host to some of the world’s best arborists, specialists who care for trees.¬† They’ll be competing in a series of event to show off their tree climbing skills.¬† Wichita’s own Bryan Brock won the competition last year.
‚ÄúMost of these guys I met in other towns and I‚Äôm friends with most of them so when they come here it‚Äôs just like I get to show everybody and they all freaking love Wichita,‚ÄĚ Brock said.
¬†40 competitors signed up for the event and traveled from all across the world to Wichita. While they said it is a competition, it‚Äôs more of a community.
‚ÄúWe know that you can get into real trouble, real quick at any moment. So, you‚Äôre kind of living on the edge all the time and you have a mutual respect for each other because of that,‚ÄĚ Brock said.
The event is bringing in visitors from all over, like Tom Dunlap from Minnesota.
‚ÄúThe competition is pretty funny because as you watch, the competitors who are competing for a place will shout out help to their friends. It‚Äôs a really friendly competition, which is very different,‚ÄĚ Dunlap said.
Now the competitors are hoping more people will become interested in the unique sport.
‚ÄúYou will see what arborists do on a daily and look at it in a different light. What you‚Äôre gonna see here is a high level of professionalism. These climbers are looking to demonstrate our work in the best way possible,‚ÄĚ Coates said.
The competition is being held at Oak Park. During the three day event, 11th street will be closed to through traffic from Oak Park Drive to Forest.