Thursday, 15 November 2018

Arborists gather in Wichita for weekend competition

Arborists gather in Wichita for weekend competition
02 Sep


When you think of Wichita, not everyone thinks of tree climbing. But one group of people says you should.

“Most of these folks here are people who climb on the daily. They’re 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.”

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.

“Most of these guys I met in other towns and I’m friends with most of them so when they come here it’s just like I get to show everybody and they all freaking love Wichita,” 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’s more of a community.

“We know that you can get into real trouble, real quick at any moment. So, you’re kind of living on the edge all the time and you have a mutual respect for each other because of that,” Brock said.

The event is bringing in visitors from all over, like Tom Dunlap from Minnesota.

“The competition is pretty funny because as you watch, the competitors who are competing for a place will shout out help to their friends. It’s a really friendly competition, which is very different,” Dunlap said.

Now the competitors are hoping more people will become interested in the unique sport.

“You will see what arborists do on a daily and look at it in a different light. What you’re gonna see here is a high level of professionalism. These climbers are looking to demonstrate our work in the best way possible,” 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.



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