Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
Saturday, October 2, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT

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Redwood Shelter, Cameron Park 
2300 Cameron Park Road
Waco, TX 76708

Driving Directions 


Kirsten Schneider 
Texas Chapter International Society of Arboriculture 
(512) 964-9573 

Refund Policy: No refunds will be made after September 24, 2021. Refunds before that will be charged a $25 processing fee.



Sponsors and Exhibitors





Come to Waco and see if you have what it takes
to be the next Texas Tree Climbing Champion!

Note: All slots are full and registration is closed. If you would like to be put on a wait list, please email Kirsten Schneider at kirsten.schneider@austintexas.gov

This year the competition will be held at the Redwood Shelter in Cameron Park, 2300 Cameron Park Road, Waco Texas. Gear check will be September 30th and the competition will be October 1 & 2, 2021.

The competition aims to simulate working conditions of arborists in the field. Male and female competitors perform five different events during preliminary rounds. Each event tests a competitor’s ability to professionally, and safely maneuver in a tree while performing work-related tree-care tasks in a timely manner.

Tree climbing competitions under ISA rules are held in countries around the world.

The winners of the 2021 Texas competition will qualify to represent the Texas Chapter in the 2022 International Tree Climbing Competition. 

Overview of preliminary events:

The Ascent event tests the competitor’s ability to efficiently and safely use their selected and approved ascent system. The event assesses the competitor’s efficiency in attaching the ascent system to the ascent line(s), ascending to the bell, and transferring into a descent system. The actual descent is not part of the event. Points are earned for speed as well as for meeting predetermined safety objectives. Ascent Event Rules and the Ascent Event Visual Guide

The Throwline is a timed event that tests the competitor’s ability to accurately place a throwline and/or climbing line in a tree. Competitors attempt to toss a throwline or climbing line through two of eight targets set in trees. Targets vary in difficulty and number of points earned. Each competitor is allowed unlimited throws within 6 minutes. Highest cumulative points total wins.

The Aerial Rescue event is a timed event that tests the competitor’s ability to climb to and safely lower a 160 pound climber who is unable to descend without assistance. Competitors shall perform a risk assessment, a pre-climb assessment, and an onsite casualty assessment, and should use all relevant techniques to ensure that the rescue process does not exacerbate the pre-decided injury. Points are allocated for performance throughout the event with highest points total winning the event. See a video here.

The Work Climb tests the competitor’s ability to move about the tree using a climbing system. Each competitor starts from a staging area in the tree and is required to visit five work stations throughout the tree, performing a specified task at each station. Competitors earn objective points for successfully completing the task at each station and ringing the bell (or sounding the horn) with either a handsaw, pole pruner, or hand, as indicated. At certain stations, a competitor can earn points for completing the additional tasks. Competitors can also lose points for failing to properly complete certain other tasks. Competitors earn subjective points based on safety, control, style, poise, and creativity at the discretion of the judges. Finally, a competitor can be penalized for unsafe or uncontrolled acts at the discretion of the Event Head Judge that could result in disqualification. The time limit for this event is 5 minutes. See a video here.

The Speed Climb tests the competitor’s ability to climb a predetermined route from the ground to 50 feet up a tree with a belayed climbing system for safety. The event is timed, and the competitor who reaches and rings the final bell of the course, in the least amount of time wins.

Final: The Masters’ Challenge is the final round of the competition. The top men and top women finishers from the preliminary events advance to the Masters’ Challenge to compete for the title. The Masters’ Challenge is designed to judge the competitors’ overall productivity and skill. Competitors are judged and scored on their knowledge and their ability to demonstrate mastery of different climbing techniques, use of equipment, poise in the tree, and safe working practice.

This years competition:

Mandatory gear inspection will be held on Thursday evening, September 30th, at 5:00 pm at the Waco Convention Center.  Any competitor who is unable to arrive by 5:00 pm should contact Kirsten Schneider at 512.964.9573 to request an accommodation.

All other preliminary and final events will be held at the Redwood Shelter in Cameron Park, on Friday and Saturday respectively. You are to arrive for the event walk through at the Redwood Shelter on Friday, October 1st at 7:30 a.m. sharp. If you are experiencing difficulty arriving to roll call on time, please call Markus Smith 512-467-8733. If you are not present for roll call, you will be disqualified and your entry fee forfeited. If you are not present with your rotation group when your name is called at any individual event, you will be disqualified from that event. All preliminary events are to conclude by the end of the day on Friday, October 1st, weather permitting. The Master’s Challenge will be held on Saturday, October 2. These events will be open to the public, so please feel free to bring family and friends!

Be sure to sign the insurance acknowledgement form and the release form. You may not compete in the Texas Chapter Competition unless we have the insurance acknowledgement and the release form signed by you. You will be asked to sign these documents upon registration on the day of preliminaries, or you may also bring them with you already signed.

You will also find a blank gear inspection form, a completed example gear inspection form (including a brief understanding of the gear inspection process), as well as an electronic copy of the most recent Rule Book on the ISAT Tree Climbing Championship web page. In order to streamline the gear inspection process, we ask that you please fill out the gear check form before you arrive on September 30th. If you have questions, help will be on site to assist.

All forms and instructions can be found on the 2021 Texas Tree Climbing Competition Homepage here: Texas Tree Climbing Championship | ISA Texas Chapter

Contact Markus Smith, Chair at markusloud@gmail.com or 512.467.8733
or Jackson McIntosh, Head Judge at mcintosh8@hotmail.com or 512.740.0541

for more information

See you in Waco!