On Saturday April 24th, students in the Arboriculture & Community Forestry program held the 4th Annual UMass Student Tree Climbing Competition in Kendrick Park in Amherst. This year, the competition coincided with Arbor Day festivities in Amherst, and many residents stopped by to see the students compete. The competition consists of four events: two speed climbs, a rope throw for accuracy, and a work climb in which competitors move around the tree to ring bells hung on branches with their handsaw, simulating a typical pruning situation. Eliot Beals and Vicki Pavao, both juniors in the program, won the men's and women's competition, respectively. Thirteen students competed, and several alumni returned to help judge and time the events. Alumni also donated $1,200 worth of prizes. "This was a great competition, a beautiful day, and great fun for everyone involved," said Brian Kane, faculty advisor for the competition.
Video of past competitions can be found at http://youtube.com/cladrastis.