Southern Oregon arborists climb their way to the top

As a part of the Southern Oregon Regional Tree Climbing Competition, about 30 participants were at Lithia Park on Saturday, trying to climb their way to the top of the competition. (Jennevieve Fong / News 10)

As a part of the Southern Oregon Regional Tree Climbing competition, about 30 participants were at Lithia Park on Saturday, trying to climb their way to the top of the competition.

Ashland Parks and Recreation superintendent Mike Oxendine said more than one-third of the competitors are from the Rogue Valley, with others traveling from as far as Canada.

"It's the one time in the industry that they get to get together and climb competitively in the spirit of competition and learns from each other and learn the best practice for climbing techniques," Oxendine said.

With five different stations from aerial rescue to the work climb, Oxendine said the competition was judged by local aborists.

Hosted by Ashland Parks and Recreation, Oxendine said southern Oregon is the perfect place to host this event.

"We have a lot of trees in the Pacific Northwest and the Siskiyou Mountains that meet the Cascade Mountain range here," Oxendine said. "It's one of the most bio-diverse regions that you can find, so that means that there's a lot of work for arborists here and a lot of people in Ashland, in particular, really value their trees."

Central Point-based Envirochipper and other businesses were also present to sell climbing and safety gear to visitors.

Out of the entire group, Oxendine said the top three climbers of the day later participated in the masters challenge.

Many climbers from the event said they are already excited to start preparing for next year.

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