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Tree Climbing

Tree climbing involves ascending and descending trees using a variety of techniques. This sport can be performed in a competitve setting (ex. arborist competitions) or as an individual past-time. Recreationally, tree climbing involves ascending and descending a tree without any equipment, for pleasure. In a competitive setting, tree climbing typically requires safety equipment, including harnesses, helmets, and ropes, as participants may reach heights of up to 60 ft. A variation a tree climbing is arborist climbing, which combines an individual’s passion for tree climbing with an arborists’ job of tree maintenance. Participants compete in various climbing events which test key arborist skills, such as speed, agility, and safety. Common events during these competitions includes aerial rescue, work climb, secured footlock, belayed speed climb, and throwline.

Is this activity known by any other names?


What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Climbing trees has been a recreational activity for centuries. Competitive tree climbing was popularized in the United States during 1983 by a retired rock climber.

Who takes part?

Males and females of diverse ages and ethnocultural backgrounds. In competitions, participants are typically adults.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Recreational tree climbing occurs in the GTA during the warmer months of the year. Competitive tree climbers in the GTA train year round in indoor and outdoor environments.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

ISA Ontario

Cultural Significance


Is there anything else we should know?




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