Perhaps most reflective of an arborist's day-to-day job requirements is the Work Climb Station. During this event, the climbers must perform five separate tasks. For instance, the Handsaw Station requires them to climb into the tree, safely tie themselves off, and ding a bell with their handsaw to simulate cutting a branch. The Limb Walk Station has them rappel far out on a branch, holding most of their weight with the rope. An alarm hangs down from the branch, just a few inches above a wooden box. If the climber puts too much weight on the branch, the alarm goes off and he or she is assessed a three-second penalty.
Read the rest of Mark Yost on the art and business of tree climbing.