Tree Climbing Championship

  • New England ISA TCC
    2023 Logo

2023 New England Chapter ISA TCC

June 16-17, 2023 | Mt. Ida College | Newton, MA

 Sponsor online sponsorship | Volunteer Registration | Liability Waiver

Join us in Newton Massachusetts for this year's Tree Climbing Championship! This competition is made up of safety-oriented tree care tasks and practices that allow arborists to win prizes for outstanding ability and performance. Each Chapter sends their Champions to the International Tree Climbing Championship! This event is open to the public.

Participants MUST fill out and return an insurance waiver form, they must also complete and bring with them a gear inspection sheet. Registration will not be complete without these forms. You will need to  print, fill out and return your waiver form and print, fill out and bring with you your gear inspection form.

Registration is $100 for current Members of the New England Chapter and $135 for Non-Members. Registration includes entry into the TCC, competition T-Shirt, light fare during gear inspection, continental breakfast, lunch and awards reception.  


Friday, June 16th
7:30am      Volunteers/Judges - Event Setup     
                  Breakfast & lunch provided for judges/volunteers 
2-3pm        Judges Meeting 
3-5pm        CLIMBERS ARRIVE - Gear Inspection & Walkthrough
*****Gear Check Forms MUST Be Filled Out Prior to Registration***** 
Saturday, June 17th
6am        Judges & volunteers arrive
6:15am   Climbers arrive
6:45 am   TCC Event Start: group picture & event review
(Light breakfast for  Competition Climbers, Judges & Volunteers.)  Sponsor supported.
7:30am-1 TCC Preliminary Events:
10-1pm Kids Tree Climb - $10 donation per child
LUNCH On your own schedule—Provided for climbers, judges & volunteers. Sponsor supported.
1:30-5pm Master’s Challenge
5:30-8pm TCC Awards Ceremony for competitors, judges, volunteers & spectators held under the tent.

Eligibility: Only permanent residents of New England will be eligible for the Master's Challenge Championship. Non-qualifying participants will be allowed to participate in the preliminary rounds only.  In addition, permanent New England residents will be given priority to compete in this competition. If you are not a permanent New England resident, you will not be guaranteed a spot in the event (any payment would be refunded)

Gear Inspection: will be held from 3-5pm on Friday 6/16. ALL gear must be inspected on 6/16. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS. If you cannot make the 3-5pm window, you will need to call Bruce Duffy directly to request an exception to this time frame. He can be reached at 508-958-3429. THERE WILL BE NO GEAR INSPECTED ON SATURDAY!.

ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist Skills Waiver. As a participant in the New England ISA Chapter TCC, you may waive the practical portion of the skills exam for the ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist® certification exam. Click here for details.

ON-SITE ACCOMODATION: Mount Ida Umass Campus has dorm rooms available for $50/night without linens and $90/night with linens. This is for Friday 6/16 only. You can choose this option when you register. The rate is per person/double occupancy (this means if you want share with someone specific, you will need to purchase 2 - we will be paring people up).

About TCC

Each year our Tree Climbing Championship brings together 36 of the most skilled male and female climbers in our industry. Climbers compete in five preliminary events described below. The three male and three female climbers with the highest scores after the preliminary round advance to the Master's Challenge. The male and female climber with the highest score in the Master's Challenge will represent the New England Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture at the International Tree Climbing Championship.


The Aerial Rescue (50 Points) is a simulated rescue event. It is designed to measure the climber’s ability to respond to an emergency situation involving an injured arborist in a tree. The climber is responsible for notifying emergency services, inspecting the work site for possible and/or existing hazards, administering preliminary first aid, and working efficiently.

The dummy (injured worker) is installed in a tree 20 to 40 feet above the ground. The event is timed and the climber is judged and scored while performing the rescue. The clock starts when the head judge says "go." The clock is stopped after the climber has landed with the dummy on the ground, unclipped the climbing line from the dummy's harness, and has prepared the victim to transfer to the Emergency Medical Technicians.

The Belayed Speed Climb (20 Points) is a timed event that measures the ability of the contestant to climb a tree while using the branches and a fixed rope. The climber is on belay while ascending a set route to the top of the tree. Time begins when the climber's second foot leaves the ground and stops when the climber rings the bell, which is installed approximately 60' aloft.

The Ascent Event (20 Points) 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.  

The Throwline (30 Points) event tests the climber’s ability to accurately throw a weight attached to a rope through targets placed in a tree at heights of approximately 30, 40, 50, and 60+  feet. The targets are worth 3, 5, 7, and 9 points accordingly.  If a climber installs climbing lines on the scored targets, additional points are awarded. Each contestant is allowed 6 minutes to attempt to score two targets and install two climbing lines.

The Work Climb (80 Points) is an event designed to judge the contestant's balance and skill with a rope and harness in the tree.  Contestants are judged and scored on safety, efficiency, technique, and poise in the tree. All contestants start from the same designated point in the tree. The contestants proceed to work stations and gain associated points while completing all tasks at each station. Each contestant has the option of choosing the order and route in which to approach each work station. Climbers have a time limit to complete this event.  

The Master's Challenge (300 Points) is an event designed to judge the top climbers (from the preliminary events) overall productivity and skill with a rope and harness in the tree. Contestants are judged and scored on their knowledge and ability to demonstrate the mastery of different climbing techniques, safe work practices, use of equipment, and poise in the tree. Competitors have a set amount of time to enter the tree, perform tasks at work stations and descend safely to the ground. Time stops when all of the climber's equipment is removed from the tree.


Past Winners & Competition Info

Hall of Fame

2022 - Framingham, MA

June 18, 2022 - Farm Pond Park

Congratulations to the winners: Stella Dee and Kyle McCabe



2019 - warkwick, RI

Group PhotoJune 1, 2019 - Masonic Youth Center

Congratulations to the winners: Kyle Donaldson and Nicolette Eicholtz



2018 - New London, CT

Connecticut College 2018 TCC

June 9, 2018 - Connecticut College Arboretum

Congratulations to Tim Reynolds and Nicolette Eicholtz!

Thank you to Connecticut College for the beautiful venue! 

Photos by Tom Ingersoll


2017 - Attleboro, MA

June 2-3, 2017 - Capron Park
Attleboro, Massachusetts

Congratulations to Bear LeVangie, Russel Plum, and Dan Severino 2017 MCI Champions. The two men and alternate, Nicole Eicholtz, represented the NE Chapter at the 2017 North American Tree Climbing Championship!

Thank you to the City of Attleboro for a great venue for this year's Master's Challenge Invitational. The park was the perfect location for this fun event - despite the weather!

Photos Tom Ingersoll 


2016 - Portland, ME

May 13-14, 2016 - Deering Oaks Park
Portland, Maine

Congratulations to Bear LeVangie & Matthew Reynolds 2016 TCC Champions and to Dan Severino, Spirit of Competition.

Thank you to the City of Portland for a great venue for this year's Tree Climbing Championship! The park had a great collection of trees, and a warm welcome by the community. 

Group Photos Clarisse Hart | Gear Inspection Clarisse Hart | Aerial Shots Tom Ingersoll | Climbing Clarisse Hart


2015 - Smith College

Climbers PicJune 12-13, 2015 - Smith College

Northampton, MA

Congratulations to Kyle Donaldson & Marcy Carpenter 2015 NEC-ISA Tree Climbing Champions and to Dan Severino, Spirit of Competition. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and Smith College for a great TCC!

Pictures Clarisse Hart | Pictures Walter Goodridge | Mass Live Coverage | Hampshire Gazette | Hartford Courant


2014 MCC - Amherst, ma

2014 Masters - UMass AmherstOctober 18, 2014

Amherst, MA

Congratulations to Matt Reynolds & Marcy Carpenter 2014 NEC-ISA Masters Challenge Champions. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and UMass Amherst for a great MCC!

Photos - Clarisse Hart | Photos Sydney McNair | Photos Walter Goodridge


2014 - Burlington, vt

2014 TCC - Oakledge Park - Burlington, VYMay 30-31, 2014

Burlington, Vermont

Congratulations to Bear LeVangie & Shane Lumbra 2014 NEC-ISA Tree Climbing Champions and to Doug Tochtrop, Spirit of Competition. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and Oakledge Park for a great TCC!

WCAX Video Footage | SevenDaysVT Footage


2013 - Warwick, ri

2013 TCC - Goddard Memorial Park - Warwick, RIMay 17-18

Warwick, Rhode Island

Congratulations to Marcy Carpenter & Tim Reynolds 2013 NEC-ISA Tree Climbing Champions and to Melissa LeVangie, Spirit of Competition. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and Goddard Memorial Park for a great TCC!

Photos - Walter Goodridge 


2012 - Bristol, ri

2012 TCC - BristolMay 18-19, 2012

Bristol, Rhode Island

Congratulations to Justin Donahue and Bear LeVangie 2012 NEC-ISA Tree Climbing Champions and to Bruce Duffy, Spirit of Competition. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and Blithewold Mansion, Gardens, and Arboretum for a great TCC!

Photos - Walter Goodridge


2011 - Brunswick, me

2012 TCCMay 6-7, 2011

Brunswick, Maine

Congratulations to Bear LeVangie & Dan Weise 2011 NEC-ISA Tree Climbing Champions and to Bruce Duffy, Spirit of Competition. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and Bowdoin College for a great TCC!

Photos - Walter Goodridge | Photos - Walter Goodridge


2010 - MCI - Plymouth, ma

2010 MCC PlymouthOctober 23, 2010

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Congratulations to Kyle McCabe & Melissa Duffy 2010 NEC-ISA Masters Challenge Invitational Champions. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and Plymouth Memorial State Park for a great MCI!


2009 - Florence, ma

2009 TCC - FlorenceMay 1-2, 2009

Florence, Massachusetts

Congratulations to Dan Weise and Marcy Carpenter 2009 NEC-ISA Tree Climbing Champions and to Bruce Duffy, Spirit of Competition. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and Look Park for a great TCC!


2008 - Cape Elizabeth, me

2008 TCCJune 6-7, 2008

Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Congratulations to Justin Donahue and Marcy Carpenter 2008 NEC-ISA Tree Climbing Champions and to Melissa Duffy, Spirit of Competition. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and Fort Williams for a great TCC!


2007 - Manchester, nh

2007 TCCJune 8-9, 2007

Manchester, New Hampshire

Congratulations to Justin Donahue and Bear LeVangie 2007 NEC-ISA Tree Climbing Champions. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and Valley Cemetery and Arboretum for a great TCC!


2006 - Amherst, ma

2006 TCC

June 7-8, 2006

Amherst, Massachusetts

Congratulations to Bruce Duffy and Melissa LeVangie 2006 NEC-ISA Tree Climbing Champions. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and UMass, Amherst for a great TCC!


2005 - Burlington, vt

2005 TCCJune 3-5, 2005

Burlington, Vermont

Congratulations to Dan Weise and Melissa LeVangie 2005 NEC-ISA Tree Climbing Champions. Thanks to all of our volunteers, judges, climbers and Oakledge Park for a great TCC!