Illinois Tree Climbing Championship

Join the Illinois Tree Climbing Championship as a competitor and grow your skills as an arborist through competition and collaboration with other tree climbing professionals. All male and female and skill levels encouraged to register and compete in this great annual event. 

Professionals tree climbers will be competing for the title of Best Climber in the Illinois Arborist Association Annual Tree Climbing Competition. This unique event, to be geld on May 18th & 19th, 2024 at St James Farm, 2S541 Winfield Rd, Warrenville, Illinois 60555 will showcase the skills of 30 competitors as they maneuver in the trees. Climbers will perform five different preliminary events. Each event tests a competitor’s ability to quickly, professionally, and safely maneuver in a tree while performing work-related tree care tasks. Tree climbing competitions are designed to stimulate working conditions of those arborists who work in the field.

5 Events: Work Climb, Aerial Rescue, Belayed Speed Climb, Throw-line and Ascent Event.

Utilizing the highest level of professional skills and safety, the events provide a competitive learning environment for those working in the industry.

The three male climbers and one female climber who score the highest during the preliminary competition will compete in the Masters’ Challenge. The winner of this challenge will be named the Chapter Champion and will earn the honor of representing the Illinois Chapter at the International Tree Climbing Championship (ITCC) in 2024 held in Georgia.

Individual Prizes Include:

l st Place –
Over $1,000 in prizes
2nd Place – $300 Cash
3rd Place – $200 Cash
4th Place – $100 Cash

l st Place –
Over $1,000 in prizes
2nd Place –
$300 Cash
3rd Place –
$200 Cash

1st Place –
Paid Trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico to compete in the international competition

ComEd Corporate Cup Tree Climbing Award

This award was created to increase participation in the Illinois Tree Climbing Competition by fostering competition between companies. We hope the traveling Corporate Cup will demonstrate the value of teamwork.

  • Companies or groups must register PRIOR to the competition.
  • A minimum of 3 climbers per company must participate in the preliminary events.
  • Preliminary event scores will be used. No Master’s Challenge points will be included in the Corporate Challenge

Cost $300 for up to 5 contestants.

May 18th & 19th, 2024

Deadline for Competitor Registration Ends April 19th!

Lunch will be provided for all competitors, judges and timers.

3 CEU’s available for all judges, timers, and contestants.


Competitors are scored individually in each of the events listed below. The competitor with the highest score is the winner of that event. First, second, and third place for men and women are awarded for each event. Competitors’ total scores for all five events are combined and the male and female competitors with the highest combined score from the preliminary events move on to the Masters’ Challenge. 

Click the buttons below to learn more about each event.


The Masters’ Challenge consists of one event and competitors are scored on technique and skill. The competitors in this round with the highest score are named the male and female State Champions.

Tree Climbing Championship Policy

To compete in an Illinois Arborist Association Tree Climbing Championship, the competitor must be a current Illinois Arborist Association member in good standing. 

To be a Women’s and Men’s Division Champion, a competitor must compete in all 5 preliminary events with the skills needed to represent the Illinois Arborist Association at the annual International Tree Climbing Championship. This evaluation will be done by the Head Judging Staff and Head Technicians, with approval from the Illinois Arborist Association Tree Climbing Championship Chair(s). In addition, the Women’s and Men’s Division Champions shall meet or exceed the minimum score required as noted in the ITCC Rule Book.

“Out of state” competitors will be allowed to compete if we have space open after the registration deadline. All interested “out of state” competitors will be placed on a waitlist and notified after the registration deadline (approximately 3 weeks prior to the competition). “Out of state” competitors cannot win 1st place and represent the Illinois Chapter in the ITCC. 

Depending on skill level and experience, the Women’s and Men’s Division Champions shall volunteer their time at an IAA Chapter sponsored event within one (1) calendar year of the competition.


  • Host of the Climber’s Corner at the winter conferenceShare experiences at the Climber’s Corner at winter conference.Share experiences at an IAA Tree Climbers Social

  • Mandatory appearances at the winter conference, face time at the registration desk, conference moderator, or guest speaker.

  • Gear demonstration

  • Day of service – volunteer during the day.

The Illinois Arborist Association will pay the entry fee for the Women’s and Men’s Division Champions to compete at the International Society of Arboriculture. Should a Women’s or Men’s Division Champion fail to show-up at ITCC they are registered for, they shall reimburse the Illinois Arborist Association the entry fee.

A spending cap for the International Competition expenses to be $1500 for each competitor, male and female. This will cover travel to and from the competition host city and lodging for a five-day period. Champions will be responsible to book their own travel and IAA will reimburse travel fees when all receipts are turned into the IAA office. Receipts shall be turned in within 60 days. 

Champions shall notify the IAA office one week prior to the ISA competitor deadline if they cannot attend the ITCC.  

If a competitor learns that they cannot make it to the ITCC to represent the IAA, the runner up will have the opportunity to take their place. 

International competitions that are out of the United States and require additional travel expenses shall have Illinois Arborist Association Board of Directors approval.