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A tree-top battle at the Botanic Gardens

1 October 2008

A tree-top battle at the Botanic Gardens

The team at the Botanic Gardens usually tend to discourage people from climbing their trees. However they will be cheering people on as they scale trees up to 30-meters high at the annual New Zealand Arboricultural Association Regional Tree Climbing Competition.

The competition, which takes place this Saturday between 8am and 4.30pm, will feature up to 35 of the best arborists from around the lower North Island.

The arborists will compete across five disciplines – speed-climbing, work climbing, aerial rescue, foot locking (climbing up a static line using your feet) and throw-line (throwing a weighted line high into trees to secure your climbing line).

According to Wellington City Council’s Arboriculture Team Manager Julian Emeny, the competition will be a real test of speed, skill and agility.

“Tree climbing is a serious business for these guys – they’re all arborists by trade and they will be battling it out for a chance to compete in the nationals in Auckland this November.”

It’s not all serious though. There will also be a chance for children to try their hands at tree climbing between 10am and 3pm. The children will be under expert supervision and will be provided with harnesses to ensure their safety.

Tree climbing is just one of the free events happening around the Capital this weekend as part of the Council’s annual Spring Festival.

From 6–7pm on Saturday night there’s a chance to join the Friends of Bolton Street Memorial Park for a guided tour through the historic Bolton Street cemetery. Walkers should meet at Bolton Street Memorial Park at 6pm – bookings are not necessary but a gold coin donation would be appreciated.

There’s also plenty going on in the Gardens on Sunday with a farm animal petting zoo and bouncy castle for the kids at the Dell from 1–3pm, and a chance to watch botanical artist Kerry Duckmanton at work in Begonia House between 10am and 3pm.


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