Oct. 3 2019 12:00 AM

Prizes will be given away in addition to the training sessions.


If you’re going to GIE+Expo at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 16-18, you’ll have an opportunity to soar to new heights — not just by learning about new equipment, but by learning to climb trees.

Look for the 40-foot tree which will be set up within the Center’s Freedom Hall. There, you’ll have the opportunity to learn arborist techniques from a group of women who are experts in the field.

Five certified arborists, Melissa LeVangie, Bear LeVangie, Rebecca Seibel-Hunt, Alex Julius and Emmett Shutts, will provide climbing instruction while aloft in the tree. During the eight sessions, attendees can expect to learn basic techniques and systems accepted within the industry to safely, efficiently and effectively perform tree care operations.

The sessions, entitled “Climb Trees, Expand Your Horizons,” are included with trade show registration. All GIE+Expo attendees are invited to watch and learn.

In addition to the valuable learning opportunity, you might also win a prize, thanks to sponsors The Davey Tree Expert Company and Stihl Inc., and support from Shelter Tree. Stihl will be presenting a certificate for $250 in Stihl equipment to one lucky winner on each of the three days of the Expo. In addition, free hitch cords will be given away, thanks to At Height.

“Davey Tree is proud to present the ‘Climb Trees, Expand Your Horizons’ program at GIE+Expo, in collaboration with The Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop, sponsored by Stihl, with support from Shelter Tree,” says Sandra Reid, vice president of corporate communications and strategic planning at Davey Tree. “This is a unique chance to highlight opportunities in arboriculture and spotlight some talented female arborists. It should be a great time for the attendees to learn from the best of the best, and we hope many arborists — new and experienced — will be able to be there.”

“Women are an increasingly important part of the arborist and tree care professions, and investing in their professional development is vital,” says Roger Phelps, corporate communications manager, Stihl, Inc. “That is why programs like this one are so important, and why we at Stihl are so proud to join Davey Tree in presenting it.”

Melissa and Bear LeVangie developed the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop in 2009 with a mission “to create a safe, encouraging and empowering learning environment for women to climb trees” and have hosted workshops across the country for both women and men.

The session schedule includes:


Wednesday, October 16

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. — Intro to Climbing: Job Briefing, PPE, Purpose and Approach

4:45 - 5:45 p.m. — Basic Climbing Techniques: Climbing Equipment and Systems


Thursday, October 17

10:00 - 11:00 a.m. — Tree Entry: Throwline, Rope Installation and Tie-in-points

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. — Access, Ascent (Closed vs. Open System) and Movement

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. — Movement and Work Positioning

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. — Safety, Descent, and Equipment Management


Friday, October 18

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. — Tools of the Trade

10:30 AM - 12:30 p.m. — Climbing Systems: Stationary and Moving Rope Strategies and Basics of Rigging