Kawerau arborist Scott Forrest is reaching new heights after being named the nation's best tree climber for the fifth time.

Forrest won the Masters title at the 2018 NZ Arboriculture Association Husqvarna National Tree Climbing Championships (NTCC) in Dunedin at the weekend.

Forrest said winning his fifth national tree climbing title was intense.

"I felt so many emotions, I don't know the best way to describe it. I was extremely happy and satisfied with the win and I hope it shows people to never give up."

Forrest gave his prize haul of Husqvarna gear and equipment to his fellow competitors.


He won the same national title in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2016 and had won the International Tree Climbing Championships (ITCC) in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

New Zealand has a reputation for producing many world-class tree climbers. The current 2018 ITCC champion is New Zealander James Kilpatrick, who competed alongside three other New Zealanders at the ITCC in Columbus, Ohio this year.

Competitive tree climbing involves five preliminary events which replicate activities arborists do in their daily work.

Events include the Aerial Rescue, the Work Climb, the Secured Footlock, the Belayed Speed Climb and the Throwline.

The top competitors in these events then complete the Masters challenge and are judged on skills and speed.

The tree climbing championships are run by the NZ ARB which was established in 1989.

The competition runs in conjunction with the NZ ARB Association annual conference, which was attended by about 340 people this year.

In total, 31 climbers took part in the competition where they scaled the linden trees in the Otago Museum reserve.

The female winner was Stephanie Dryfhout who also captained the under-21 New Zealand women's Canoe Polo team at the 2016 World Games in Italy.

Forrest has qualified for 2019 ITCC which will be held in Knoxville, Tennessee, US, in August next year.

The Asia Pacific preliminaries are being held in Christchurch next April where Forrest will also be competing.

The H-Team is group of Husqvarna ambassadors handpicked from the best forest and garden professionals in the world. Scott Forrest is New Zealand's H-Team representative.