Up A Tree

Stafford County native Drew Dunavant takes tree-climbing to the next level.

Photo by Michael Dunavant

You’d think a man who earned a living scampering up and down trees might settle for a more sedentary hobby. Stafford County native Drew Dunavant, 27, an arborist and safety manager at TrueTimber Arborists in Richmond, started climbing at 14 with his friend and mentor James Earhart, who won the world championship at the International Tree Climbing Championship (ITCC) in Tampa in 2015. “His influence has helped bring me further than I would have gone otherwise,” says Dunavant.

This year, student bested teacher—and 30 other climbers—in the regional qualifying event to advance to the finals of the 2017 ITCC, which took place July 28-30 at the National Arboretum in the nation’s capital. Coming in 13th place, Dunavant improved on his 14th place finish at last year’s ITCC in San Antonio. Focusing his training on yoga and healthy nutrition, he said he felt “pretty good about placing higher” before the event, but acknowledged that “anything can happen on the day.” Richmond’s Jocelyn Lohse of Riverside Outfitters, who trains with Earhart and Dunavant, was the regional qualifier in the women’s division of the event, and finished an impressive 7th.

The North American Tree-Climbing Championship will be held Oct. 20 – 22 in Salt Lake City, Utah. ITCC-ISA.com, MAC-ISA.org

Upcoming events for the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture: 

Annual Meeting
Oct. 1 and 2, Virginia Beach

ISA Tree Risk Assessment Certification
Nov. 8 - 10, Charlottesville

Arborist Certification Course
Dec. 4 - 7, Charlottesville

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum