Shade Tree Notes Blog

June 24, 2023 - Twenty-six climbers checked in from across New York State and beyond for the 2023 NYSA Tree Climbing Championship at Washington Park in Albany, NY. With light rain falling in the morning, and unpredictability in the weather forecast through the weekend, the event got underway with the understanding that safety would guide the day. Heavier rain later would make it necessary to put the Work Climb and Speed Climb on hold.

Still, the rain did not dampen the enthusism of the climbers, spectators, or the many volunteers. Multiple local news agencies also came out including ABC affiliate News 10 who interviewed President John Wickes in studio HERE and CBS affiliate WRGB who interviewed TCC Chair Josh Galiley HERE. A special video was created by Norman Robinson from the NYC Parks Department HERE.

(Pictured above, left to right, are NYSA TCC winners Stephanie Littenberg, Eamon Burke, Daniel Barnes, and Sam Schunk.)

At the end of the day, the sun came out to greet the winners during the awards and other recognitions. NYSA gave special thanks to the people who made it possible for us to move the event to Albany for the first time:

  • Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan
  • Dept of General Services Commissioner Sergio Panunuzio
  • Albany Forester Jay Lavigne
  • The University at Albany, which provided the parking nearby
  • The Washington Park Conservancy

Standings for the men were as follows:

  • (1) Sam Schunk, Bartlett Tree Experts
  • (2) Daniel Barnes, The Davey Tree Expert Company
  • (3) Eamon Burke, The Davey Tree Expert Company
  • (4) Brian Krawczyk, Northwoods Tree Care
  • (5) Pedro Meza, Emerald Tree Care
  • (6) Joseph Patrone, Independent Climber
  • (7) Eric Tartter, Contract Climber
  • (8) Tucker Chaikin, Custom Climber Services
  • (9) Codie Hay, Craig Kurkela Arborist Inc.
  • (10) Maycon Flores, Happy Tree Service Inc.
  • (11) John Rothrock, Rothrock Tree Service
  • (12) Jossue Avendano, Bartlett Tree Experts
  • (13) Kyle Diabo, Procut Tree Service
  • (14) William Vitagliano, Central Park Conservancy
  • (15) Jeremy Passinault, Birchcrest
  • (16) Andrew Gardner, The Davey Tree Expert Company
  • (17) Dillon Engelmann, The Davey Tree Expert Company
  • (18) Nate Buckley, For the Love of Trees
  • (19) Nicolas Ramirez, The Davey Tree Expert Company
  • (20) Jaime Alexander Lara, NYC Parks Department
  • (21) Cassidy Lancelin, Cassidy's Tree Service
  • (22) Nate Cyphers, Allmark Tree & Crane Service
  • (23) Jeison Montoya, Bill Miller & Associates Inc
  • (24 TIE) Brayan Guzman, Bill Miller & Associates Inc
  • (24 TIE) Brian Smith, More Trees

With the support of NYSA, Sam Schunk will go on to the International Tree Climbing Championship in Albequerque, NM during August 11-13. Both Sam and Daniel Barnes plan to compete in the North American Tree Climbing Championship in Washington, DC during October 20-22.

For the women's side, only one out-of-state competitor joined the event. Stephanie Littenberg from West Virginia gave a strong performance, already having been the Mid-Atlantic Chapter Champion.

Also recognized was Jeremy Arnold of Arnolds Tree Service for the Greifenberger TCC Spirit Award, named in honor of Joel and Teresa Greifenberger who lead the event up through last year. Jeremy had originally signed up as a competitor, but saw a specific need for technical assistance to run the Ascent Event. He chose to withdraw, which also opened the way for another competitor to take his spot. NYSA is thankful for his willingness to serve for the benefit of other competitors throughout the day.

NYSA is thankful for the many sponsors who made this event possible. Some gave cash and others gave prizes or services throughout the week. Thank you, to all these great supporters!

Master Challenge Sponsor

  • Ground Equipment, Inc.

Event Sponsors

  • Bill Miller & Associates
  • Clear Choice Trees
  • Courant
  • Dryad Tree & Shrub Diagnostics
  • RBI Shelter Tree - Work Climb Event
  • SavATree
  • Weaver Leather Supply

Platinum Leaf Sponsors

  • Almstead Tree & Shrub Care
  • Altec
  • American Arborist Supplies
  • ArborMaster
  • Arborware
  • Bartlett Tree Experts
  • Davey Tree Expert Company
  • Emerald Tree and Shrub Care
  • Let’s Talk Trees LLC
  • Washington Park Conservancy
  • WesSpur 

Gold Leaf Sponsors

  • @height
  • Dom’s Tree Service
  • Greenpoint Tree Services 

Silver Leaf Sponsors

  • Fanno Saw Works
  • Petzl

Other Support

  • All American Tree Service
  • Allmark Tree & Crane Service
  • Anjoe Tree Service
  • Arnolds Tree Service
  • Asplundh/National Grid
  • Homestead Tree Care
  • J. Galiley Arbor Consulting
  • Matthew Caluneo

The New York State Arborists, International Society of Arboriculture Chapter, Inc. is an association of professional arborists and educators that promotes public interest, fosters research and education in the care and benefits of trees, shrubs, and their environment.