If you're like most of us you haven't attempted to climb a tree since you were a kid. Well, there are adults who scale the leafy heights, but they don't do this kind of thing as a harebrained stunt. They're sober-minded, well trained, and in competition with one another. Are they Ozark Mountain Daredevils of a sort? No, they're professional arborists taking part in the International Society of Arboriculture Midwest Chapter Tree Climbing Championship today at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314-577-5100 or www.mobot.org). More than 30 participants of both sexes from across the region will compete to see who can best move up, down and around the trees using a tree-climbing line and saddle/harness -- plus, there'll be additional feats of the arborists' prowess in a variety of challenges that mimic the real-world hazards tree specialists have to navigate in their line of work. Those with the highest scores move on to the Masters Challenge in Toronto this August. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free with regular garden admission ($4 to $8).
Sat., June 8, 2013