PDF Print Email




Midwestern Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture requests qualified, interested individuals or agencies to submit proposal to serve as the MWISA Chapter Executive Director.

The Executive Director is the key administrative leader of the Midwestern Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture. The Executive Director is responsible for the Support of Chapter Operations, Programs and Projects, Including the support of Chapter Executive Committee (EC) and Board of Directors (BoD). This position reports directly to the Board of Directors.




Time to Retire

When my final contract expires on October 1, 2018, it will mark my ninth anniversary since I teamed up with the Midwestern Chapter as Executive Director and 34 years since I first joined the International Society of Arboriculture and Midwestern Chapter. I signed up in 1984, attended my first Midwestern Chapter and ISA Conferences in 1985 and accepted my first Chapter leadership role as editor of Shade Tree Leaves in 1986.


Lots has happened during those 34 years and as I look back I realize I have attended 32 out of last 33 Midwestern Chapter Annual Conference and Trade Shows. I kind of feel bad that I broke my streak and missed Topeka in 2007 but an ice storm precluded that one.


I count 12 MW-TCCs as well as 27 ISA Conferences attended during that span. I was also very fortunate to represent the Midwestern Chapter for 13 years as a member of the ISA Board of Directors, serve as Chapter President, Host the 2000 Annual Conference and Trade Show and chair a number of Chapter and ISA committees.


Recently, during a work session of the Board prior to the Midwestern Chapter Tree Climbing Championship, President Jim Bauer outlined the process for naming a successor to the position. It was agreed by the Board that the first step to be taken will be to solicit input, ideas and potential interest from the Chapter membership. Please contact Jim ([email protected]) if you have interest in the position or any ideas on how to select a new Chapter Executive.


As always, please don’t hesitate to contact any member of the Board of Directors or the Executive Director with any concerns or comments you might have. We are always interested in your thoughts and eager to answer any questions.




Current Job Description

Leadership Flow Chart



Rick Tagtow
Executive Director
Midwestern Chapter - International Society of Arboriculture


2018 Midwestern Chapter - ISA 
Tree Climbing Championship

June 2-3, 2018
Nathanael Greene Park
2400 S Scenic Ave
Springfield, MO 65807

Event Summary: CLICK HERE  
Event Agenda: CLICK HERE 
Hotel Accommodations: CLICK HERE 
Sponsorship Information: CLICK HERE 
Registration: CLICK HERE 

2017 Chapter award winners announced at MWISA Conference

The Midwestern Chapter of ISA annually recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations that have performed meritorious service in advancing the principles and practices of arboriculture and contributed significantly and unselfishly towards the progress of the Chapter.  Award winners are recognized each year at the MW ISA annual conference.  Awards are presented in six categories including:

•          AWARD OF MERIT: Recognizes outstanding meritorious service in advancing the principles, ideals, and practices of arboriculture. Granted only to members of the MW Chapter of ISA.

•          AUTHOR’S AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: Recognizes authors of outstanding publications, news stories, radio and television programs for sustained excellence in the dissemination of timely information pertaining to the field of arboriculture. The information provided must have impact on the Midwest chapter audience.

          PRESIDENT’S AWARD:  Recognizes an individual, group, company or agency that has provided a significant impact in the field of arboriculture during the previous two years.  This award would be presented at the discretion of the current MW Chapter ISA President.

•          AWARD OF ACHIEVEMENT:  Granted to members of the Midwest Chapter ISA only, this award recognizes sustained outstanding effort or contribution to the advancement of ISA within the Chapter.

•          HONORARY MEMBERSHIP:  Recognizes individuals or groups who are not members of the Midwest Chapter who have provided outstanding or noteworthy service in promoting arboriculture within the Chapter.  Recipients will have made material contributions to the advancement of arboriculture through research, field practice, promotion, invention or literature.  They should have an ongoing interest and may include individuals, groups or organizations.

•          HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP:  Bestowed upon members of the Midwest Chapter that have contributed materially and substantially to the progress of arboriculture in the Midwest Chapter and have given unselfishly in their efforts to support and advance arboriculture.

In addition the Chapter presented the Arbor Day Gold Leaf Award.  The Gold Leaf Award is designed to recognize an individual, organization, or community in the Midwestern Chapter area for outstanding Arbor Day programs or community landscape beautification projects.

The list of 2017 award winners can be found on our website under the “Activities” tab in “Awards”






by: E.J. Tuner


“All clear”, “climber ready”, “judges ready”….were among the many sounds harmonizing with dinging bells on July 28 and 29 at the 2017 ITCC held at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C. This year’s competition consisted of 65 competitors from around the globe. I was honored to represent the Midwest Chapter of ISA this year for the second time. The first being in 2011 at Parramatta, Australia.

Hidden through a maze of winding roadways, the site was nestled upon a hillside of majestic Oak trees deep within the Arboretum. Vendors, volunteers, judges, techs, competitors and spectators all gathered Friday morning for gear check anxious to kick off the annual competition.

The preliminary events were to start after gear check but, as rain is no stranger to an ITCC, the clouds brought in a torrential downpour with no signs of subsiding. The inclement weather would postpone the events to an early Saturday morning start.

Saturday morning clouds remained but the rain diminished to a spotty drizzle that took turns with the sun. This brought pleasantly cooler temps but kept the trees wet and slippery for the first half of the day, conditions all too familiar for a working arborist! Despite losing a half day for prelims the day prior all the events were completed on schedule with the hard work from everyone involved.

This year the ITCC held the new Ascent Event for the first time, perhaps the most anticipated feature at this year’s comp. This event replaces the footlock event, evolved to par with modern techniques the progressive climber uses to ascend trees. Competitors were given three scores: set up time for ascent system, time for actual ascent, and time to transfer on to a descent system. Although the rules and allowable gear were controversial to many, a wide variety of unique configurations were showcased by the competitors.

Belayed Speed Climb, Throwline, Aerial Rescue, and Work Climb were the returning events.

 In Belayed Speed Climb, foot holds held in place with heavy straps assisted climbers to the lowest branch on their scurry to the bell at the top of the tree. “When your second foot leaves the ground, your time starts” the head judge would say. Of course the morning climbers had an added challenge form the tree being wet!

Throwline had targets in two White Oak trees. Uneven Terrain, an ornamental tree, tripping hazards and backing to the wood line made this event just like being on a typical jobsite. How often do you get to throw in to the tree from an open area? 

The scenario was very appropriate in this year’s Aerial Rescue event. The injured tree worker was too preoccupied boasting about his work and taking selfies for his Instagram status. Adjusting his go pro while one handing the saw, he slipped, lost control, cut his arm and was left suspended from his tagline whilst having slack in his climbing rope. The homeowner and his barking dog were also included in the scenario.  During the event walk through technicians played out the scenario. This was a helpful aid to the competitors, as well as a humorous show.

A magnificent Spanish Oak with a wide spread network of branches reaching far out and low enough to graze the ground when the wind blew was the host of this year’s Work Climb. Stationed at the top was head tech MWISA’s own Noel Boyer to cheer us on as we raced through the well groomed canopy ringing bells yelling “All Clear”! Handsaw bell, pole pruner bell, limb toss and bell, limb walk bell, touch the tape, bomb out of the tree at high speed then BAM,  land on the bull’s eye with two feet!   Arguably,  the most exciting event for a climber.  The new “Limb Walk-O-Meter” was an interesting change in the limb walk station. Prior, a plumb bob hung on a line from the end of the limb within a vertical tube on the ground would measure downward pressure the climber put on the limb, resulting in points lost with too much pressure. The Limb Walk-O-Meter had a line from the end of the limb routed through pulleys, assisted with weights that kept a dial at a central point along a horizontal tube. This allowed downward and upward (pulling limb up) pressure to be measured, as well as the climber being able to observe their progress.

The sun shined bright on Sunday for the final day of the ITCC. Out of the 65 competitors, 5 men and 3 women proceeded to the Master’s Challenge to be hailed as the world Champ. New Zealand’s James Kilpatrick and Chrissy Spence  came in first place, both defending their titles for the second year in a row! The winners were announced that evening at the kick off to the annual conference and trade show.

Competing in the ISA competitions has been the most rewarding undertaking of my career. I have met some of the most knowledgeable people in our industry, learned from and exchanged techniques with the best climbers around. Many of whom I call friend.  The take away is always astronomical, leaving me ready to return to work with unmeasurable boost in morale. My success has taken me to parts of the world I never dreamed I could go. I express my sincere gratitude to all involved with the Midwest Chapter for all their help and support over the years. This is such a great place to be!






Thank you to our sponsors! 

alt            alt

powered by MemberClicks