ARBORIST Jo Hedger has won a record sixth World Tree Climbing Championship - cementing her place in climbing history by becoming the first woman to win six world championships and the first to win three consecutive world titles (2019, 2022, 2023). 

Representing the UK & Ireland at the 2023 International Tree Climbing Championships on Sunday, in Albuquerque, USA, Jo secured first place in the Masters’ Challenge, seeing off strong competition from American and Australian climbers. 

Already recognised as an outstanding ambassador for the tree-care community in the UK and around the world, Jo’s achievements are made even more impressive because of her longevity in the sport, and the passion she has for sharing her knowledge and techniques.

READ MORE: Women in arb: Husqvarna and Teufelberger ambassador Jo Hedger

Since winning her first world title in St. Louis in 2008, Jo has volunteered her time organising climbing events and helping arborists share techniques and innovations, while also running Arbor Venture Tree Care.

Jo said: “I’ve learnt a huge amount by attending these events. Much of the equipment and many of the techniques that most people use today have come from the innovation of tree climbers at these competitions. 

Forestry Journal: Jo cemented her legendary place in climbing with a record winJo cemented her legendary place in climbing with a record win (Image: Megan James)

“The events are an amazing way to learn from others and share techniques – you learn a lot from your mistakes, so winning isn’t the main outcome; attending and sharing knowledge is winning.” 

Also representing the UK & Ireland in the Arboricultural Association’s climbing team were Michael Curwen and Sarah Ann Quinlan.

John Parker, CEO of the Arboricultural Association, said: “We are hugely proud of the efforts of the whole climbing team out in New Mexico, and particular congratulations go to Jo Hedger for her incredible achievement in winning a sixth world title."  

The UK & Ireland Tree Climbing Competition will be held on September 9 and 10 at Warwick University as part of the Arboricultural Association’s Annual Conference. Jo Hedger will be competing against 50 other arborists as she seeks to secure her 13th consecutive UK Championship