20 candidates aim for tree worker certification

PUHI — Kauai got its first certified tree workers Saturday, said Leland Nishek, former president of the Kauai Landscape Industry Council.

“We have been working for this for a long time,” Nishek said. “Now, we have 20 candidates who are working through their final examinations. We have nine judges certified under the International Society of Arboriculture conducting the tests for our tree workers.”

Nishek said the program for tree worker certification was hosted by the KLIC.

In February, a man was arrested after a large tree he was cutting on private property fell across the highway and landed on a pickup truck, smashing its roof and injuring its occupant. Another truck, heading in the opposite direction, sustained front-end damage after it collided with the fallen tree.

Candidates for the tree worker certification process undertook two weeks, or 40 hours of classroom work before getting out on the field. Once the classroom work was completed, candidates worked through the certification processes for Aerial Rescue using both ropes and a mechanized bucket provided by Jim Campbell and Garden Island Tree Care.

“They need to know how to ‘rescue’ people who are stuck up in the tree,” Nishek said. “The candidates go up in the tree and get the victim down safely.”

With the mechanics of tree rescues out of the way, each candidate undertook a timed series of tasks which needed to be completed successfully within a specified time frame.

These exercises earned candidates certificates in Aerial Lift, or the use of the mechanized bucket, as well as Climbing where the candidate relied on a rope for safety and his physical ability to climb the tree and accomplish the designated tasks.

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