With climbing saddle, gloves and hand-tools supplied by the City, 19 candidates for the position of tree-trimmer each had five minutes to climb 25 feet up a tree in the first of several physical challenges prerequisite to the hiring process. Twelve of the candidates successfully completed the physical challenges. RoundTable photo

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Last week at Dawes Park, the City’s Forestry Department held “auditions” for the job of tree trimmer. The first part of the hiring process involved physical skills, said Paul D’Agostino, superintendent of Parks/Forestry. “The City supplies all of the necessary equipment, including a climbing saddle, gloves, ropes, hand tools, as well as a brief tutorial on climbing technique,” he said.

Tree-climbing, the first challenge, required each of the 19 candidates to climb to a height of 25 feet within five minutes, using only a rope and saddle.

Those who successfully completed this portion moved on to the rest of the course, which included a log roll, balance beam, log lift, limb sawing using a hand saw, and finally, filling a 55 gallon drum with sand using a scoop shovel, said Mr. D’Agostino.

The Forestry Department conducts these “lumberjack exercises” only when there is a vacancy, said Mr. D’Agostino, adding, “The last time we conducted one of these tests was around 4 years ago.”

Twelve of the 19 candidates successfully completed the entire course and will move on to a more sedentary phase of the hiring process.