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Rochester arborist one of 30 nationwide volunteers climbing California’s Giant Sequoias

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) – California’s Giant Sequoias are the largest and among the oldest tree species in the world.  However, record hot droughts and wildfires in recent years have threatened these majestic giants like never before.

Last year Anthony Ambrose and his team of researchers concluded a “Drought Response Project”, to see how these sequoias are holding up. Now a year later, 30 volunteers are tasked with climbing hundreds of feet to derig the Giant Sequoia trees.

Rochester arborist Andy Sibley is one of those lucky few who are making the breath-taking climb. On Friday FOX47 caught up with Sibley as he was perfecting his tree climbing technique at Rochester’s Essex Park.

“Anthony was the speaker at the Rochester arborist workshop this past winter in January, speaking about the redwoods and the project he’s doing on drought and how it affects the sequoia trees,” said Sibley.

“I approached him afterward…and was fairly insistent that I become involved in this project.”

While up in the Giant Sequoias, volunteers will also help collect samples to see the affect bark beetles are having on the trees.

Andy’s journey got underway Sunday morning and climbing wraps up for all volunteers next Friday.

“I do so many tree removals and I run a lot of chainsaws, I’m kind of a professional tree killer so it’s really nice to…be able to do something that’s conservation involved,” said Sibley.

“Dreams are coming true this weekend.”

Jack Keenan

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