For people who have been to Bangkok and stayed at a hotel in Ploenchit, they might have seen along the way some of the biggest trees the country has. Some of the oldest and biggest trees in the capital city are located in KohLoy which is basically a tiny water park. This quiet haven can be found inside the Lumpini Park. Recently, there have been a lot of activities around those trees with people swinging while they care huge pruning shears and wearing helmets.
This is because of the first tree climbing to be witnessed in Thailand. The event is called Thailand Tree Climbing Championship 2018. It began on December 12 and lasted until the 16th. Judging on the event’s name, one might think that all the participants do is climb the trees but they actually do more than that.
During the entire event, 33 arborists coming from different countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, China and Hong Kong were present.
According to the event organizer who is also Thailand Urban Tree Network’s coordinator, OrayaSutabutr, TTCC 2018 was created to represent more than just the simple act of climbing trees. Their main goal is not to patronize trophy hunting but rather to let the public know especially the locals that there is a profession known as arborists. These people are also called tree surgeons but the concept of such a profession is not common in Thailand.
Sutabutr said that the public does not have an idea that there is a big difference between the people who are paid to cut down trees and professionals who identify themselves as arborists. Arborists, simply put, have deeper knowledge of the science surrounding trees and nature in general.
All over Thailand, only a few arborists are recognized and they mostly take care of private gardens which are located inside embassies or within luxury hotels in the country. A civic group known as BIG Tress is now educating the workers under the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration as well as the Metropolitan Electricity Authority on how to properly trim the trees and how to take care of them. This is in an effort to preserve them so that the locals and tourists staying at a hotel in Ploenchit will be able to witness and see their beauty for many decades to come.