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Risky job of arborist on display at Dorval’s tree festival

Dorval hosts first annual tree festival
WATCH: The City of Dorval held its first ever tree festival Saturday, featuring professional arborists battling out for the title of provincial tree climbing champion. As Billy Shields reports, visitors were given free trees and had the chance to take part in various workshops.

Peter de Vries is an arborist who lives in Sarnia, Ont. working with trees. An important part of his job involves extracting people from those trees in the case of a major mishap, a skill he displayed at Windsor Park in Dorval Saturday morning.

“Most fire departments and paramedics aren’t trained to get someone out of a tree,” he pointed out.

De Vries spoke after scaling a tree several storeys high to extract an “unconscious” dummy victim as part of a contest, just missing the seven-minute time limit.

READ MORE: Dorval residents want more protection for historical homes

The City of Dorval was also giving free trees to residents attending the festival.

“Many people are scared to plant trees that are too big [for their yards],” said Catherine Houbart, who worked the tree tent.
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“But if you have the space I recommend doing so.”

Organizer Meagan Hanna stressed safety when caring for trees.  Many people get injured trying to maintain trees without proper training or taking precautions.