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Otago Polytechnic arboriculture student Julian Kirby (right) says he ''fell into'' tree-climbing.
He climbed trees as a youngster and got a job in Queenstown where tree-climbing was the next logical step.
''I started off feeding a chipper, and then the guy I worked for was a bit short-staffed, so I fell into climbing for him.''
He loved it, and decided to take a course at the polytechnic.
Now, he is headed to Nelson for the national tree-climbing competition.
He is one of three polytechnic students selected to go this year, which polytechnic aboriculture lecturer Ben Fentiman (pictured left) said was a first.
''It's fantastic,'' Mr Fentiman said.
''We're incredibly proud of our students. They've been really supportive of each other. They've done really well.''