SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— North American tree-climbing champion Chad Brey wears a helmet, a harness and uses a rope to climb trees both professionally and as a competitor. He lives in San Francisco where he prepares for an international competition next week.

Brey owns Tree Climbing Team USA, a company that subcontracts to tree services in the Bay Area.

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“In the competition, they’re looking for number one: safety. Then it becomes a speed component, agility and also the way you move,” he said.

He’s graceful as he ascends into a eucalyptus tree in Golden Gate Park.

“Trees are amazing. No two trees are the same. It’s like snowflakes; it’s like pieces of dirt. It’s like every human being is completely unique,” Brey said.

If he had to pick a favorite; he says a valley oak or burr oak rate near the top.

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Arborists from around the world will gather in Milwaukee, Wisconsin next week to compete in the International Society of Arboriculture Contest. Brey knows there is competition will be fierce out there. He’s got his eye on a German who’s won international competition nine times.

He’s happy to call California home, where he’s climbed Redwoods over 300 feet tall.

“You have the tallest, the biggest and the oldest tree all in one place. It’s like tree heaven.”

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The trees in Wisconsin for the international championship will top out at 90 feet.