ISA Member Profile April 2023

ISA Member Profile: From IT Specialist to Business Owner and Competitive Tree Climber

ISA Member Profile April 2023

Across the world, ISA Members dedicate their efforts to promoting the professional practice of arboriculture and fostering greater awareness of the benefits of trees. The ISA Member Spotlight allows ISA to share our members’ stories and recognize their accomplishments and contributions to the arboriculture industry. This month, ISA is highlighting Matthias Hejlskov.

Although Matthias Hejlskov, an ISA and Swedish Chapter member, is an experienced climber and participant in ISA’s tree climbing competitions, he wasn’t always an arborist. After leaving his IT office job in 2015, Matthias decided to change his life’s course and pursue a career in arboriculture. He enrolled in a two-year arborist program at Hvilan Utbildning in southern Sweden, where he began his new career path. During his studies, Matthias was introduced to tree climbing and went from volunteering at competitions to climbing in them. Being Danish and Swedish, he started competing in the Swedish local tree climbing competitions and traveled to Denmark to compete there. After a few years of gaining experience at the local level, he qualified for ISA’s European Tree Climbing Competition in 2022 and competed in Brussels, Belgium.

While Matthias climbs for competition and fun, he also climbs daily as part of his career. After graduating from his two-year program, Matthias started his business, Hejlskov Trädvård AB, in 2017. As a one-person show, he collaborates with local colleagues and does everything from small pollarding jobs to large pruning projects and feelings. He enjoys being his boss and running his own company to keep things simple in his day-to-day professional and personal life.

In 2022, Matthias attended ISA’s International Climbing Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark (as part of the organizing committee) and the ISA Annual International Conference in Malmö, Sweden. Through these experiences, he had the opportunity to network with arborists worldwide and enjoyed learning new techniques that he could bring back to his own business. Matthias also volunteered during the Women in Arb camp in Sweden and led his workshop on the basics of splicing. When he is not hanging out in the trees, Matthias seeks ways to volunteer and make a difference in the arboriculture community.


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