Why does my tree look like that?!

After the stormy times of 2014, I found that a lot of folks in the surrounding area became very “tree aware”. I got a lot of phone calls asking “is my tree safe?” I would generally respond that all trees in our care do pose some degree of risk, and that I would assess the risk, with a few caveats. With the tough weather we have had over the past two years – hot, dry summers, and cold, dry winters, I am now getting a lot of calls wondering why their tree looks the way it does.

When assessing a tree with an eye to possible pruning, or removal, I work through the  pyramid, or three legged stool: Safety – Health – Appearance. Some of the questions I ask around safety are: how close is the tree to buildings, public walkways, powerlines? What kind of tree is it, how has it been pruned in the past, what is the overall structure? Then I assess if the tree is healthy, leafed out, fighting off bugs, mushrooms, pathogens. Appearance can definitely be subjective, and sentimental value is always a consideration.

When there is a question of infection, I prepare samples and send them away to a lab to test. We are generally not big proponents of chemically treating trees, that may just need water and pruning. It is important to know what the concern is, and we can discuss lab results when they come back.

Caring for your tree is the best defense. Trees are like us. They have a circulatory system, scars from injuries, neighbours.  Caring for your tree means regular haircuts (pruning for species and age as recommended by a certified arborist), watering your trees when we go weeks, or months without rain in the summer, and monitoring for the signs of decline (mushrooms, dead branches in the crown, root plate shifting, splits at unions, and premature leaf or needle loss are among the most obvious)

If you have questions about your trees, please call Reta at 204-730-0368

If you want to know what questions to ask – 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Arborist or Tree Service

Saying goodbye to one of my favourite trees

Tiny man or giant stump?

Oh dear poplar – you fell over so majestically.

And we just got to prune this year!

Smoky nights and hot days!

I remain positive and enthusiastic all the time, even in the face of adversity. I am excited at 6am when we get to drive trucks and run heavy equipment. I can summon a dizzying hustle at the end of the day, even if there is a huge pile of logs standing in my way of getting home. This is my super power. It is a must if you are going to be an entrepreneur for more than ten minutes. It means scrubbing the toilets when staff doesn’t show up (another lifetime); it means emergency trips to the equipment dealer in Winnipeg, it can mean long days and longer nights. We are in the middle of an epically challenging year. From the weather (too cold, too cold, too cold – OMG IT IS TOO HOT), to the fires and construction that Brandon has endures (our shop is right across the train tracks from the fires that hit Brandon, and our post office box burned down), and it seems like every piece of equipment we own has needed serious repairs (new transmission for the big truck, new engine for the little truck, an overhaul for the stump grinder, and a tune up for my truck. Oh and then a tree fell on my trailer. Sheesh.)

We have had trouble retaining employees. Tree work is heavy, can be repetitive, and we work in all kinds of weather. We are up front about the unique joys and challenges of tree work, but maybe people don’t believe us? Underestimate us?

And all these problems we have been having, I hesitate to bring up because of the terrifying shifts in global politics. Chris is a first generation Canadian, and I was oft reminded of my farmer pioneer ancestors as a child. It seems like a deeply polarizing time in the world, where we have forgotten all the hard won lessons of the 20th century.

I am here at the office on a Friday night, catching up on paperwork because of the babysitter being sick for half of the week. Isobel is super helpful with many things, but not so much the paperwork. My take out was late, my credit card would not work….

So the cherry on top of this whole thing is that I had one more packet of papers to staple and I had just run out of staples. I went to the supply drawer and opened the box backwards, dumping all the staples out. And I started laughing. Not in a worrisome way, but weird because I am by myself. The thing is, I don’t know if I would choose another path. Chris’s quote of the summer has been “I barely survive, but I do so on my own terms.” Crazy as it sounds, I belong to a group of people who will sometimes succeed, and will sometimes fail, and sometimes do insane things – but they do it on their own terms (remember that dog rescue, Lydia?) I come from a long time of lady business owners, producers, and farmers. I do not want to tempt fate, but I am glad I can surf these challenges, and hopefully land on a peaceful shore (whatever that looks like)

My friend Teri at Brown Sugar Produce (who grows my delicious vegetable CSA) says something about taking care of the important things so that they will last. To that, I am only going to do a bank deposit and three quotes tomorrow, then go to the beach with Chris and Isobel.

If you would like to see my superpower in action, call Reta at 204-730-0368. If you would like to heed my wisdom, stay in school and hug your family.

If you are thinking about hiring an arborist, read 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Arborist or Tree Service

Pruning inside!?!?

I recently was contacted by a previous customer, where we had done work at their place of business. They needed us at their home. I could not have guessed that I was in for such a treat!

They have a giant two-story ficus tree.

Words nearly escaped me.

Things we learned – ficus tress drip when they are pruned, and that sappy stuff is poisonous. You need a broom, not a rake to clean up inside. And you need to wrap everything in a tarp when carrying branches out.

It was an honour to be able to prune this specimen.

If you have an interesting tree for us to look at, please call Reta at 204-730-0368

What makes us different

When we started Bee EZ Tree Service six years ago, we would often ask ourselves, “What makes us different from other tree services in Brandon?”

I would usually come up with ninja air slicing, and declare that we would be the best chain saw tree surgeons ever (which we are).

But over and over again, our customers tell us how much they appreciate being able to get us on the phone, and are thankful that we return calls. They love that we show up on the date we say, at the time we said (unless we change the date and time, which we communicate with them) They marvel at how tidy it is when we leave. Of course, I took these essential traits about myself and the business that Chris and I were building for granted. I overlooked these habits, because I thought you were supposed to pick up the phone and return phone messages? I thought that you were supposed to show up when you said you would? Business 101

And when you make a mess – I thought you were supposed to clean it up.

So despite becoming a pretty efficient chainsaw wielding team, it is these basic things that people love. When our customers tell their friends, it is that we are nice, polite, and tidy.

So if you would like an arborist that you can get on the phone, who shows up when they say, and who cleans up when they leave – call Reta at 204-730-0368 to schedule a no-cost yard assessment or we can talk about the good old days!

A handy list if you are looking to hire an arborist 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Arborist or Tree Service

Has spring sprung?

I find the older I get, the more opportunity I have to make the same jokes that I make every year. It feels like both a badge of honour and a recognition of the march of time.

We always planted the garden on May long when I was a kid. Chris and I tried once in Wpg. We had a bunch of stuff started, ready to go — and it snowed. Like super, wet cold snow. So our poor seedlings got all leggy and didn’t really do as well as they could.

Sometimes you need to dance with nature. The sunshine really seems like it’s here! A lot of folks have called me regarding fruit tree pruning, and I’m sorry to say that unless I do it in the next ten minutes, we will need to look at it for the fall.

If you want to talk pruning or puns, call Reta at 204-730-0368

Industry Trends

Once a year or so, Vermeer Winnipeg puts on a day of continuing education for arborists. It’s usually brutally cold, really fun, and very informative (they also provide lunch!)

I (Reta) have not been able to come for the last few years – Vermeer skipped a year when they were changing locations, and I’ve been at home with the munchkin for the past two.

Chris and I are nerding out pretty hard discussing the differences between Double Rope Technique and the new hotness, Single/Static/Stationary Rope Technique. We rarely need an excuse to buy more gear, and they are some aspects that seem helpful. But I am always wary of a cure all. It is definitely something for the tool box.

We are both voracious readers, and are constantly looking for better or more efficient solutions to add to our literal and figurative tool boxes.

If you have a challenging tree, call Reta at 204-730-0368 and we can talk felling plan.

« Older Entries