Into the Heart of Darkness

One of my very favorite things about my job is that every day can be a new challenge. Pruning an older fruit tree, complicated rigging to safely drop a tree that is close to a home or power lines, picking up really heavy (like super heavy) logs – are new opportunities to learn from each other, and to challenge ourselves to improve. At the beginning of this year, I struggled to get our mobile stump cutter out of the trailer. It is long, heavy and awkward. Two months later, when I handily did a bicep curl with it – I looked at Chris in disbelief and said, I don’t think there is any fuel in this. It is very light. He laughed at me and said, you have been lifting a lot of heavy logs. (see above)

I also called a kettle ball a liar at Walmart. There is no way it was 15 lbs. Light as a feather.

Recently, we had the chance to bolt a tree for some friends in Winnipeg. We do not normally work outside of the Brandon and surrounding area, but if you ask nicely or we really like you – then we will come.


Different species of trees have characteristics unique to them. Willow trees fall apart, maple trees never stop trying and ash trees tend to come apart at the trunk.

One solution is to bolt a tree. We drill into the tree with a very long bit, designed for a ship, and thread a rod through. Then a plate or large washer is affixed to each of the rod. This intervention provides the tree with mechanical stability while it heals.

here Chris is using a ratchet strap to entice the two halves of the tree back together

There are different schools of thought on some of these solutions. There is bolting for the trunk of the tree and cabling for the crown. Both static and dynamic cabling systems are available. Historically, Chris and I do not tend to favor bolting and cabling systems. Given how much metal and other surprises we find in trees and stumps, we are not eager to add metal to a tree and create a difficult or dangerous situation for an arborist down the road.

Chris is drilling the holes with the very long ship building bit

Situation where cabling and bolting can be quite effective is on smaller trees. It is asking a lot of the hardware, the bigger the tree gets. Also – when there is sentimental attachment. If your grandmother planted that tree, you can be assured that Chris and I will do whatever we can to save it. The main challenge is that bolting and/or cabling is no guarantee. If you want a guarantee, we would likely recommend a removal.

Threading the rod through the tree

Do you have a tree that has been injured and may benefit from cabling and/or bolting? Call Chris and Reta at Bee EZ Tree at 204-730-0368

I love this guy!

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