International Women’s Day

I think I have been surprising people since the beginning (Right, Mom?!) It is a tough thing, to always be a surprise. Being the oldest in my family, and the first grandkid probably means that they were throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what stuck. I am often the tallest person, or the onlyContinue reading “International Women’s Day”

Urban Trees and their Unique Challenges

Urban trees face unique challenges compared to trees in the wild. Traffic, root compaction, road salt, and the effects of temperature variations influenced by concrete and asphalt are just the start, but the number one problem I see is right at the very beginning. Trees in the urban environment are often planted in the wrongContinue reading “Urban Trees and their Unique Challenges”

Before the Storm

One of the things we hear a lot is that a tree has become too big. Often sad, because if we had been here sooner, there are pruning strategies that we could have employed. Having said that, this front yard maple was rocking and rolling through the high winds of early summer. It was slatedContinue reading “Before the Storm”

Topping is evil

We recently had a storm event that resulted in a lot of damaged trees throughout Brandon and the Westman area. With few exceptions, the reason that these trees failed was because they had been previously topped. I am not talking pineapple on pizza (which is delicious) or sprinkles on ice cream (literally the worst) Read on to find out what topping is, why people have done it in the past, and what you can do differently to take care of your trees.

This is not a joke

I (Reta) am not really good at April Fool’s Jokes. The way that I am funny is generally funny voices, or some sort of performative type thing – I never got the hang of pranking. Maybe it is because my upbringing stressed putting myself in someone else’s shoes – it has never made sense to fill those shoes with shaving cream (see what I did there?)

May you live in interesting times

I always thought it was a proverb or wish, but apparently the Chinese saying “may you live in interesting times” is actually a curse. We are definitely living through dynamic times. Facing Covid-19 in the years 2020 means that we have health care, sanitation, ready access to supplies (for the most part. What is withContinue reading “May you live in interesting times”

Get that tree a haircut!

Generally speaking, cedars are not a great bet in Manitoba. The extremes and variability that characterizes the weather in these parts is not a good match for what cedars need. Having said that, older nursery stock that was climatized properly, and had better winters to get established can be wonderful specimens. These lovely towering (columnar)Continue reading “Get that tree a haircut!”

What I found in a tree

Being an arborist involves being prepared for many surprising things. The weather is a big one. I stopped paying any real attention to forecasts about ten mins into working outside (weirdly, because I remember the forecast being much more accurate when I was 20 and truck driving) I have frozen my buns off or sweatedContinue reading “What I found in a tree”

Why we are arborists

Tree work is difficult at the best of times. It is performed outside, in all kind of weather. We lift heavy loads, with uncertain footing. It is seasonal, and weather dependent. We deal with dogs, neighbours, physics, insurance companies, and all the challenges of small business ownership! So why the heck would we choose toContinue reading “Why we are arborists”