Category Archives: arborist

Safety Stuff

I am always looking at trees and buildings. I am in the tree business and I love architecture. So that is what I am checking out while I am out quoting, running errands, etc. Last week, on my way home for lunch, I passed two “job sites” and I was pretty steamed. The first was two men without hard hats, hearing protection, pylons/flags, who were chipping branches adjacent to a major thoroughfare. The vehicle was not identified in any way, so I am uncertain who it was. 

Chris and I came up in heavy construction and know that young workers are particularly vulnerable to injury or fatality as they are being trained for their position. This is a tragedy of our times, and as an employer, we believe it is critical to train young or new-to-tree business workers so that they can safely perform their jobs. People will say that there “isn’t time for safety” or “being safe takes too long and costs too much”

We disagree. We train our employees properly, and provide them with personal protective equipment. We are covered by contractor insurance, liability insurance, and Workers Compensation.

This means that Chris and I wear PPE.

This means that if you decide to book Bee EZ Tree Service, I will instruct you on how to engage our crew safely, where to stand out of the way if you would like to watch, encourage you to wear PPE if you are coming around your yard/our jobsite.

There is a cost obviously associated with buying lots of hard hats, gloves, safety glasses etc – but that is the cost of safely doing our business.

Excerpt from our training manual “Safety is an attitude, that infuses your movement and approach to a task. Safety needs to be an automatic response to the situations that we will find ourselves in every day. People look at our work and say, That’s dangerous! No. Our work involves risk, and through training, planning, talking, and executing the plan – we mitigate those risks.” (Saborowski 2017)

If you would like to read about the questions you can ask your arborist, check out this post 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Arborist or Tree Service

If you would like to talk about the good old days, and how we can safely take care of your trees and hedges, call Reta at 204-730-0368

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Arborist or Tree Service

How do you know if the tree service or arborist you are hiring is up-to-snuff? How can you protect your home and family from injury and liability?

Ask questions! Do some research!

Here is my list of questions that I encourage people to ask me:

  1. Are you licensed? (In the province of Manitoba, you must show proof that you have passed the Arborist exam and carry a minimum of 2 million dollars in liability insurance. I carry a copy of our license in Dropbox and can email you a copy, upon request.  We are licensed through the Dept of Forestry…..>>>)
  2. Are you insured? (Tree services must carry a minimum of 2 million in liability, in addition to the insurance on their own equipment. I carry a copy of our license in Dropbox and can email you a copy, upon request.)
  3. Are the safeties on your vehicles current? (Dump trucks must be inspected a minimum of once a year, depending on the Gross Vehicle Weight)
  4. Do you carry WCB (Workers Compensation)? (If the business is owner operated, they are not required to carry WCB – unless they are subcontracting. If the tree service has employees, it is a requirement to be registered with WCB. Check the WCB database to see if you are hiring someone covered by WCB here.)
  5. What is your tree management/pest management philosophy? (There is no right answer here, I think it is important to work with someone whose ideas resonate with you.)
  6. How many years experience do you/your team have doing this kind of tree work? (We are celebrating five years in Brandon! Before that, Chris worked in Winnipeg for 2.5 seasons)
  7. Have you done this type of work before? (Tree work ranges from pruning fruit trees, to large removal in tricky situations. It is important to get a sense of how much experience someone has in the type of work you are looking to have done.)
  8. How do you plan the work? What is your felling plan? (I usually discuss how we will proceed with the planned work with my customers, so that we can discuss any surprises/possible challenges before the work starts)
  9. Do you have references? (Yes! You can check our Facebook page here . I can also provide you with additional references, if you need.)
  10. When can you get the work done/how much will it cost? (This is usually the first question, and it is an important one. Beware the person who can get it done immediately, unless it is an emergency. During the summer, we are usually booking 2-3 weeks ahead. We are subject to the weather, so our schedule may change! If you need tree work done because of other contractors, or because of a special date, we will make our best effort to fit it in. Beware the too-good price. A few times a year, we are called to finish up work that was started by a different outfit that got in over their heads or took the deposit and left.)
  11. BONUS QUESTION ~~ Do you need a deposit? (I accept payment once all the work is completed, and you are 100% happy. We don’t need to order any supplies, which is often why contractors take deposits. We do appreciate being paid once the work is completed, unless other payment arrangements are made in advance)

If you would like to ask me questions, call Reta at 204-730-3068

If you are buying or selling a house, check out Look out behind those bushes! and This Wild Trick Means Selling Your House Easier!

Call Before You Construct

In the past few years, we have started working with some of the developers in town, principally doing lot clearings before a house is demolished to make way for new constructions. This has been great. Chris and I both have a heavy construction/renovation background, so being a part of a new construction project is a natural progression for us. It is rewarding that these folks have us in to consult on the safety, health, and make a plan.

In some cases, everything is being cleared out. And in other cases, we will be working to preserve some of the existing trees.

When some of the trees are staying, there are several considerations. Our main concerns are root damage, and root compaction. Depending on the scope of the project, we may have suggestions for how to minimize damage to the trees that are staying.

We will work with you to install new trees. Asking questions about how you want to use your outdoor space, what kind of maintenance you can manage, (and how many raspberries you can eat!!) will help us to create your ideal place in the world.

If you would like to talk new backyard fun or maybe have us plant an apple tree for you, call Reta at 204-730-0368

 

These chips don’t go with dip!

We get this question a lot.

“What do you do with your wood chips?” “What do you do with your logs?”

The first step is to offer these materials to the homeowner – it is your tree/hedge/bush after all, even if we have feed it through our chipper. Wood chips can be useful to mulch around trees, augment compost, you could even get a little nutty and start a Hugel bed!

As for firewood, we can stack it neatly against a fence or shed in your yard, so that it is ready for a marshmallow roast (as your local bylaws allow!)

If you choose to take a pass on the wood chips, we have several local farmers and gardeners that we work with who would love a load of wood chips or five! And we have a whole bunch of firewood folks, just waiting to jump in and grab some logs.

If you would like to talk chips and dip, or chips and logs – call Reta at 204-730-0368

Look out behind those bushes!

Look out for this guy!

When we look to solve problems, we often look to our own professional experience. Makes sense! An accountant may suggest that a budget makes owning a home easier (but not as fun!) A contractor may suggest a new bathroom (good idea!) A locksmith may suggest a new lock (do you see where I am going with this?)

A recent article in Popular Mechanics about home security listed the normal “update your locks” suggestions that you already know, but what jumped out at me was the importance of landscaping. Read article >>>>

Being able to see clearly out of the front door and windows means that someone cannot hide, or get close to the house without attraction notice. It would be helpful if burglars wore little black masks and striped shirts, but in real life, I don’t think they do. A well lit home, with nicely pruned trees is an excellent start.

Call Reta if you’d like to talk security strategies 204-730-0368

It is the season for snuggling

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Smiles 2016

As the snow has finally hit, after an uncertain month – ones thoughts turn to the important matters. “Do I have enough hot chocolate on hand, if I get storm stayed?” “How much turkey can I eat this month?” “Are cheese grilled sandwiches their own food group? Or some sort of crazy synergy between butter, cheese and bread?”

But all joking aside, as the pace of life slows, we tend to look back and look forward. 2016 had a lot more challenges than we could have anticipated. It was also one of our busiest years ever. Maybe it just felt that way as we juggled diapers and logs.

We completed some of our largest removals ever.

Chris is the poplar guy at the party

It was estimated by our firewood guy, Bill that he loaded nearly 20,000 lbs of wood from these trees. THOSE were some big trees!

We dealt with a lot of logs! We made up log dances, and log songs – but in the end, we just moved a lot of wood!

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Logs logs logs!!

We developed new ways of dealing with juniper…which at one point, may have been the bane of my existence. I had totally underestimated the depth and involvement of this juniper bush a few years back and we were there for way too many days. The homeowner was very patient, but it was tough. It was 40 degrees, I was pregnant, tough times!

So Chris developed the truck removal! Which involves chains. Now this is normally something we would advise against – when the stump breaks free, it does not have brakes, and therefore, that clump is technically out of control. He advanced, braked, and then backed up. Repeating this action means wiggling the roots back and forth, then popping it out like a tooth. Low speed means more control.

Chaining juniper up is the only solution

What a beautiful day to take my juniper for a walk!

Once again, we entered into a storm season. Every year, we think, all the trees that would be affected by storms have already been damaged/removed/pushed over. And yet every year, there seems to be a tree on a house, a tree on a car, someone who needs us on a Saturday morning. This year, we had an exciting day that took us from the North Hill, in Brandon, to Ninette, and then up to Carberry. It is really humbling to think of the size of that weather system and how many people it affected.

When spruce attack

Is there a tree on your house? Please call us – we can help!

We did have a few rough spots. Tree work is not for everyone, and we had to say good bye to a dear friend because of irreconcilable differences. Richard caught a chainsaw in the face in August, and is still under treatment (good news – he is driving again!) They managed to remove the piece in his eye and it turned out to be a chainsaw chain tooth – there may have been something in the log that he was cutting that interacted with the saw. First aid training and excellent response time from the ambulance made all the difference.

What a difference a year makes!

Eight months pregnant on the left – ten month old baby on the right!

We will spend the winter dreaming, planning, and getting our equipment ready for 2017. We tend to renovate in our downtime. We also plan to spend time with friends and family.

We wish your family that happiest holiday season and good health in the New Year!

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