Category Archives: Surprises

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

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!

The New Year Review 2014 [Bee EZ Tree Service]

What is there to say about 2014? We cut, we pruned, we ground stumps – we made the world a safer, more attractive place! And we had fun doing it.

FLORIDA !!

The first fun adventure – right out of the gates, was a long-awaited trip to Florida. Celebrating Chris’s 40th birthday with a big trip was a goal of mine for many years. We did EVERYTHING! From South Beach, Miami to a cruise to the Bahamas, from Disney to Kennedy Space Centre – Coral Castle and the Everglades. Read more

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