Category Archives: tricky

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 sweated like crazy listening to an inaccurate forecast. So now, I dress in layers, and Wim Hof (you know, that guy who encourages you to roll around in the snow and take cold showers) It is a short hand for mind over body, I suppose.

A big surprise we encounter a lot is foreign material included in trees, also known as “hardware disease” It is hard on chainsaws, chippers, and our nerves. And it is always when we are cutting with a fresh chain! Or have just swapped the chipper blades!

How do these foreign objects end up in a tree?! Well, it could be as simple as you are mowing the lawn, see a rock, and toss it over to the base of the tree (where you won’t be mowing) Over time, the tree can “include” that rock, and then years, and years later, we find it when we are removing the tree. Christmas lights, left on the tree for too long, can end up included in the growth of the tree. Then there are the lag bolts for bird feeders, the chains for bikes, you name it – it goes on and on.

Nothing to see here

Ahaha! Lurking around the corner!

My suggestions are to never screw or nail anything into a tree. Check chains (for bikes or patio furniture) on a regular basis to ensure that they are not becoming embedded. The tree in your yard is a living thing, which enjoys fancy dress up (Christmas lights, and birdhouses) but check in from time to time to make sure they aren’t partied out!

If you would like to talk about what surprised you in a tree (like maybe a spiritual awakening?) call Reta at 204-730-0367 or check out more things we’ve found in trees in this post !!

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

Life happens

Several times this summer, folks have told me how they should have taken care of this tree five years ago. Or they apologize for how overgrown something is. Basically, something is not the way they want it (tree, hedge etc) and it has been that way for a while. One lady told that she had lived in the house for seventeen years, and had been worried about the tree falling for that long.

Who knew I was in the good sleep biz?

There is an old Chinese saying “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is right now.”

There are lots of things we “should” have done yesterday, last month, last year etc. But life happens. People get sick, or busy, or sidetracked, or focused on the kids, the job, the team.

If that tree is a worry – let’s talk about it. If those hedges mean you are losing sleep – let’s get on that. By all means, call Reta at 204-730-0368

We won’t be stumped

What to do with that stump in the yard! They are in the way when you are mowing, or trying to enjoy our short, intense summers! Maybe you tried to dig it out, or put a chain on it, or pour gasoline on it (believe me, we have see it all)

We come across a lot of stumps. There are two reasons for this – stump grinding technology has come a long way in the past few years, and if you are a on a budget, leaving the stump for another day makes a lot of sense. Why get rid of stumps? Aside from being unsightly, stumps can be a hazard to grass mowing, navigation, and can serve as habitat for bugs, and mice.

We have two machines to grind stumps – a highly portable precision machine, that can go anywhere, and grind anything and a self propelled work horse, a little robot that can make a quick job of even the biggest stumps.

Do you have a stump in a flower bed? In the middle of your yard? Call Reta at 204-730-0368 and we can figure out how to give you a beautiful yard, free of obstacles!

Is there a tree on your house? 

We can help! The summer storms that are becoming all too regular (read also – it seems like we have had destructive storms every year since Chris and I moved back from Winnipeg four years ago)

During the storm season of 2014 or ’15, Chris was photographed and interviewed by the Brandon Sun. He was quoted as saying that “a downed tree is a spring loaded death trap.” Now to be clear, he is not trying to scare people. What he wants to make clear is that a downed tree presents many, many risks – some of which are not obvious at all.

One of the challenges of storm work is how to remove trees and branches without further damaging your property. Maybe something is fully on your house, but depending how it is removed, there is a possibility to damage eavestroughs, soffit and fascia. Or perhaps, as a post is taken apart, there is the possibility of logs sliding down the side of your house, damaging siding or stucco.

While there is no 100% guarantee in storm work, we deploy a host of tools, trucks and expertise to safely make your home tree-free. From using a pole saw to cut branches from a safe distance (logs/posts can turn or shift suddenly depending on how their weight is distributed) to using jacks, straps and chains to support trees as we take them apart, we enjoy solving the challenges presented by a downed tree.

We would rather take down a marginal tree on purpose, than come clean up after an accident.

If you would like to know if we can help, call Reta at 204-730-0368

After the storm

The past few weeks have been pretty epic. Here in Brandon, the flood waters are still high, folks are cleaning up after two back to back storms a week apart, and we are catching up.

Chris and I usually work 6 days a week throughout the summer. Both storms hit on Saturday nights, which meant brunchget geared up and get out there!!!

On the second storm Sunday, the calls started rolling in at 8am – I wasn’t even out of bed. Didn’t even know how bad the storm had been in the south end – I figured we’d quote on the jobs on the way to brunch. nope Read more

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