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:
- 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…..>>>)
- 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.)
- Are the safeties on your vehicles current? (Dump trucks must be inspected a minimum of once a year, depending on the Gross Vehicle Weight)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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)
- 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.)
- 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)
- Do you have references? (Yes! You can check our Facebook page here . I can also provide you with additional references, if you need.)
- 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.)
- 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!
Chris pruning back the willow tree house
Thank you for choosing us as your tree people. I’ve said this repeatedly this season, as we enter our 5th year in Brandon and Westman. We have returned to the yards of so many previous customers, and this has afforded us a chance to see how the changes we made 2,3, or 4 years ago are faring.
It has really been a treat. Obviously, we see the outcome of pruning decisions that came before us all the time. But to see the (positive) outcomes of our own work – it is very gratifying. I know, we are tree nerds. But there is a real difference between book learning and experiential learning – and only time gives you the second.
If you would like to join our previous customer club, call Reta at 204-730-0368 and we can talk pruning, and time.
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
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!
We are back by popular demand! (Someone must like us…)
Chris and I will be attending the DIY Homesteader Fest, on June 24, 2017, in Teulon, MB. This is an every-two-years festival, bringing together a really neat group of people, to learn, and share skills.
Chris will be teaching you how to make nearly anything into delicious booze (Country Wine) I (Reta) along with my best bud Danielle with be co-facilitating two workshops – Everyday Kraut – basic how-to make sauerkraut, and Seed Crackers!
Let me know if you have any questions or where the party is – 204-730-0368
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
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