Tag Archives: tree service

Topping is evil

Previously topped Manitoba Maple, that had had failed leaders in the past – photo credit: Jillian Creasor

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.

What is topping?

Topping in the tree world is an outdated pruning practice that does not deliver. Generally, “topping” is just that – taking the top or upper crown off a tree.

After topping, many epicormic shoots arise and develop into weakly attached branches. These
branches, and the multiple leaders, continue to develop girth and weight and have an
increasing potential to fall and cause damage to people and property.

Linda Chalker-Scott, The Myth of Tree Topping, PlantAmnesty, https://www.plantamnesty.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Myth-of-Tree-Topping.pdf

Why do people top trees?

Trees may have grown and are interfering with power lines or properties. People may think that it is safer to have a shorter tree or that getting a serious pruning will give the tree a chance to “fill out” Topping promises a safer tree, but does not deliver.

How does topping a tree affect it?

Initially, the loss of leaves results in less food for the tree. The tree is more susceptible to disease, decay and insects through all the cut off stubs and limbs.

Trees understandably freak out after losing their top or upper canopy (how upset would you be if you lost your head?!) Trees react with rapid growth, which results in poorly connected branches in an attempt to replace as many leaves as quickly as possible.

Eventually the new branches grow to the original height, but are tied in poorly, which restarts the whole cycle again.

(You can use a chainsaw for proper pruning!)

What is the alternative to topping a tree?

Excellent question! A healthy, well pruned, watered tree is the safest. Depending on the age, placement, and species of tree, there are several effective tree pruning techniques that can be employed. Selective crown reduction, or crown thinning are two ways we can respond to some of the concerns that motivate tree topping. Bottom line, if you are considered topping a tree, you may want to consider tree removal and stump grinding and replace with a tree that will more comfortably fit into the space.

You can consult with an arborist, who can assess risk, and make suggestions!

You can request a visit online here Request a quote ! Or call Reta at 204-730-0368

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?)

I hope that you are doing as well as can be expected in these difficult times. There seems to be so much news and information coming at us like a fire hose, that it can be tough to follow. We are facing a pretty challenging situation as a community, as a province, as a country and beyond. I see people pulling together – while staying two meters apart – and it is incredible. Generally, Chris and I thought we were pretty healthy, then we welcomed Isobel into our family. It turns out we were not really healthy previously – just really good at not having anyone cough in our mouth. Sheesh! I think having a toddler was good training for what we are facing right now – wash your hands, have a nap, give each other space, read books, eat snacks.

We are considered an essential service – as such, we will continue to clear snow and we will respond to emergency tree calls. I (Reta) will continue to quote – while following industry best practices. This may mean marking the trees ahead of time, and then talking on the phone during the quote, or practising social distancing while we move around the yard. As a company, we were set up to email quotes and receive online payment before this all happened, so in that regard, we are business as normal. We can discuss the details when we make the appointment.

We will be scheduling routine or non emergency tree work to begin in May. Chris, Isobel and I laid in supplies and started socially distancing on March 13, and we will require the same of our team once we get underway this year. Our work is likely considered low risk for the spread of Covid 19, as we work outside, we are a small team, and to manage communication, we have always relied on having Reta as the point of contact. Additionally, the pylons, the chainsaws, and the chipper keep people away.

Isobel says, “What does a chicken say when he is hungry?” We say, “What does he say?” She replies, “I am hungry………the chicken can also talk” That is the joke that she has told me almost daily for two weeks, then I decided to record it and she made chicken noises. Lol. kids!

Please take care of yourself first. You need to put your own mask on, before helping anyone else. I read that this will be a marathon, not a sprint. I don’t want to do either. I want to meander or at the very best stroll. If there is anything that Chris or I can do – please let us know. I make a mean bowl of soup and am happy to leave some on your doorstep. If tree work was part of your plan for 2020, please grab a quote and let’s talk.

If you are going through hell, keep going. Winston Churchill

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) cedars deserved a bit of love after getting nibbled on by deer over the winter. It’s a great example of updating an older tree, instead of removing it.

If deer got into your cedars, or any other trees need a day at the spa,give Reta a call at 204-730-0368 or fill out our handy form GET A QUOTE

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

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

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

Into the Heart of Darkness

One of my very favorite things about my job is that every day can be a new challenge. Pruning an older fruit tree, complicated rigging to safely drop a tree that is close to a home or power lines, picking up really heavy (like super heavy) logs – are new opportunities to learn from each other, and to challenge ourselves to improve. At the beginning of this year, I struggled to get our mobile stump cutter out of the trailer. It is long, heavy and awkward. Two months later, when I handily did a bicep curl with it – I looked at Chris in disbelief and said, I don’t think there is any fuel in this. It is very light. He laughed at me and said, you have been lifting a lot of heavy logs. (see above)

I also called a kettle ball a liar at Walmart. There is no way it was 15 lbs. Light as a feather. Read more