Ha!, no...just think of it as an approach without any modern tools. I know I'm being vague, but there was a time in human evolution at which things were done with natural solutions/materials, and plain old physical actions/manipulations. Prune it, remove it, let it be, smear honey on it, you know what I mean.So skip the threats and just start whooping asses. Perfect !
This is my take on the invasives. Anyone ever sprayed a tree and then watched a bird land on it and start eating poisoned dead bugs . How can someone feel good about that ? Gypsy moth catapillar comes to mind. How many poor birds gulp them down after getting deuched by spray. Its not something to be over looked . Even a little tweety deserves better because in this web of life we are all connected somehow.I think that especially with introduced pests like EAB, the desire is for eradication, which isn't an achievable goal.
Good way to lose clientele talking like that right. If someone's calling you about it they have a reason. I believe that's getting down to the core of being a good arborist dealing with a problematic tree and making it better makes the work fulfilling . Making people happy is very important , if you are honest about the situation at hand you can't lose in my book.Something that always bothers me is the saying, "the best solution is to have not planted that tree there in the first place." How often does that help us down the road when we are called in to deal with a client's tree?
Great input, Uncle Don. Weak ethics can errode quickly with dishonest people. Your multi-dimensional perspective on PHC as a whole sounds very healthy to me. You also harbor the understanding that proper practitioners require the ability to carefully focus not only on a single plant issue, but the entire environment surrounding that issue. Cheers to that.This is a great discussion. Thanks DSMc and others for setting it straight. PHC is, or should be, all about "the big picture". Refer to the opening statement in the PHC chapter of the ISA Arborist Certification Study Guide, which says it all.
Oceans honest and heart-felt statement is so true for the conscientious, ethical practitioner; I think about it every day too. New customers call up and say "my tree has bugs, can you come and spray it". Well I could do just that and pocket the money and they would never know any better, and I'd probably be making more money. But I care and I have a conscience and I try to educate and do the right thing. I can't afford to turn down work, but I do, way too often, because some people just don't want to hear it, they just want the bugs dead and they want it cheap. But I'm looking at it in the PHC way: well, what pest is present, why is it there, is it a tree killer or just a nuisance, is the nuisance tolerable to the resident for a while until the pest life cycle runs it course, what growing conditions, construction impact, soil and water management practices are contributing to the pest infestation, can those cultural conditions be modified, can biological controls or low tox botanicals be used for suppression, or do I really need to load up my big guns and stop a tree killer in it's tracks.
I spend a lot of unpaid time searching for pest and disease information, pest control measures, CE seminars, etc, but you have to if you're committed to the real PHC concept and practice.
I also quit advertising because I got sick of the run of the mill "bugs dead" inquiries. I'm fortunate that I have good associations built up over the years and I now just work off of referrals from a few loyal tree services, landscapers and consulting arborists who know me and my approach and give the clients a little heads-up, that I may recommend soil analysis and prescription mineral and biological amendments instead of general purpose NPK fertilization, that I may recommend changing the irrigation system or frequencies, incompatible plantings, things like that.
Preventive treatments, including correction of poor growing conditions, is where it's at, as much as possible. Get to know common pest and disease issues, anticipate and educate and get ahead of the problems before they get ahead of you and the trees. That's my simplified take on PHC. The real story is that it's not easy and it takes a lot of knowledge and experience and you have to build up a good network of information sources and associates to bounce stuff off of. And get a good smart phone to take photos and send multimedia text messages. Every day I send and receive pics and questions, what's this tree, whats' this ugly canker, what's chewing on these leaves? As long as I've been at it, I always need help and I'm always learning. I believe that's an essential attitude for PHC. Not only how can I take this customer for as much moola as I can. Levi, good can come of it, through education and ethical practice. At least to feel good about what you do and how you do it, and that you are doing the right thing as best you can.
For the record, Levi, I understood what you were getting at and took no offence. But you can't believe that these problems will somehow go away. The list of things that we would be "better off without" is a long one indeed. As much as I would like to change the world I know it will not happen. That does not mean giving up, but instead focus on what can be done and not on what can't. A single individual can have a very strong affect on the people within their sphere of influence. That is where doing and teaching the right things will accomplish the most good....The point I am trying to make is that although some are responsible enough to have access to toxic chemicals I would guess that most are not responsible and are just trying to make money. Therefore my opinion is that we would be better off without them.