A Challenge to all Arbo's

A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

While removing a Cornus nuttallii (our provincial tree in BC) yesterday, I shut my 200T off just long enough to hear a passer-by call me a "Money-hungry tree killer!". I have been called pretty well everything under the sun while working a removal, but this insult really hit home.
In the spectators defense, the specimen I was removing was absolutely beautiful and very vital, so I can see where she was coming from. What she didn't know though was that the tree was planted over 70 years ago directly above an underground oil tank used for storing heating fuel. The oil tank has since started leaking and has contaminated the soil in the surrounding area. In Vancouver it is mandated that upon discovery of a "leaky oil tank", the property owner must pay for the tank removal and soil remediation. So unfortunately the tree had to be removed in order to access the leaky tank.
After getting to the ground I had to ask myself, "Are we all just money-hungry tree killers?"...
And the obvious answer is, "HELL NO!!!"
I think we all know that quite often the general public paints all of us Arbo's with the same brush. Many think we are only concerned with making as much cash as possible at the expense of property owners and trees. But I like to think nothing could be further from the truth. Just like in any industry, a few bad apples can ruin it for the rest and it is unfortunate that so many people think we are all the same.
So, I made the decision to do a little volunteer tree work in my neighborhood, if for no other reason than to give back to the community that has treated me so well.
With Squamish, BC being the outdoor rec. capital of Canada one can only imagine the multi-use trail system that exists. One of said trails begins just down the road from where I live and definitely gets a lot of hiker and mountain biker traffic. There is a large Tsuga heterophylla at the convergence of two trails that had a failure of one of its two tops during a windstorm. I had witnessed many people (including little children) walking under and around the failed top which was snagged in a Acer circinatum.
I decided that removing the snag would make a good volunteer project.
The district hadn't addressed the hazard so I figured I would. I realize that doing any sort of tree climbing (especially tree work) on "Government owned trees" is not often encouraged, or for that matter legal. I did inform a municipal office with regards to the work I wanted to do, and without saying "Go ahead" they indirectly told me, off record, that it wasn't a problem as long as it was done safely and professionally. So I went to work removing the snag and cleaning up the area. In total it took me 3.5 hours to get the snag to the ground, cleaned up, and I also was able to clean up 4 grocery bags full of broken beer bottles.

Please excuse my long-winded story, but here is the challenge to all you climbers out there...

Are you willing to get out in your community and volunteer your skill-set and a bit of your time, thus helping others and the trees around you?

I realize that a lot of us are REALLY busy with work (I've been putting in 60+ hour weeks myself) and family commitments, but if giving back and helping to improve Arbo's image everywhere is important enough to you, I bet you can find the time.

And I'm not condoning taking work away from other companies by doing it for free, but maybe you can find your own project similar to mine...

Just my 2 cents.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

Well done!

Pay it forward does work, I found that this afternoon. Within an hour of helping I got helped :)

I'm so happy to hear that you got the unofficial OK to do the work.
 

AboveTheLines

New Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

This is great! After Irene hit us I spent some time cleaning up some of the roads in a local wildlife management area along a river that I fish.

I do love the thrill of climbing and doing removals but I also care about and appreciate trees! I would love to see 2 trees planted for every one that is removed. Arborists do a huge part keeping communities healthy, safe and beautiful. It is kind of funny when you are doing line clearance or ROW work and people talk all kinds of trash. Those will always be the first to complain that their power was out for a few days after a tree takes out the lines. Best part is they will blame it on someone not doing their job when they were the ones trying to prevent the job from being done in the past.

People will always find stuff to complain about it. I am proud of what I do as I am sure everyone here is so I just don't let it get to me. Life is too short, let them be the ones living it miserably.
 

Caballos

Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

As soon as I moved in my neighborhood I sent an email and attended some neighborhood association meetings and made sure that everyone knew what I do for a living. I let them know if there was a hazard or an emergency don't hesitate to call me.
And if they are getting tree work done let me know and I'll give them my thoughts on what they should do before they do something irreversible or get taken advantage of. This also leads to opportunities to educate people on trees. I love this job.
 
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

Thanks for sharing your stories folks. Keep em coming. Somehow I knew there would already be Arbo's out there doing their part for the community.
 

TreeDoctor

Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

Arbor Day is coming up soon. A perfect time to get out and do some good for the trees in your town.
 

SingleJack

Well-Known Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

I'm retired but I still get to do a lot of tree work for charities, poor, and fixed income geezers. If they can afford the work I'll help them find a certified arborists. It's satisfying to help those in need and tend to some trees that would otherwise be neglected due to lack of funds.
 

SRTsteve860

Active Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

Following the tornadoes that swept through the Springfield Mass area last June as well as the huge October Snow that hit New England,my father and I put many weekends of time in to help low income families who couldn't afford a large company to assist them. I try to volunteer my services as much as I can if not for the service, just cause I love what I do. While to some it can be easy to drive by a H/O using a ladder to access some damage in a tree, unsecured, trying to use a chainsaw, I feel like it is my duty to help just because I am privileged with this set of skills. I am sure many of you know exactly where I am coming from..

-Steven
 

AboveTheLines

New Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

I do Steven. I wont bid low for side work just to get a job because I don't want to cut any local companies throat but I will do cheap work for people that couldn't otherwise afford to have it done anyways. I truly love what I do so I am happy just getting the chance to do it.

I can't wait for Arbor Day, I actually wanted to send a message to Tomthetreeman to see if he knew of anything I could volunteer for here in RI.
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

[ QUOTE ]
Following the tornadoes that swept through the Springfield Mass area last June as well as the huge October Snow that hit New England,my father and I put many weekends of time in to help low income families who couldn't afford a large company to assist them. I try to volunteer my services as much as I can if not for the service, just cause I love what I do. While to some it can be easy to drive by a H/O using a ladder to access some damage in a tree, unsecured, trying to use a chainsaw, I feel like it is my duty to help just because I am privileged with this set of skills. I am sure many of you know exactly where I am coming from..

-Steven

[/ QUOTE ]

Steven it is funny you mention the H/O, ladder and a chainsaw. I just purchased my first house in January, and it wasnt 3 weeks into our life in our new home, this very thing happened to us. I was taking a brake from unpacking and I heard a chainsaw outside. I looked out the window to see my new nieghbor on a ladder with a chain saw cutting down a spruce (he is very capable, but in his 60s). I quickly went out, found my gear and a saw in the heap and went over to assist. I even backed the chipper in to chip the brush. He was very thankful, and I suggested that he give me a shout if he planned on taking the ladder and saw out again.
Here in the PenDel Chapter we have an Arbor Day of service every year, where many companies come together and work side by side for a good cause. We are normally working on non-profit properties that could not afford the work otherwise. This years is coming fast, April 25th for all of you PenDel'ers that are up for a day of work and fun.
 

Jeremie

New Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

I like your post a lot TREEPRACTITIONER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As a treeclimber and arborist teacher I try very hard to teach a good working ethics to our new studen. But unfortunaly , I always have some guy who only want to make some fast cash.

I'm doing my part by being involve in our tree comitee here in Quebec (SIAQ) and I'm a volunteer on each activities to promote all the benefit of urban tree for citizen.

But i'm dreaming to do more....
 

theXman

Well-Known Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

[ QUOTE ]
, but here is the challenge to all you climbers out there...

Are you willing to get out in your community and volunteer your skill-set and a bit of your time, thus helping others and the trees around you?

[/ QUOTE ]

yup, I do it and will continue to do it.

Mainly free work for park service trails, just as you did. Liability was also a problem at first. With volunteers, they said they needed two rangers to watch us. This was due to two knowing CPR had to be on site from the Park for volunteers. IT was never going to happen, because with budget cut backs, rarily two rangers were on the same shift. So, I then told them both of us climbers were CPR trained, would that satisfy? It did. Before that, I said let's not let me be a volunteer, hire us for $1.00 and it will then be a hired contractor. (but they didn't want to do that).

We also often give 15% off for most police departments, fire departments, parks and churches; as i feel these places give so much to the community and to myself, we don't have to make a profit working for them.
 

Colin

Administrator
Administrator
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

Let's not all get hurt patting ourselves on the back now.....
 

AboveTheLines

New Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

It makes some people feel good helping others out. Sometimes a pat on the back is worth more than making a profit.
 

treeness

Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

The only thing I would be cautious of is that even though it is charity work, they won't exactly give you a get out of jail card free if something goes wrong. I'd love to start going to work on some of the trails around here, especially some of the harder to access with equipment ones on the escarpment, but I know me doing it outside of my company both puts me in a bad spot with my employer if I get hurt, or even the owners of the trail as well as other parties involved. I would make sure that you are doing it all legit under a company name, insurance and get the official okay from the top end. I saved a bunch of weekend warriors with ryobi last fall trying to drop a cedar tree near the power lines... Easy few cuts to put it on the ground, but I knew with those guys doing it with how they were doing it, I could see that with the pull of a pick up truck, the tree sliding of the sump, digging in and falling right on the ROW or even falling sideways on their entourage of 6 guys. They were lucky I was just out on a walk and was attracted to the sound of a chainsaw. People will gladly accept the free work, but won't hesitate to crucify if something goes awry. I knew this, but I also was very confident in my skill. I still kind of felt dirty afterwards as well as the gf caught me red handed covered in saw dust and let me hear it.
 

ChrisOTS

Member
Re: A Challenge to all Arbo\'s

Our small town was hit by a tornado last year, and it really made me realize how us arbs are all panted with that "tree service" brush, not to crucify them, but there was a lot of scammers with no training or credentials going around acting like volunteers, and one unnamed company was going around the day after, billing said people. This was last August.

Almost a year later, my company is in the middle of a radio contest for repairing tornado damaged trees, where we select 3 big trees that can be saved in our opinion, and we do the work for free. The whole setup is pretty cool, and we get to educate the public that just because you hear a chainsaw, doesn't mean a tree is coming down. We did a giant black walnut last week, I did the biggest limbwalk I have seen to date on the beast, overlooking damn near the whole town. Everyone was high on adrenaline.

Personally, I try to explain the difference between saving trees and cutting them down as much as I can, but there is so much ignorance towards arborists, never mind certified in my area, I could talk all day and night and not make a difference. Although the Goderich Trees Project has been a great pass time for replanting private property, and are always willing to ask my opinion before they act. So I suppose a difference has already been made there.
Also due to our work with the project, we were approached by the county to try and build a CERV disaster response team that would be trained by the county, and funded. It's a lot of work, but proof that investing in the community can pay off in dividends.

It's all in who's willing to listen, and not just wait for their turn to speak I suppose.
 

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