I haven’t logged in quite a while. I have all the answers

DSMc

Well-Known Member
Location
Montana
Let me start with trees, Leave them alone.

That is usually the best advice an arborist can usually give unless a tree truly has a significant defect.

That is far too negative a view. As an arborist, you are supposed to have technical knowledge on how a tree will respond to what you do and utilize that knowledge in your work. If all you see or can predict are negative responses, you are doing it wrong. That is not the same thing as saying that it can't be done correctly and in a manner that benefits the tree, it is merely saying you either don't care or don't know what you are doing.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Location
Maine Island
Arborist work is reductionist, living beings rarely benefit from parts being cut off them. But perhaps Ryan is making a different point.
 
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DSMc

Well-Known Member
Location
Montana
Trees can very often benefit from a thoughtful redirection of growth. They are trees, you are not cutting off fingers and toes.
 

RyanCafferky

Well-Known Member
Let me start with trees, Leave them alone.



That is far too negative a view. As an arborist, you are supposed to have technical knowledge on how a tree will respond to what you do and utilize that knowledge in your work. If all you see or can predict are negative responses, you are doing it wrong. That is not the same thing as saying that it can't be done correctly and in a manner that benefits the tree, it is merely saying you either don't care or don't know what you are doing.

I do have a negative view of most of our industry like most "industries". Our capitalist society and our place in it means that many arborists are less than ethical in their recommendations for trees and for what trees "need" as far as redirection of growth.

Most of the time yes I can look at a tree and see a few key cuts that could be made that would slightly or occasionally significantly benefit the long term structure of a tree.

But as a contract climber quite often I am put on jobs where trees that have no significant structural defects are listed on the quote as needing "pruning". I usually joke with the crew about being paid by the pound and go for a rec climb up the tree. Perhaps I make a few cuts that are necessary and at times feel the need to take out more to take up time or to put brush on the ground so the customer can see that something was done to their tree to justify the charge. The new cut facing the kitchen window is always best practice right? I think Gilman included that in his latest book.

My point being that I, a Treebuzz aficionado who has been in the industry for 23 years at times feels confused by the blanket statement of "pruning". This is usually on a jobsite with a crew needing hours, a truck and chipper needing payments, and a customer needing their tree to have "work done" are all looking at me the expert. What does the new guy with no education do? They gut the tree. They over reduce the canopy. They over elevate. They take the paid by the pound concept to the extreme.

My solution? More education of the customer, and setting the bar higher for licensure to enter the industry. For there to be zero educational requirements in most states to start or participate in our "industry" is laughable and makes us the last thing anyone would consider a trade. Changing that would be a heck of a start.
 

DSMc

Well-Known Member
Location
Montana
I do have a negative view of most of our industry like most "industries". Our capitalist society and our place in it means that many arborists are less than ethical in their recommendations for trees and for what trees "need" as far as redirection of growth.

Most of the time yes I can look at a tree and see a few key cuts that could be made that would slightly or occasionally significantly benefit the long term structure of a tree.

But as a contract climber quite often I am put on jobs where trees that have no significant structural defects are listed on the quote as needing "pruning". I usually joke with the crew about being paid by the pound and go for a rec climb up the tree. Perhaps I make a few cuts that are necessary and at times feel the need to take out more to take up time or to put brush on the ground so the customer can see that something was done to their tree to justify the charge. The new cut facing the kitchen window is always best practice right? I think Gilman included that in his latest book.

My point being that I, a Treebuzz aficionado who has been in the industry for 23 years at times feels confused by the blanket statement of "pruning". This is usually on a jobsite with a crew needing hours, a truck and chipper needing payments, and a customer needing their tree to have "work done" are all looking at me the expert. What does the new guy with no education do? They gut the tree. They over reduce the canopy. They over elevate. They take the paid by the pound concept to the extreme.

My solution? More education of the customer, and setting the bar higher for licensure to enter the industry. For there to be zero educational requirements in most states to start or participate in our "industry" is laughable and makes us the last thing anyone would consider a trade. Changing that would be a heck of a start.

Sorry man, but asking others to change what they do, when you, with all your moral convictions and knowledge are having trouble with this, how will more education help?

If people with the knowledge, can't/won't/don't live by a knowledge-based code of conduct, why should others be expected to. It is not just what you know, it is what you do with that knowledge that matters.
 

rope-a-dope

Well-Known Member
Location
Asheville
Excellent critique, Ryan. I'm glad we could draw it out of you. Hearing perspectives like yours is valuable, and is perhaps more representative than a typical employee or owner/operator. Contract climbers are getting exposed to a larger slice of the industry. And I can only imagine how frustrating it is to be given pruning work that makes no sense. At least the expectations are clear on removals, even if they are unnecessary.
I am will a sizable company that is preservation minded and we get enough unethical work as it is. Our area is scenic so we find ourselves on some pretty destructive view projects that always bother us.
It has continually troubled me that money is more powerful than many other values that keep us motivated to be good lorax types. I have always wanted clearer standards for refusing destructive work in my workplace, but the arguments arent effective and dont leave ground to stand on. I'm supposed to educate our customers 'cause that's one of our values, before I clear cut their property?
How do you deal with, "somebody else will do it if you dont." Slow walk the stuff you know is wrong? Resist orders or quit?
I'm kinda staying with the perspective of a subordinate with work orders, but the same stuff really applies to owners also.
 

CjM

Active Member
Location
Asheville
I am will a sizable company that is preservation minded and we get enough unethical work as it is. Our area is scenic so we find ourselves on some pretty destructive view projects that always bother us.

Amazing when you inform these clients about our "steep slope" restrictions and permits required for cutting on such terrain. The knowledge we share with clients often branches out from trees to a more wholistic knowledge of the landscape.
 

RyanCafferky

Well-Known Member
Sorry man, but asking others to change what they do, when you, with all your moral convictions and knowledge are having trouble with this, how will more education help?

If people with the knowledge, can't/won't/don't live by a knowledge-based code of conduct, why should others be expected to. It is not just what you know, it is what you do with that knowledge that matters.

What I do with my knowledge is this:

I have told my contract climbing clients that I prefer to do removals instead of pruning. This way there is no grey area about what “pruning“ means. A removal is just that and it is an art that I love very much. I have also shifted my career to a large amount of work in the utility sector in California. Once again, in that realm there needs to be no ethical considerations other than hopefully helping prevent the entire place from burning down or helping prevent accidents involving workers on the projects.

I won’t be some standard bearer of a code of conduct or ethics since I refuse to run a tree company and try and ride that high horse. This is because I would rather not deal with employees or customers. Both of which seem to be rather essential in that realm... If only I could just deal with the trees...
 

Wrangler

Well-Known Member
Location
Woodbine
I like what the industry is doing to solve some of the very real problems associated with pruning. I appreciate where the negative views are coming from ( makes me angry to see hack pruning jobs) . I also REALLY appreciate the efforts of TCIA,ISA, Universities, researchers, and other industry professionals and associations. Our pruning standards are a work in progress,they are good and getting better along with BMPs. They guide and protect us while managing large heavy, potentially dangerous living organisms in urban settings.
Licensure is working in New Jersey ( also a work in progress and getting better) you have to have registered tree service to do commercial tree work here. That means you have legitimately formed business,collect sales tax, and carry insurance with specific class codes for tree removal and pruning.
You have to have a licensed tree care operator or expert on site. The license is issued by the state just like a plumber or electricians license . To get it you need proof of college degree in related field or four years of working full time in related field to qualify to sit for test.
This creates accountability.
If you’re hacking up trees you my loose license and livelihood.
The result..... Professionalism
If customer wants tree pruning,ask what objective is, then present options that will get close to objective without compromising tree.
 

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