The Art of the Arborist
So often I turn up to a property and the trees have been attacked by someone, with little to no knowledge of the needs of the tree. Unfortunately, this can severely decrease the life expectancy of the trees. Tree pruning is both an art and a science. An arborist’s job is to assess trees on their individual merit and determine what approach is needed for each tree. The art of pruning means an arborist can improve a tree’s aesthetics, whilst making the tree safe and manageable. When on a job, there are occasions where I do advocate that a tree needs removing, either because it has been pruned poorly in the past, or the tree would need severe pruning to reach the owners desired outcome. The science behind tree pruning draws on knowledge, experience and expertise to ensure that tree health remains a top priority. Every tree needs to be pruned differently, for example, you can’t prune a Maple the same as you would an Oak. Sometimes there are options available rather than simply topping a tree. An arborist may suggest elevating the lower canopy to let light in underneath, or possibly end weighting (removing weight) from selected limbs. My favourite clients are the ones that ask me if it were my garden, what would I do to the trees.This gives me the freedom to immerse myself in the garden and get the best result for the client. Often, I like to do the primary work (obvious work) first, and then the secondary work becomes more apparent. Consulting an arborist or tree surgeon and investing in your trees can add value to a property, not to mention enjoyment to the owner. Alternatively, trees that are poorly looked after could have the potential to become a liability for the owner.
Bryce Robb is Director/Head Arborist of Beaver Tree Service