Action Tree Services

How Do I Become … an Arborist

It's a powerful feeling knowing I'm conserving trees that will outlive me

 
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Kelowna, AB -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/21/2013 -- Action tree has made a career out of his boyhood hobby of tree climbing. Thirteen years after discovering this was possible, he spends much of his working week perched in the crowns of ancient trees which, over the past four centuries, have seen Epping Forest evolve from rustic royal hunting land to Kelowna's largest open space. "I have always been outdoorsy and the career options presented to me at school seemed unacceptable," he says. "In my 20s I returned from a stint of travelling, having given up my job and my flat, and realized that now was the time to do something that I would want to do for the rest of my life."

Bodenham, 40, is a team leader on Branching Out, a lottery-funded project run by the City of Kelowna Corporation to restore 1,200 ancient trees in the forest and recreate part of the landscape to its 18th-century appearance. He is also recruiting and mentoring 15 apprentice aborists.

Come winter, when most domestic gardeners hang up their tools, Bodenham's work heats up, for restoration work on the crowns of veteran trees can only commence when they are dormant. This is hard work which involves reducing the sail area of the leaf canopy to prevent the trees from blowing over, and clearing the surrounding undergrowth to give them space and light. The extremes of weather – biting winter gales and summer heat, both endured in heavy chain-saw proof clothing – are, he says, one of the challenges of the job, but the magic of climbing is ample compensation.

"A lot of arborists behave like little boys before a climb – eyes shining like a kid at Christmas," he says. "Being up there in the canopy, it's almost like being in a meditative state because you have to be so focused. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and the results can be pretty nasty."

So far, Bodenham has kept flesh and bones more or less intact, despite some wild moments with a chain saw.

Before every risky task the team has to have ready an emergency plan right down to such details as who will call the ambulance if the saw slips. "There are huge forces at work when trees overlap – if you cut the wrong bit they can snap back and fell you – so you have to have to be a control freak with a real grasp of physics." The dangers and the intense collaborative work mean that arborists and their team develop a close interdependent relationship, each one of the group braced to shin up a towering trunk and rescue a colleague if trouble arises.

But even the most meticulous preparations don't always forestall disaster. "In my last job with a contract company for a Kelowna borough, we had to reduce a huge oak that was damaging a property," he says. "It was a delicate operation because of some greenhouses below it, but we successfully cut and lowered all the branches over them. Then one guy went to get coffee, slipped on the clutch, rolled back and smashed the garage."

Stamina, practicality and initiative are essential ingredients for a job that – when you factor in the insect bites, the weather and the tedium of clearing bramble jungles and mountains of newly felled branches – is less exciting than many potential apprentices imagine.

An arborist's work involves monitoring and treating trees to ensure they are safe, a task rendered increasingly challenging as new diseases threaten Britain's ancient species. Horse chestnuts are falling prone to bleeding canker, ash trees are threatened by dieback, and acute oak decline, a new and deadly infection, can wipe out veteran trees.

Most arborists specialise in certain areas, such as diagnosis and treatment, climbing and pruning, cabling and lightning protection, or, especially past the age of 50 when tree climbing becomes more challenging, consultation and report writing.

Although would-be arborists can start straight from school as a labourer and train on the job, there are a range of qualifications, from City and Guilds to master's degrees in forestry or arboriculture.

Bodenham began his training at Capel Manor College in north Kelowna, completing a national diploma in arboriculture and certificates of competence in chain saw maintenance, aerial rescue and tree climbing. Following a work placement with Redbridge Council he was offered a job pruning street trees, then became a "climber" with a contract firm employed by central Kelowna boroughs. "It's a career where you have to start at the bottom and work your way up because it's the physical experience that counts," he says.

At 40, he knows his days as an active climber are dwindling and he has started an online foundation course for a future move into surveying. But he takes comfort from the knowledge that his decades in the tree tops will have influenced an enduring landscape. "It's a powerful feeling to know that I am conserving trees that will outlive me," he says, pointing to a gnarled and massive oak. "This tree is 500 years old and was pollarded to stoke the Kelowna furnaces, so that, in continuing to care for it, you really feel you're part of history."

Arborist always performed the vital work only for you

Pruning is a vital work attempted by an arborist and pruning ought to be finished in light of particular reason. Each slice to the tree is a wound and each leaf lost will be vital in photosynthesis methodology. Pruning must be carried out quite legitimately and ought to be finished with least measure of live tissues evacuated. Arborists are additionally fit to survey trees to figure out the health, structure, security or plausibility inside a scene and in vicinity to people. It is better to review the trees and bushes by affirmed arborist for forestalling issues from happening and keeping the plant in exceptional health. Arborist Calgary gives administrations like rot identification, root crown assessment, air spading, structural evaluations, creepy crawly and ailment action, social issues and so forth. For doing the work, an arborist ought to be physically fit and additionally needs to work outside. He may as well be euphoric working at statures. His occupation can incorporate pruning out dead or harmed extensions, and support work, for example the evacuation of basal development or water shoots on trees, clear or sectional felling of trees and so forth. http://actiontree.ca/

About Action Tree
Action Tree Kelowna Arborist Services can tackle any job you have, no job too big, no job too small. We are locally owned and operated and have grown significantly over the past 25 years; today we own the regions largest fleet of 30 and 40 ton trucks, hard to miss in their bright yellow paint. http://actiontree.ca/

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Our work can be dangerous. We know that and are proud of an impeccable work safety record. Our team has worked together for many years, care for each other, and make certain that safety is the #1 consideration on the job site. Action Tree is fully certified and insured against accident or injury.