The Art – and Sport – of Climbing Trees August 4, 2010
I completed a secured foot lock in less than 20 seconds. Basically, this is where you climb 50 feet up a rope without touching the tree that it's tied to. You use the rope and knot to guide yourself up. It's like being a large caterpillar - feet up, push, reach with your arms and pull … feet up, push, reach with your arms and pull. And 20 seconds is only 6 seconds more than the world record score of 13.8 seconds. Being fast is one of the things that got me here. After competing in tree climbing competitions for eight years, I finally qualified to be one of the 39 male competitors to make it to the International Tree Climbing Competition Presented by Davey Tree - held at The Morton Arboretum in Chicago this year.
When you watch the video, 19 seconds looks pretty fast. Luckily, my brother - who also climbs trees - videotaped my performance so I can see where I need to improve. But it's hard not to overanalyze the mistake I make at the beginning - just a slight slip. It cost me at least a second or two. When you are competing against the best in the world, it makes sense to track your mistakes so you can do better next time.Read More
Peace, Love and Japanese Maples July 30, 2010
One of my favorite trees is the Japanese maple.
I have a 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple in my landscape. Its new foliage is bright red in spring and darkens to a beautiful reddish-purple in summer. In my partially shaded side yard it maintains this color, but in full sun it would show greener leaves. Its fine, delicate leaves are seven-palmed, and the fall color is an extraordinary crimson.
Among gray and beige stone steps, green shrubbery and turf and white blossoms, the burgundy Japanese maple leaves bring extraordinary texture, color and contrast. A Japanese maple typically has a height and spread of 15 to 25 feet, a muscular trunk and branches and a symmetrical canopy. It's a strong addition to a garden without being overpowering.Read More
Keep the Peace July 19, 2010
Trees and turf - two pieces to the landscape puzzle - yet despite the fact that people like them in close proximity, they don't always play nice together on the playground.
The reason? In certain situations, they steal each other's nutrients, water and sunlight. And it's now - in the heat of summer - when the bullies show their true colors. Turf, for instance, will brown underneath a tree even though the area is shaded because the turf is in a fierce competition with the tree for available water.
But, according to The Davey Tree Expert Company Tech Advisor Greg Mazur, a homeowner or property manager can eliminate the outdoor battles and aesthetic nightmares trees and turf can cause with proper plant selection and placement, a thoughtful look ahead on what those plants will look like in the future, and good care and cultural practices.Read More