So You Want to be an Arborist? February 14, 2011
"Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical." - Yogi Berra
Math challenges aside, there are days like today when the mental heavy lifting involved makes me think the same could be said about arboriculture.
I'm currently studying for an exam at one of the oldest, though relatively obscure, training institutions in North America. It's The Davey Institute of Tree Sciences, better known as DITS. The brochure might describe a century-plus, industry-leading training program focused on practical arboriculture research and scientific advancements in tree physiology, entomology, and pathology, but I think of it more as training on steroids - a two-year degree packed into four intense weeks. It's challenging, but there's great energy here, and the hallways are buzzing with talented instructor/scientists and eager arborists.Read More
Trees Got Your Back February 9, 2011
I have to admit that sometimes in the dead of winter on cold, cold days, I get a bit claustrophobic. I feel cramped. Inside, it feels dark. It's almost like I can't breathe.
So I put on my thickest coat over some layers and step outside. The first few moments are pretty cold - I curl in on myself, nearly tempted to run back inside to the waiting warmth. But, usually once I start walking, my blood starts flowing and I start to warm up a bit. So I keep going.Read More
Why Trees Don't Wear Sweaters January 25, 2011
No matter what area of the country you were in the past month, you experienced some extreme cold weather - even in areas that usually have fairly moderate temperatures. From Atlanta to Texas, it was cold!
At least we have the option of bundling up with scarves, mittens, hats and coats, and we can even warm up with a nice toasty cup of hot chocolate once back indoors. Alas, our tree friends aren't so lucky.
They can't bundle up or come in from the cold. They have to stand strong and endure the long winter. Maybe that's one of the reasons the mighty oak is so, well, mighty. He tolerates attacks from desiccating winds, snow and ice. Sure, all may be calm below ground, where tree roots can be kept insulated under snow and soil; but the picture changes as you climb. Imagine standing still and anxiously watching the ice dangle off your arms and fingers until it melted - Brrr!Read More
One Tree A Day ... January 6, 2011
In the office last week I noticed a fellow arborist having a bad day. He was working on some research and was staring at the computer screen all morning, and he had a pretty bad headache. Attempting to ignore it wasn't helping. At lunchtime, he decided to go outside and take a walk through the nearby park.
Before he left, it seemed like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. But when he came back, he was a different man. He walked with a lighter step. His headache had faded. He smiled more easily. And he took the rest of the day's challenges in stride, not letting anything frustrate him too quickly.
It was a complete transformation.Read More