Arborists Use Science to Help Your Trees

Did someone call a doctor? A tree doctor, that is. 

A tree surgeon is an informal name for a certified arborist. Yes, there are people who call themselves tree surgeons who aren’t arborists. However, they don’t have the proper education and training to safely diagnose the tree’s problem, develop an action plan, and implement it. 

As arborists, all of our diagnoses and treatments are rooted in science (see what we did there — “rooted”). We have extensive knowledge in arboriculture, ecology, and physics.

What exactly are these sciences, and how do they inform our work? Well, we’d love to tell you.

Arboriculture is managing, cultivating, and studying individual trees, vines, shrubs, and other perennial woody plants.

Our ability to accurately identify diseases and pests and to select the best tree management technique (pruning, shaping, removal, fertilization, etc.) is based on our knowledge of arboriculture.

From planting to removal, arboriculture influences all our tree management decisions and actions regarding trees.

Ecology is an area of biology that studies the relationship of organisms to one another and their surroundings. 

In our case, our ecological knowledge is about trees and how they relate to each other and the environment where they grow. We have extensive knowledge of the Comox Valley ecology and how it relates to trees. 

We know which trees thrive here and which don’t. We also know the common tree ailments and pests in the Comox Valley and how to successfully treat them.

Physics is the study of the nature and properties of matter, motion, and energy. Hmm, how does this relate to the management of trees?

Physics comes into play when removing part of or an entire tree. We need to know the mechanical forces at play to choose the correct rating of rigging (ropes and pulleys used to dismantle parts of or a whole tree) and to rig the tree properly. 

We need to know: 

  • The approximate weight of the tree or branch being removed
  • How the tree will fall into the drop zone
  • The drop distance
  • How much space is needed for the tree or branch to reach the ground safely
  • The force the tree will exert on the rigging (if rigging is used)
  • The force it will generate when it lands
  • All the factors that impact the above, including wind, slope of the land, if the tree or branch leans and how much, and surrounding buildings., 

Tree surgery can be dangerous. Using physics, we can divert disaster by properly rigging the tree and making cuts to the appropriate spots so the tree or branch comes safely to the ground.

Science plays an essential role in an arborist’s life. We evaluate every situation through the lens of arboriculture, ecology, and physics to ensure you get the best management plan for your trees.

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