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How The Green Industry Is Making A Difference - What An Arborist Has To Say
Landscapers work with and around trees all the time. But what do they really know about trees? We decided to ask ISA-certified veteran arborist Eric Batty. In this episode, he and Stanley "Dirt Monkey" Genadek cover what arboriculture really is, how to best protect trees, planting the best trees for a specific area, and more!
Arboriculture is no joke! To become a pro Eric went to school for a 2-year arboriculture program and apprenticeship. However, arboriculture is often misunderstood. Defined as the “art and science of tree care,” it’s not only about tree removal. In fact, only 35% of Eric’s revenue comes from removal. Instead, most of his job is about maintenance, risk mitigation and pruning. And 15% of his work is even planting new trees.
A lot of the time Eric and his team have to do risk mitigation, understanding how to make trees last longer and be safer in their environment. When it comes to removal, they only do it when trees have a reason to be removed. Indeed, trees are vital to our existence on planet earth. So if a tree is perfectly healthy, he refuses to cut it for ethical reasons.
Most Common Errors Landscapers Make
As landscapers, many of us work around trees. But what are common mistakes most of us make?
#1. Stay out of the drip line
When working too close to a tree you risk of causing issues that’ll only be visible one to five years down the road. You could be killing it slowly without realizing it! Compaction issues are one of the most common mistakes.
#2. Be careful with excavations
Again, stay out of the drip line! That’s crucial.
#3. Planting trees too deep.
Bad Trees and Good Trees
Eric plants trees for 2-3 weeks in the spring and 2-3 weeks in the fall. That’s one of his favorite parts about the job because he knows the trees he’s planting will be there for a while. However, there are good trees and bad trees.
Trees need to suit the area well and be non-invasive. Additionally, they should be varied enough so that an invasion or virus doesn’t destroy the entire canopy. 10% should be of the same species, 20% of the same genus and 30% of the same family.
Learning More About Trees
If you want to learn more about trees, Eric shares the following resources:
🌳 The International Society of Arboriculture
🌳 Trees Are Good
Want to get into the landscaping industry? Eric recommends not starting your own business right away. Instead, do an apprenticeship and work for different companies so you can learn and get a good foundation.
Already working with trees? Eric believes you should never stop learning. Get food mentorship, attend workshops, seminars, conferences, and always keep reading!
About Eric Batty
Eric is the owner of Brooklin Tree Care, a local tree service company servicing the Eastern Greater Toronto area. Eric is an ISA Certified Arborist, ISA Certified Tree Worker climber Specialist, Ontario Qualified Arborist, ASCA Tree and Plant Appraisal Qualification. Eric has taught the Arborist Apprenticeship at Humber College as well as currently serving on the board of Directors for the ISAO (ISA Ontario Chapter) and is chair of the safety committee for the ISAO.
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