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Restoration though fire Prescribed burns are being used to return parts of the Niagara Parkway Commission’s property to the kind of Oak Savannah habitat that existed more than 150 years ago. See community profile, p 12
Like the flu shot, this vaccine is given yearly. A single drop is injected just under the bark into the new growth ring. Each injection takes two to three minutes.
Confusion over hazard zones Standards in logging, landscaping differ B Y PAT K E R R
Safety regulations do not reflect the on-the-ground reality of tree service work.
In the fall issue of Tree Service Canada it was reported that after a tree falling accident a guilty plea was entered to the charge of “failed to ensure a worker was outside the hazard zone when a tree was felled.” In the judgment, Justice of the Peace S. Evans of the Ontario Court of Justice, in Bracebridge, ON, quoted the standard commonly applied to logging (the hazard zone is defined as twice the height of the tree in all directions) and the “Arborist Industry Safe Work Practices Manual.” Reader Mike Greer of Ontario wrote to Tree Service Canada looking for more information. He said, “This standard is found in regulations governing logging operations. However, we in the business of arboriculture have had difficulties in convincing the Ministry of Labour of the need for a deviation from this requirement. As you could imagine, having all workers twice the distance of the height of the tree could have you pulling ropes for a tree removal from the next door neighbour’s property and possibly further. If this is part of the judgment from the Ministry of Labour, we in the Arboriculture Industry Safe Workplace Committee in Ontario need to address it quickly.” Responding to a request for clarification, the Continued on page 11
Smacking down tree ‘flu Potent newly-registered product helps fight Dutch Elm disease B Y PAT K E R R It’s safe. It’s 99 percent effective. It’s great. It’s a shot in the arm. Before you roll your eyes at what sounds like more media immunization hype, Dutch Trig®, formulated to prevent Dutch Elm disease, has caught the attention of Canadian researchers, arborists and urban foresters. Dutch Trig® received full registration with Health Canada October 19, 2009. Trials started in Winnipeg in June, 2009. Martha Barwinsky, M.Sc., City Forester, Winnipeg says, she heard of the product years ago at international conferences and last spring she had the opportunity to treat 200 elms in Winnipeg. “All is very positive. We will continue testing in the spring of 2010. I want to treat the same trees again. Public response was extremely positive.” Current chemical treatments for DED are usually insecticidal to kill the beetles or fungicidal to act on the fungus that causes the disease. Dutch Trig® does neither. Barwinsky couldn’t say emphatically what Continued on page 4
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Tree Service Canada WINTER 2009
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Tree Service Canada WINTER 2009
R E S OU R CE S
What’s bugging your trees? Online guide makes identification quick and easy B Y PAT K E R R “Some believe the only good bug is a dead bug,” says Dr. Vandyk, professor at Iowa State University in the entomology (bug) department. “We battle ignorance everyday. Don’t smash the bug on your deck. Photograph the insect and enjoy it.” Send the photograph to BugGuide.net and learn whether the bug is beneficial or harmful before you spray. In 2004 Troy Bartlett, an amateur photographer in Georgia, started a small web site identifying the insects in his photographs. He wanted to build “a community that could collectively build a sort of insect/spider encyclopedia around user submissions.” Previously he had tried to identify the insects using books and by contacting experts.
Troy Bartlett’s original goal, to create a resource for visitors to get their “bugs” identified, has exploded into an educational tool and a factual database for experts.
By 2006, the management of the site was consuming all of Bartlett’s free time. When the bug experts (entomologists) at Iowa State University learned the site was in trouble, they volunteered their technical support and started an overhaul. “We receive no financial support for this site except donations.”
Dr. Vandyk has no idea how many ways the site is used, but last month was the busiest ever with 107 million hits to the site. Bartlett’s original goal, to create a resource for visitors to get their “bugs” identified, had exploded into an educational tool and a factual database for experts. “As a side effect, the images would be used to build up an image library that a few regulars could organize and provide extra information around.” He says, “I never imagined it would have grown so fast and that there were so many others out there like myself willing to help out. Only in my wildest dreams did I think it would provide a benefit to researchers and that they would eventually help out.” Dr. Vandyk has no idea how many ways the site is used but last month was the busiest ever with 107 million hits to the site. “We’re keeping data on where and when each insect was found.” Ontario experts had unanimously referred me to BugGuide.com for insect identification, but I wasn’t convinced. I thought it might be okay for those with a PhD in bugs, but for those of us who struggle to distinguish a honey bee from a bumblebee I had doubts. I completed the free form creating an account and became a contributor in seconds. I then submitted a photograph taken with a hand-held, point-and-shoot digital camera. Within minutes emails responded with the name of the beetle, and extensive information on its life cycle and habits. There are currently over 34,000 contributors to BugGuide.com. Now it is just too easy to gain enough knowledge to sound like an expert and know for sure before you do any spraying.
Tree Service Canada WINTER 2009
COVE R STO RY
Smacking down tree ‘flu CONTINUED FROM COVER 4( % 6/ ) #% / & # !. !$ !g3 42%% 3 %26)#%3 ). $5 34 29
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is happening but the theory is it works somewhat like the human flu vaccine by kick-starting a defense mechanism. Unfortunately Dutch Trig will not be effective in a tree that was previously exposed to the fungus. The tree will fight against the disease as normal, compartmentalizing the fungus and gradually strangle itself. It is likely to die since natural immunity in the native American elm population is very low. However, when a healthy tree is injected, it is thought, the tree responds like it is being attacked by the DED fungus and heightens its defenses. If exposure to DED happens the tree is ready. In theory, the immunized tree will seal off the disease at the wound sites and continue to grow. The active ingredient in the vaccine is Verticillium albo-atrum Isolate WCS850 or a mild variant (white) of a potato fungus. This well known fungus is safe for humans, pollinators, trees, and the environment and because it is a “white” form it is even considered safe for potatoes. In fact, the only safety equipment recommended for applicators are gloves. Like the flu shot, this vaccine is given yearly. A single drop is injected just under the bark into the new growth ring. Each injection takes two to three minutes. The tree’s own pressure does the uptake. Application is every ten cm around the tree, allowing a single trained operator to inject hundreds of trees in a day. Cost estimates, in Winnipeg, compare it, over three years, to the standard DED fungicide injections. The Dutch Trig system is closed with a tiny chisel (not a drill) at the end. The chisel should be disinfected between each tree. Timing is critical. The injections must be done in the spring when the trees are leafing out and before the beetles start feeding in the canopies. Barwinsky doesn’t think Dutch Trig is the silver bullet for Winnipeg’s 160,000 at risk elms but the product shows promise in the fight against DED by reducing the incidence of the disease. Researchers continue to study if Canadian strains of the American elm and DED fungus will show the same response as was seen in Europe and the US. In the mean time, Winnipeg Urban Forestry is actively encouraging homeowners to investigate the product for injection by licensed private tree service workers. More information is available at www.ufis.ca or call Philip van Wassenaer at Urban Forest Innovative Solutions (905) 274-1022. The vaccine is “live” so must be kept cool and orders should be in by the end of March for each season.
When a healthy tree is injected, the tree responds like it is
being attacked by
the DED fungus and
Tree Service Canada is published four times a year by Southern Tip Publishing Inc. Subscription rate for one year: $19.95 (GST included). Single copy price: $5.00. Contents copyrighted by Southern Tip Publishing Inc. and may be reprinted only with permission. PRINTED IN CANADA Publications Mail Agreement No. 40050172 Postage paid at Vancouver, BC Postmaster: Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Tree Service Canada, 4623 William Head Road, Victoria, BC V9C 3Y7 Contents copyright 2007 by Southern Tip Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN 1710 4955 Your privacy is important to us. Occasionally we make our subscriber list available to reputable companies whose products or services might be of interest to our readers. If you would prefer to have your name removed from this list, please call 1-866-260-7985, fax: 250-478-3979 or write us at Tree Service Canada, 4623 William Head Road, Victoria, BC V9C 3Y7 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
heightens its defenses.
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Tree Service Canada WINTER 2009
U R B A N F O R E ST RY
Trees need to be part of development plans from the onset BY JEFFREY CARTER Urban Canadaâ€™s attitude towards trees may have come a long way, but weâ€™re still playing catch up compared to many European cities. Thatâ€™s an observation made by Michael Wynia at the annual conference of the Ontario Urban Forest Council in Guelph on November 12. The director of planning and development for the Township of Clearview recently viewed urban trees in The Netherlands. There, they tend to be part of the design process as opposed to an add-on, Wynia says. â€œWhen we look at subdivisions here, we tend to plan for the buildings, the roads, the utilities: and then we think about the trees.â€? Wynia was particularly impressed with a region in the central part of the Netherlands where the tree canopy in residential, commercial, industrial and downtown areas is dense as compared to North American standards. There is even forest habitat within the confines of some urban areas. Wynia brings some of the European perspective to his municipality, which includes the picturesque village of Creemore and town of Stayner, west of Barrie. As in other Canadian municipalities, the appreciation for trees is growing, Wynia says. â€œThe approach in the past has been to clear the landscape and later replant the trees. Thatâ€™s changed.â€? Planners need to promote trees by describing their many environmental and aesthetic contributions to the urban landscape. Michael Wynia, recently back from The Netherlands, was impressed with a region of the country where the tree canopy in residential, commercial, industrial and downtown areas is dense compared to North American standards.
Clearview has been doing more to protect trees in established parts of the community in recent years by insisting developers be proactive. In one instance, a total of six trees per housing unit was achieved by saving some trees and planting others. Another Clearview approach is to incorporate trees and shrubs as part of storm water management instead of using a traditional drainage system. Several others spoke at the conference, including Suzanne Young, the environmental planner with the City of Guelph, and Martin Vollhard and Peter Wynnyczuk with the Town of Richmond Hill. Young says Guelph, like many other Ontario municipalities, is moving towards more formalized policies when it comes to trees. â€œTrees are assets for the city and we need to be managing them better . . . We need an accurate inventory of the trees we have, their conditions, and how they should be managed,â€? Young says. As it stands, thereâ€™s no formal management plan for trees in Guelph or how they should be maintained in development areas, but what Young termed as a â€œframeworkâ€? is being put together. Guelph does have a tree cutting bylaw, but it only applies to trees greater than 10 centimetres in diametre on lots larger than 30,000 square feet. Young says Guelph has a canopy of about 30 per cent.
Attitude needs to change from current notions of cut & replant
Members of the Guelph tree advocacy group, however, put the number at 26 or 27 per cent. At Richmond Hill, thereâ€™s been a significant commitment to trees, according to Wynnyczuk, the townâ€™s urban forester. The forestry section at Richmond Hill was started in 1975 when agriculture was the biggest industry in the area. That year, the first tree bylaw was put in place with some reference to the development issues. Since then, Richmond Hill has grown rapidly, from around 30,000 residents to close to 200,000 today.
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Martin Volhard, Richmond Hillâ€™s parks planner, says a local bylaw attempts to strike a balance between the rights of private property owners, including developers, and community interests.
In 2007, the tree preservation bylaw was introduced. It requires that a permit be issued before trees greater than 20 centimetres in diametre are injured or destroyed. Permits require a certified arborist report and thereâ€™s a non-refundable fee of $150 for the first tree and $50 for additional trees to a maximum of $400. There are exemptions for dead or hazardous trees, although an arboristâ€™s report is still required. What gives the bylaw teeth is the provision for fines that may range from $300 to $10,000 for a single fine and even greater penalties in the case of a continuing offence. Martin Volhard, Richmond Hillâ€™s parks planner, says the bylaw attempts to strike a balance between the rights of private property owners, including developers, and community interests. It was introduced by council primarily to prevent landowners from removing trees prior to moving forward with a development proposal. With developments, Richmond Hill requires that a tree inventory and assessment be conducted by an arborist. From there, if there are trees worth saving, tree retention becomes part of the site design as much as possible. Typically, what occurs at this point amounts to a negotiation, with city planners suggesting design changes intended to save additional trees. Volhard says that, while developers are encouraged to maintain the services of an arborist throughout the process, itâ€™s not mandatory. â€œWe trying to encourage a new kind of mindset . . . The developers are not used to doing this.â€? Thereâ€™s also a letter of credit involved based on a tree appraisal thatâ€™s deposited by the developer. The town can access the money up to two or three years after the work is completed if itâ€™s shown the developer didnâ€™t keep their side of the agreement. â€œThe money is the tool or the stick. The document is just a piece of paper,â€? Wynnyczuk adds. Having that â€œstickâ€? means the developer is more likely to take the proper steps to protect trees throughout the pre-construction and construction phases. For instance, trees are marked or surrounded by a fence and there may be requirements to carefully prune roots and limbs. Volhard says one of the biggest challenges is get everyone on the siteâ€”from the developer to the fellow delivering loads of concreteâ€”to respect the trees that have been left.
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Tree Service Canada WINTER 2009
CO R PO RAT E H I STO RY
H EAV Y L IFTE RS
Dutchman Industries targets big trees with latest, largest spade
Canadian Jack Holt claims to have invented tree spade
This truck-mounted 100-inch tree spade was put through its paces moving some big trees at Thunder Bay.
BY JEFFREY CARTER It didn’t take long for the founder of Dutchman Industries Inc. to discover there’s a lot more to improving a tree spade than making it stronger. That’s how Marlin Tillaart got his start in the industry back in 1982 at his family’s tree nursery business at Brougham, just northeast of Toronto. The 22-year-old had been digging nursery trees using the old hand-balling method that relies on a spade and a strong back. Later, his family acquired a Vermeer tree spade for their business. The Vermeer worked well enough, but young Tillaart figured he could make it better with some reinforcement. “In the very beginning, when you build one, you build it stronger. But at the end of the day, you start to realize it’s not about building heavier, it’s about the geometry and a lot of other things,” Tillaart says. Soon Tillaart was building his own spades. Then he was asked to build one for another business. Dutchman Industries was subsequently founded and today the company sells more tree spades than any other North American company, Tillaart says. Tillaart was born too late to have invented the tree spade. That was accomplished through the efforts of a number of ingenious people who developed the concept, often in isolation of each other, in the 1950s and 1960s. What Tillaart has in common with two of the more prominent pioneers—Albertan Jack Holt and Texan Albert H. Korenek— is that he was raised on a working farm. Farmers tend to be innovative people: if not by nature, out of necessity. One of Tillaart’s key design contributions was the introduction of an inside frame for the smaller models that are typical to many tree nurseries. It saved on weight and allowed the equipment to be used in tighter quarters, but didn’t compromise the strength and integrity of the machine. “Being a Canadian company that sells a lot into the US market, you have to do a better job,” Tillaart says. “This is a unique business. We spend a lot of time engineering new things.” Most companies have since come up
with their own inside-frame models. Tillaart continues to market tree spades with outside frames but they’re a very small part of his business. One of the company’s latest successes has been the introduction of a truckmounted line of low-profile, curved-blade tree spades, currently available in 66, 90 and 100-inch models. Now Tillaart and the members of the Dutchman team are adapting the design to a 126-inch model.
“Being a Canadian company that sells a lot into the US market, you have to do a better job.”
While Jack Holt may not like to boast about his half-century association with tree spades, he has a story worth telling. The Albertan designed what may be the world’s first tree spade in 1957. He says others may have come up with similar equipment, but it was upon his early effort that today’s billion-dollar tree spade industry was built. “I don’t go around blowing my own horn. I let my machines do the talking and I let my buyers do the advertising for me,” says Holt, who hasn’t filed any patents for his designs. “A good machine will last forever. We have tree spades that are still working after 30 or 40 years.” Holt remains involved with the business he founded: Holt Tree Spades Ltd. The company website lists a wide range of models, from 24-inch to 144-inch, with skid steer, loader, truck, truck/excavator and fifth wheel/trailer mount options available depending on the size. The first Holt tree spade, however, was a unit that was hammered into place by hand. It dates back to the days when Holt was selling little trees in Medicine Hat. Working with three helpers, four spade shovels would be inserted around a tree in order to lift a 12-inch root ball. It was grueling work, entailing calloused hands and sore backs. The little invention made the job a lot easier. In the years that followed, Holt expanded on his idea. In 1964, a friend asked him to build a small trailer-mounted tree spade. Other orders started coming in and in another five years there was enough business for Holt to set up his first shop dedicated to the manufacture of tree spades. Holt says he may not possess his engineering papers, but he does have the knowhow since he has a hands-on relationship when it comes to using the machines. Through trial and error and with the kind of commonsense that comes with being raised on a farm, he’s become an expert in hydraulics, metallurgy and other areas. Holt has designed more than 50 models. Tree spades manufactured by his company are now being used around the world. He’s also built a fleet of tree spades for himself that have moved than a million trees. Holt says there are now around 150 companies building tree spades around the world. Quality varies widely and subtle changes have been introduced, but the equipment being produced is all based on his original concepts, he says. “I started the whole ball of wax. . . . The nice part of it is to see where it’s ended up.” To learn more about Holt Tree Spades Ltd., visit the company website at www.holttreespades.com. -J.C.
all the trees at Thunder Bay, but we did put the machine through its paces.” Tillaart was pleased to see that the blades were still aligned in their original configuration when the tree spade came back home. The hydraulics Dutchman uses for its equipment generate more driving force than many competing models, Tillaart says. The blades need to be strong but also have some flexibility, so they’re built using cold-formed production in This photo shows the considerable root space available which the steel isn’t heated. with Dutchman’s curved blade designs. The curved blade design is needed for larger The latest version of the 100-inch models so that their outside dimensions are model was put to the test at Thunder Bay small enough for road transport. in October 2009 where his company was Another consideration is weight, somecontracted to move some large trees. Many thing that’s also important with the smaller were growing in a mix of granite and tree spades. rubble. Tree spades need to be sturdily built While it was impossible to remove trees without being too heavy, regardless of that were growing in bedrock, the machine what they’re mounted to, Tillaart explains. was tested to its limits. That’s because it’s important not to exceed “When we manufacture a new piece of load restrictions once a tree is excavated equipment, I like to test it in some of the and ready for transport. toughest conditions. It may not have dug
Over the years, Tillaart says his company has introduced many refinements to their tree spades, including a user-friendly electronic control system, a new hinge design, and a tube-within-a-tube design that ensures blades follow a straight-line travel path. Having worked with tree spades for most of his working career, Tillaart favours designs that are well engineered but not overly complicated. Like everyone else in the business, Tillaart keeps an eye on the competition but he’s just as likely to pick up ideas by looking at equipment entirely unconnected to the industry. Dutchman Industries is located in the same area where his family has been operating Dutchmaster Nurseries since 1971. There’s a 22,000 square foot manufacturing facility and, at last count, 18 employees. Dutchman manufactures trees spades ranging in size from 24 to 100 inches with a range of mounting options. They also build tree planting, tree tying, tree staking and field potting equipment along with the Tree Rex, which is able to maneuver tree balls up to 50 inches in diametre. For more information about Dutchman Industries, visit the company website at www.dutchmantreespade.com.
Tree Service Canada WINTER 2009
Health and safety roundup, 2009 B Y PAT K E R R
In July, 2009 a worker in BC fractured their shoulder and received broken ribs when a tree was topped. The worker was on an extension ladder leaned against the tree, about 20 feet above grade. When the cut was completed, the top of the tree fell and struck the worker. The worker then fell to the ground. * * * In August, 2009, on Vancouver Island an unregistered tree faller/topper was attempting to fall a slender (7 inches in diameter) 55-foot-tall tree in a homeowner’s backyard. The worker received fractured vertebrae and facial bones after the tree struck a 10-foot-high stub about 20 feet away. The tree rocked on the stub, kicked back, and struck the faller. * * * In July, 2009 on the lower mainland of BC, a worker was using a chainsaw to cut down vegetation growing around seedlings when he fell onto the running chainsaw bar. The worker received cuts to arm and body. * * * Accident reports are sometimes not as straightforward as they appear. Frank Legare, a crane operator was happy to speak with Tree Service Canada and clarify what happened in June, 2009 when a crane in BC toppled. Frank has 45 years of accident-free experience and he is eager to share with others in the industry to “help someone else.” No charges or fines were laid against him or his company. According to the incident report a bug-killed pine was being removed in Westbank, BC, using a 35-ton telescoping boom crane, which was set up on a 16 percent slope with plywood sheets under the wooden pads. The crane’s hook was attached to the top of a pine. After the pine was cut, the crane lifted and then swung the cut section (15 feet long) from the right rear quadrant of the crane to the right front quadrant. At that point the crane became unstable, its outriggers slipped off the pads, and the crane slid 20 feet downhill. The outriggers dug into the soil and the load, acting as a pendulum, pulled the crane onto its left side. The boom crushed a parked car. It took two cranes more than a day to get the flipped crane back up. Reporting of the incident was delayed while the Frank Legare, owner of the company, addressed environmental hazards. An The result was the crane incident report was completed, the crane repaired and inspected by an engineer. was sitting on about two Looking at only the incident report one independent crane operator said he would fire the operator immediately. “There was no and a half inches of material excuse.” He said crane operators know the crane or the ground must be level. Either the instead of the twelve inches hydraulic lifts should have been used, the crane blocked to level or the hill should have needed to maintain a secure been dug out. A spokesperson for Crane Training Canhold on the blocks. ada took a softer approach, saying their could be mitigating factors, although, at the end of the day, “Crane operators must be focused. Every job is important. Most of the time operators are diligent but maybe this operator was in a hurry to get to the next job.” However Legare does have not only an excuse but a lesson to share with all tree service workers who use or hire cranes. The incident actually started several years ago when Legare purchased a second hand crane and had it inspected by a certified engineer. “It never really felt stable. I couldn’t figure it out,” says Legare. “I checked, and checked. Four inspections were done. There was no play. The arms were good and solid but it never felt right.” On the day of the accident, in June, 2009, Legare stopped work as the wind was starting to gust. “I waited till it settled and then restarted.” The crane was leveled with blocks. The lift was started and a more severe gust came up. The load (tree) acted like an umbrella. “They do that you know.” The crane came off the blocks and slid down the driveway. The rigger sunk in an area where a water main had broken. “That’s one of the reasons it tipped.” A subsequent engineering inspection had some enlightening news. The metal pads were replaced by the previous owner with steel that was too soft. “The pads were only three quarters of an inch thick when they should have been an inch thick.” The pads had “dished up.” The result was the crane was sitting on about two and a half inches of material instead of the twelve inches needed to maintain a secure hold on the blocks. “It was a good learning experience. Super good there were no injuries. I found the problem cause I heard of a similar accident in Nova Scotia. I’ve checked other cranes since and told the owner the pads are dished. Always make sure your pads are perfectly level.” * * * Greenrock Outdoor Landscaping & Contractors Inc. of Flamborough, ON was fined a total of $4,763.99 on October 28, 2009, for violating the Employment Standards Act (ESA) by failing to comply with two Orders to pay wages owed to employees. * * * Manitoba announced they had no critical injuries in the tree service sector this quarter. They are planning to include all critical injuries on the www.safemanitoba.com web site starting in the new year. Safety bulletins on chain saw use, falls and other potential incidents are all ready on the site. * * * New Brunswick, and Newfoundland reported no critical injuries in the tree service industry this quarter. Alberta had one traffic fatality related to forestry.
After talking with the operator of a crane that toppled because of dished pads, Tree Service Canada contributor Pat Kerr went looking at the pads of other cranes. She easily located other cranes with dished pads and badly damaged wood blocking.
Tree Service Canada WINTER 2009
How often should you assess trees? Setting a schedule is a function of available time, money and potential damage caused by a failing tree. A key issue in any due diligence within those areas. Beyond that, Target Category Assessment Interval Assessment Method strategy is to have a defensible as many key access roads as seems risk management policy that is reasonable or possible. Low 5-1 years Walk or drive by slowly. Note individual trees requiring more reasonable within the constraints From a people usage point of detailed assessment if in doubt. of available time and funds. view the priority will be the most Because negligence is tested by well-used parts of the downtown whether or not an incident was, or core, the busiest parks and recreModerate 2-5 years Walk by, with assessment of individual trees as required. was not, foreseeable, tree managation areas, and the busiest parts ers wonder how frequently they of each well-used park, e.g. the High 1-2 years Walk by and assess all trees within 1.5 times the tree height should be checking their trees. parking areas, the closest trails, of actively used sites or property. Part of their concern is driven by play areas, access paths to and tree-related damage encountered from well-used buildings and the in storms, which in the aftermath car park. Immediate Various. Very high use is very visible and triggers public Within any one land use area, areas and critical demands for more frequent tree say a golf course, the focus would access roads assessments. Politicians, respondbe on car parks, the clubhouse, ing to the fear that ‘next time and the most heavily used areas All zones After severe storms Drive by and identify extreme risk trees, followed up by it might be worse,’ exert more detailed assessments in critical areas in order to pressure by directing staff establish the priorities for risk abatement. to ensure the trees are safe. However, in the quest to The guidelines above, adapted from the US Forest Service, were developed for the Pacific create a risk-free environNorthwest ISA risk course. ment, time and money may be focused incorrectly. There are no industry Creating a policy requiring an annual tree risk assessment looks standard rules about how often one or more trees good on paper, but in the absence of staff time and money, you should be inspected. A basic starting point will may not be able to meet the standard you have created. always be to focus attention on the targets—people limbs, cracked trunks or limbs, or where the number of possible to achieve the same level or property—that are most people, and the duration of risk assessment on private lands trees hung up on power lines or important and most highly other trees. of their presence, was the when compared to public lands, used. Looking at the number of highest. Tees and greens since private landowners, espeProperty targets are deaths occurring due to falling have people standing cially residential home owners, not necessarily those with trees and/or falling limbs, it is around for a longer period are often less aware of tree risk the highest assessed value. clear that some of the incidents of time than on fairway issues and may be held to a lower In a city or municipality, involved trees that were in very trails or cart paths where standard of care. the highest rated property poor condition prior to failure. In the exposure time to any While there will always be targets would be those some cases, there were failures in one tree is less, so the public and political pressure to that are most vital for locations where one might have focus is greater in those check every tree in every locaemergency preparedness. expected to see more rigorous areas. Parks managers tion, a sound risk management Main highways, electrical assessment protocols in place. would typically adopt a plan will focus on what is feasible substations, access points Conversely, there are also many similar approach, focusrather than trying to satisfy all to hospitals, fire stations, incidents where storms cause ing on the most heavily interests all the time. An optimal police, and other vital apparently healthy trees to fail. used areas and trails first strategy would be to protect the service providers, would be Many regions encounter severe storms on a These would not have been preof all. These scenarios most property and the most peothe most important points. regular basis throughout the year. Given the extent of the land base it is unreasonable to may include a range of ple per dollar of expenditure, rath- dictable, even if a detailed assessNext, the main access expect that every tree in every setting will be public and private lands. er than investing large amounts of ment had been undertaken right roads to large urban areas, assessed in detail after every single storm. before the storm occurred. And, Note that it is not always time and money in more remote then the main access roads areas. Which is not to say that the in almost all cases, death or injury due to falling trees or limbs occurs latter are unimportant. Protectduring the storm, not before or ing people and property is always after. important, but it is not always A prudent tree risk managefeasible to check all sites within a ment strategy will lay out priority short time frame. And the lower areas and assessment intervals as use areas are unlikely to warrant the same frequency of assessment. a starting point, and then budget Many regions encounter severe accordingly. With that in place, storms on a regular basis through- and assuming it is implemented correctly, the foundations of due out the year. Given the extent diligence will have been estabof the land base it is unreasonlished. One caveat in deciding able to expect that every tree in on assessment intervals is to be every setting will be assessed in sure you can deliver on them. For detail after every single storm. A example, creating a policy requirdiligent manager will send out ing an annual tree risk assessment crews trained in risk assessment looks good on paper, but in the procedures to carry out a simple absence of staff time and money, drive by or windshield survey of you may not be able to meet the trees in high use areas, right after standard you have created. In a storm. But this level of assesswhich case, you may create a setment is at best cursory. It is not ting for negligence simply by bedesigned to be a detailed assessing over zealous in intent without ment of every tree. Rather, it is intended to spot the most obvious the wherewithal to actually follow through. problems identifiable at a glance: partly uprooted trees, hanging
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Faller escape routes
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Understanding the 5-15-90 rule
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Having a clearly identified and prepared escape route is one of the most important parts of any felling plan. Statistics show that a well-planned and utilized escape plan has a significant impact on your personal safety. Accident and fatality reports also reveal some useful information regarding workers injured when falling trees. People falling trees have learned over the years that the area directly on either side or directly behind the tree is very dangerous. This is because branches, tops and trunk sections often fall near the base of a falling tree. One type of falling mishap, known as a barber chair, is particularly dangerous. A barber chair occurs when a tree being felled delaminates vertically before the hinge is cut thin enough to bend. The term refers to the sliding action of the old style barber chair that positioned patrons in a head down, feet up position so the barber could more easily shave with the straight razor. In falling, a barber chair occurs when using conventional back-cuts where the hinge is formed by cutting the wood from the back of the tree towards the hinge. As the saw severs the more resilient sapwood fibres typically found in the outer rings of a tree, the more brittle heartwood must resist the bending load. In cases of heavy forward lean and in older trees, this can result in the hinge wood splitting upwards as the tree falls. When the tree top contacts the ground the section of tree that has split upwards crushes either the remaining wood column straight backwards or the split standing section tears and rolls off to either side. In either case, the best place to be is away and at an angle. Another compelling justification for the escape route is that while a tree is being cut, vibrations sent up through the entire tree can cause branches and
tops to loosen. This vibration dislodges branches where the sway from wind will not. As a tree begins to fall, the force of gravity acting on it changes as well and a branch or dead top that is hung up for many years will suddenly dislodge during the first several seconds the tree is falling. These loosened limbs and tops fall generally within a few feet of the base. Trees that have dead tops or dead branches are often referred to as widow makers for this very reason, because many a tree faller has been struck or killed. The 5-15-90 rule is a concept we can use to emphasize the importance of using an escape route. Review of where tree falling accidents and fatalities occurred reveals that 90% of all accidents and fatalities happen within the first 15 seconds of the tree falling and within 5 feet of the base of the felled tree. Therefore, if you identify, plan and use an escape route you can increase your chance of survival or escaping injury by 90%, and the best escape route is at an angle away from the falling tree. The angle of escape often referred to is 45 degrees from the direction of fall; in truth it is 135 degrees from the direction of fall, and 45 degrees from the opposite of the direction of fall. In any case, the most advisable angle of escape is away from the direction of the falling tree at an angle of approximately 45 degrees from the opposite of the direction of fall, or 135 degrees from the direction of fall. Many times obstacles or terrain influence the escape route plan; therefore the angle of escape is not an exact science. Rather, the escape zone is at an angle diagonally away from the direction of fall, as illustrated in the diagram. Remember: Identify, Prepare and Use an Escape whenever you fall a tree.
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Lethbridge first! Tree-minded city takes top award
There’s also a 10-year pruning cycle for boulevard trees with the work split between the city’s 15-member tree team and private contractors.
BY JEFFREY CARTER Lethbridge may once have been a bald prairie but that hasn’t stopped the Alberta city from gaining national and even international fame for its trees. The community was recently presented with the Tree Canada Urban Forestry Award by the non-profit Communities in Bloom organization. It’s the kind of achievement that celebrates the efforts of city staff, the citizens who care for trees on their properties and adjacent boulevards and volunteers like long-time resident and historian Dr. Robert Hironaka. “The first trees in Lethbridge were brought up from the river valley . . . (Today) if you climb up to sixth floor of city hall, you’ll see a forest of trees,” Hironaka says. “People here take great pride of their trees.” Lethbridge’s first prairie trees were planted in 1905 by Dr. William Harmon Fairfield, director of the Dominion Research Centre, Hironaka says. He wanted to see if they could survive above the river bottom. They could.
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This is the type of prairie environment that once dominated the landscape in much of Southern Alberta.
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More than a million visitors have toured Lethbridge’s Naka Yuko Japanese Garden.
One of Fairfield’s original poplars is now more than a century old. A tissue clone was taken from it to continue the line. According to municipal arborist John Gilbert, the city of 85,000 has a tree canopy of about 30 per cent—despite the recent rapid growth in Lethbridge’s human population. The city has been planting anywhere from 600 to 700 replacement trees annually and there are planting and tree-maintenance obligations for developers. Gilbert says there are around 36,000 city-owned trees, more than 60,000 privately owned and a surprising diversity of trees for a prairie community in an arid region. Among city-owned trees are elm, green ash, white bitch and maples, including Crimsom King, a variety of Norway maple. The city, situated within a Zone 3b hardiness region, has also been experimenting with other species. These include the Oakleaf mountain ash and a recent plantation of 10 Kentucky Coffeetrees. Without water from the Oldman River and the region’s irrigation system the city’s tree canopy wouldn’t exist, Gilbert says. “If you don’t water our trees they won’t grow and become healthy.” There’s also a 10-year pruning cycle for boulevard trees with the work split between the city’s 15-member tree team and private contractors. “We have ISA-certified arborists and we do in-house training with our summer staff,” says Gilbert, who’s been with the city for 33 years. Gilbert works under parks manager Dave Ellis and parks operation manager Kevin Jensen. The status of trees is just one of the assessment criteria for Communities in Bloom judges. Competing municipalities are also judged on the basis of tidiness, environmental awareness, community involvement, natural and cultural heritage, landscaping, floral displays and turf/groundcovers and consideration is given to the special features. Within the Lethbridge landscape, what many consider to be the crowning jewel is the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. Millions have visited. Hironaka is among the founding members of the Japanese Garden Society that developed the 1.5 hectare site in the mid-1960s. It was officially opened for Canada’s Centennial in 1967.
Tree Service Canada WINTER 2009
H ON OU RS
From the sixth floor of city hall, itâ€™s evident that Lethbridge has transformed itself from a prairie environment to a city of trees.
Trees play an important role in what Hironaka describes as a traditional Japanese garden. Species include spruce, pine, maple, apple and Russian olive. It could be said that the Japanese gardens are intended to be greater than the sum of their parts. Theyâ€™re intended to reflect the cultural and environmental communities in which they are located and are places for peace and reflection. Nikka Yuko (Canada-Japan friendship) Garden is located not far from the cityâ€™s downtown core and overlooks manmade Lake Hendersen. Professor Tadashi Kubo of Osaka Prefecture University of Japan is generally credited with the design but the concept was developed by one of his students, Ayako Hitomi, Hironaka says. Her original plan was chosen out of 16 presented. Communities in Bloom judges made special mention of the Helen Schuler Nature Centre and its trail system in the valley, multi-use Henderson Lake Park and the remarkable, century-old High Level Bridge. In the overall rating, Lethbridge scored 850 points out of a possible 1,000. This qualified the community for the top â€œfive-bloomâ€? ranking. Gilbert says the Communities in Bloom program provides positive incentive for communities. â€œIt gives us something to work on. It is positive criticism, if you will.â€? Communities in Bloom was inspired by similar programs in the United Kingdom and was launched in 1995 with 29 communities participating that year. Lethbridge became involved the following year and the program has grown to include hundreds of participants. The simplest, lowest cost, self-contained firewood processor available. Patented For more information on Communities in Boom visit their website at www.communitiesinbloom.ca. process feeds the log, shears to length and splits. If you have logs you want
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CONTINUED FROM COVER Ontario Ministry of Labour provided the following official statement: â€œThe logging sections of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments apply only to logging operations, not to landscaping type operations.Â There are no prescribed distances in the legislation but only the precaution of ensuring that when a tree is being felled workers are not in the area in which a tree may fall on them.Â This safe distance is determined relative to factors such as the size of the tree, hang up hazards and how the tree is being felled. In many of the locations where arborists work, the Regulation for Industrial Establishments may not apply. In those situations it would be a reasonable precaution to ensure that workers are not located in the zone where a tree may fall.â€? Â Thatâ€™s why the charge mentioned in the original story was one of violating the â€œtake all reasonable precautionsâ€? for the protection of workers section of the OHSA and not one specific to logging. The company owner involved in this incident did not respond to Tree Service Canadaâ€™s calls so his reasons for the guilty plea can not be discussed. Greer has other concerns. He would like to see more access to incidents/charges in the tree service industry in Ontario and he would like arboriculture to have access to the Minister as permitted to a â€œSection 21â€? committee. (This is a committee that could be officially involved and consulted on health and safety issues.) Some of the examples he gives are tying off and chain saw usage. Tree Service Canada would like to investigate how health and safety is legislated across the country. If you or your company was charged with a tree service related health and safety violation in Canada and you would like to discuss how and why you were charged, you can write to email@example.com.
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Upholding the tradition in Niagara Urban forestry team emphasizes continuity BY JEFFREY CARTER Being part of the forestry team at the Niagara Parks Commission is much more than a nine-to-five job. It’s a commitment that’s passed from one generation to the next. That’s a bit of wisdom that Dino McDonnell has picked up since graduating from the Niagara Parks School of Agriculture in 1994 and especially since he took over as manager, forestry services from Joe Stoll who retired in 2008. “He told me that we’re here for only a short time as an employee but we really don’t own this place. It owns us,” McDonnell recalls. “I want to leave this place better than when I found it . . . We have a bit of a reputation to uphold.” The commission was established in 1885 to create parkland next to the Horseshoe Falls. Over the years, the property has been expanded and today the Niagara River Parkway encompasses 1,720 hectares and stretches from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The people who visit often have fond memories of the place, like the couple McDonnell met who returned to mark their wedding anniversary. They wanted to be photographed in the same spot where their picture was taken 50 years before—in the Niagara Glen and in front of the whirlpool—and were delighted that the area was as beautiful as before. From a tree perspective, there’s a range of environments within the commission property, from surprisingly extensive natural areas like the Glen to manicured, for-
Prescribed burns are being used to return parts of the Niagara Parkway Commission’s property to the kind of Oak Savannah habitat that existed more than 150 years ago.
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mal parks and world-class golf courses. One project McDonnell is especially excited about is the transformation of some areas to what is believed to have existed prior to the arrival of Europeans—oak savannah. This type of ecosystem covered roughly 20 million hectares in the Midwestern United States and parts of Ontario when European settlers first arrived. Now only remnants remain. It is a transition between prairie grasslands and broad-leaf dominated forests where the space is shared by trees and herbaceous species. According to the Oak Savanna Foundation, savannas have a tree canopy ranging from 10 per cent to no more than 50 per cent. They were normally maintained by fires, set by lightning strikes or intentionally by native peoples. Early European arrivals described it as an almost park-like setting. Photographs from more than a century ago helped commission staff determine places where the oak savannah ecosystem was likely to have dominated. The identification of native grass species was a key sign. About 30 different sites were considered as candidates. In the most likely locations, controlled fires were used and, so far, 20 hectares show definite signs of rehabilitation. “We’re having some good success at the Niagara Parks Commission . . . We have seen the introduction of butterfly weeds, Indian grass and big and small bluestem in these areas.” McDonnell credits members of the Lambton County Stewardship Network for supporting the effort. The group from the Sarnia area in Ontario was involved with prescribed burns to return Oak savanna habitat to Pinery Provincial Park at the southeastern corner of Lake Huron. For McDonnell, the project and other aspects of his commission work have helped open his eyes to the idea that trees are a part of broader ecosystems. When he first graduated from the college, McDonnell had intended to become a climber focused on the maintenance issues specific to trees.
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CO MM U N I TY PROF I LE Oak savanna rehabilitation is just a small part of the work for the commission tree team. Along with McDonnell, who spends a lot of his day behind a desk, there are arborists Mark Stoner, Angelo Caruso and Richard Harrison, and apprentices Dan Crompton and Brenda Verhage. Rob Aitkin, who was with the commission for 35 years, retired a year ago. “None of us have a big ego here . . . [but] as a group, we’re really strong,” McDonnell says. “The tree department has been part of the business here at the commission for 80 or 90 years . . . Some of our past supervisors have helped develop the standards for the ISA [International Society of Arborists]. We like to think we’ve contributed.” Tree maintenance work is a year-round focus for the arborists. With the millions of visitors to the region, safety is a concern, especially along the service roads, paved paths and trails and throughout the extensive parkland. There are 35 kilometres of paved bike and walking paths, about a dozen kilometres of soft trail in the Niagara Glen, and the staff looks after a seven-to-eight kilometer stretch of the Bruce Trail—its southern terminus. The team looks after golf-course trees larger than six inches in diametre. They also use tree spades to shift trees to strategic positions along the fairways. Tree maintenance on a golf course is often about more than what’s good for the trees, McDonnell says. It’s also about what’s good for the game. Consequently, trees are often pruned or are occasionally removed in order to maintain the fairway designs.
“None of us has a big ego here . . . [but] as a group, we’re really strong.”
Trees are an integral part of the fairways at the Niagara Parkway Commissions world-class golf courses.
~Dino McDonnell, manager of forestry services, Niagara Parks Commission Another pruning challenge relates to the Falls. The mist that rises from its thunderous drop accumulates as ice on nearby trees and so a pollarding technique—especially effective with London plane trees—is used to limit damage. “What happens is that you end up with a tree with a solid scaffold structure with a renewable canopy.” Invasive species—including tree of heaven, buckthorn and Norway maple—are another concern. Tree of heaven is especially difficult to deal with since root suckers will emerge even after the stump has been treated. “It takes multiple years and multiple treatments to eliminate it out of an area,” McDonnell says. Garlon 4 is the broadleaf herbicide used. Mechanization has helped the relatively small crew get a lot accomplished. While other models may be just as good, McDonnell has been impressed the Bandit 280XP chipper, which can process 104-feet of material per minute and is rated to handle material up to 18 inches in diametre. It comes with a grapple that moves material to the disc-style chipping system. The chipper is pulled by an International eight-ton truck to which the chip body is attached. There’s also a five-ton dump truck and a Terax XT-55 bucket truck. Other equipment includes Stihl chainsaws, a Vermeer stumper and a Vermeer tree spade.
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The pollarding of trees next to Horseshoe Falls is a dramatic but necessary practice. On cold winter days, mist from the falls freezes to the trees. The pruning method combines structural strength with a renewable canopy.
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Tree Service Canada WINTER 2009
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The new IntelliFeed function on the Wallenstein chipper continuously monitors the rotor’s rpm, slowing the rollers’ speed as needed.
He wins a free saw! STIHL/Tree Service Canada contest PETER C. MANSELL, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, FLORA NOVA LANDSCAPING and GARDEN SERVICE LTD., LONDON, ONT. Has been involved in the landscape and horticulture industry for 31 years and holds degrees in Environmental Science and Landscape Architecture. He began his career with a landscape and swimming pool contractor in London and in 1981 he co-purchased a garden centre and landscape business called Evergreen Nursery. Early in 2005, the business was expanded with the acquisition of Flora Nova Landscaping and Garden Service, a grounds maintenance company with a 39 year reputation for quality service.
Understanding tires A few simple things to watch for can save lost time and possibly prevent an accident Many tree service companies tend to excuse poor tires on trailers, other equipment and even some vehicles by saying, “It’s only for industrial use, so what if the tires are poor?” Answer: because poor tires are unsafe, and because they can lead to lost time. Let’s look at safety issues. It is true that a flat tire in the yard will not cause an accident with a trailer or chipper. These machines will not just fall over sideways because of a flat tire. So, what’s the big deal about safety? Simply put, the danger usually occurs when the wheel has to be changed under duress. The harm (accidents) comes to the poorly trained employee who has to change the wheel in an awkward location, or when rushing to get the work done. It makes sense to have the right size tires, in good condition, mounted on good wheels (rims). Trailer tires are often old. That usually means there are cracks in the sideThe danger walls. Any time the cracks get bad usually occurs when enough to reach the string sidewalls, that tire is dead. Bald tires the wheel has to easily pick up nails. Old is usually dead. be changed under Any tire that has a routine leak, duress and keeps going flat, will eventually sit flat and create more sidewall damage. Or someone will move the machine with a flat tire, causing even more damage. Roadside failures can be serious. Other vehicles may run into your machine. Or some less-then-friendly cop or vehicle inspector may take offence at your predicament and write you a ticket for towing or driving an unsafe machine. This usually leads to you being forced to get the machine hauled away, at great cost. In my area, the laws state that to go on the road, tires on vehicles or implements: - be inflated properly, - not have: excessive tread wear, bumps, cuts, cracks or cut valve stems, - all lug nuts/bolts are present, tight and free of rust, - heels and rims are free of cracks, rust and damage. The accompanying pictures show the obvious and common defects seen in old tires: cracks and excessive wear. On all tires, look for the “wear bar” that tells you this tire is finished. It is time to throw the tire away when the bar touches the ground.
Tree Service Canada has teamed up with well known chainsaw manufacturer, STIHL, to offer readers the chance to win one of four MS 192 C arborist chainsaws. HOW TO ENTER: Simply complete the form below and fax it back to us at Fax. 1-250-478-3979. (You may want to photocopy the page first to avoid wrecking your issue of Tree Service Canada)
PRIZES: The winner of each issue's competition will receive a STIHL chainsaw ideal for use in the tree service industry. The MS 192 C is STIHL's lightest top handle gasoline chain saw making it easy to rotate in different directions. the MS 192 C also comes fitted with the Easy2Start™ system for easy starts in tough “in tree” situations. They are also equipped with a highly effective anti-vibration system to increase operator comfort and safety. The winner will receive a certificate which they may use to claim their MS 192 C chainsaw at their nearest authorized STIHL dealer.
ENTRY FORM: Name:
This tire is cracked beyond any safe use. And the rusty rim is at risk of cracking.
ENTER NOW BY FAXING YOUR ENTRY FORM TO FAX. 1-250-478-3979 Winter 09 ISSUE COMPETITION CLOSING DATE: Feb. 19th, 2010
Please fax your completed competition entry form to fax. 1-250-478-3979 or alternatively send your entry by post to: Tree Service Canada (CHAINSAW Competition), Southern Tip Publishing Inc, 4623 William Head Road, Victoria, British Columbia, V9C 3Y7. The first entry drawn after the closing date will win a chainsaw. All usual Tree Service Canada competition rules apply.
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This tire still has usable tread because the “wear bar” (visible inside the red triangle) is not touching the ground yet.
Tree Service Canada WINTER 2009
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From Stump To Tree Top STIHL Makes The Cut. The MS 200 T...the professional precision instrument for tree surgeons. Optimum handling. Uncompromising technology for the most demanding requirements. Accurate guidance and outstanding cutting. Ideal power-to-weight ratio. The ultimate saw for an arborist.
MS 200 T 35.2 cc / 1.6 kW 7.7 lb / 3.5 kg
A commitment to true P\power...the STIHL MS 441 matches exceptional performance with a tremendously low level of vibration for its class. Designed for power and comfort. Try one out today and you will see STIHLâ€™s commitment to quality. For low environmental impact and high comfort, the MS 441 is setting the standards for a new generation of STIHL chain saws. Visit your local full service STIHL Dealer and discover for yourself the quality and power of a STIHL chain saw or visit us on-line at www.stihl.ca.
MS 441 70.7 cc / 4.1 kW 14.6 lb / 6.6 kg * Without fuel, guide bar and chain