This post was authored by Ashley Davis
The following is a guest blog post from Ashley Davis of TCIA member company Absolute Tree Services, Inc. Are you interested in guest posting on TCIA's blog? Email Amy today!
Arborists are a unique bunch—we dedicate our whole lives to caring for trees. You’d think, of all people, WE should know how to minimize our footprint on the environment. After all, our livelihoods depend on trees.
And yet I see too many tree care services taking shortcuts, being wasteful, and making generally poor decisions that have real impacts on the environment. Forget them—they don’t even deserve to be called arborists.
Here are the steps that REAL arborists take to ensure they are not only environmentally responsible, but also environmentally friendly.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Environmentally friendly arborists recycle everything, from tree debris to engine oil to paperwork.
A felled tree, or even branches, can save another tree’s life—and that’s a powerful thing.
The key is not just to recycle, but to recycle in a way that gives back to your community.
Small debris from trees can be put through a wood chipper and turned into chips for your local elementary school’s garden. Straight pieces of popular building wood can be delivered to local mills for furniture, flooring and more. Other wood can be used for firewood.
A lot of us use heavy, gas-powered machinery to be as safe as possible when removing a tree. It’s a necessary evil of the job—but that doesn’t mean we can’t minimize its impact until alternative fuels are available.
Find a company that recycles oil in your town, and bring your used equipment oil there monthly. Recycle invoices, proposals, and all other paperwork. Every bit helps.
Save Trees If Possible – Even If It Means A Smaller Service Fee
Any tree care specialists who consider themselves “arborists” save trees when possible. Sometimes this means a smaller payday… at first. But do your job right and build a relationship with your customer and you can be returning to prune, treat, or fertilize that tree you saved for decades.
This is why we like to call ourselves tree care specialists and not tree removal specialists.
Not only is preserving trees good for the environment, but (in most cases) you will earn more from a preserved tree with only a few service calls, than you would from a removal…with the potential to earn a great deal more! A removal on the other hand, eliminates the possibility of follow up work.
Educate Customers About Trees – Be the Lorax
Remember Dr. Suess’ Lorax? He said, “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”
Well that’s what good arborists do.
We know how to prune trees to encourage proper growth. How to treat them when they are sick. The nutrients they need. Where to plant them. How to plant them. How to relocate them. We ARE the trees’ voice.
It’s our job to educate our community—to get involved with schools and local organizations that can teach our neighbors the positive impact of trees on our environment. I remember growing up thinking it was no big deal to carve your name into a tree trunk. Everyone did it.
The children in my community know better. Why? Because we’ve made it a point to speak out against the damage a simple name carving can cause—from bacterial infestations to girdling.
The power of honest education should never be understated.
Be A Pioneer – A Call to Action for Fellow Arborists
Fellow arborists, we need to pioneer more and more green practices to save the trees in our community.
From creating new technology to be used on the job, to utilizing safer and more effective tree care practices, it’s up to us to continue to improve our methods and reduce our strain on the environment.
I’d LOVE to hear what everyone else is doing to help the cause. Did I miss something in this post? Leave a comment below, and let me know how you speak for the trees.
This post was authored by Ashley Davis
Ashley Davis is the owner of TCIA member company Absolute Tree Services, Inc., a full service tree care company serving Fairfax, Arlington & the general Northern Virginia / DC area that takes pride in its environmentally friendly approach to tree care. For more information visit absolutetreeservicesinc.com or call (703) 969-6207.