Tree doctor taking appointments

Spring cleaning does not just pertain to household chores – it also applies to nature. Whether that is trimming, pruning or uprooting a tree, arborist Jordan Baird takes some of the load off mother nature.

Not only an arborist, but a climbing arborist, Baird can make decisions on whether it is best to prune, trim or cut down a tree.

Unlike landscapers, arborists specialize in tree biology and have the appropriate training to prune and remove trees.

“There are some technicalities where you can do harm to the tree if you don’t understand certain things about tree biology and about the technique to use when pruning,” Baird said. “Most arborists will climb a tree to remove it, where as landscapers may be laying patios and concrete, but they won’t be trained specifically for pruning.”

When pruning a tree, Baird said the best time is late spring or early summer, just as buds are beginning to open up.

“Because trees have to grow to seal over their wounds, you want to do it close to the growing season, but you just don’t want to do it when those leaves are fleshing out because the tree is already a bit stressed by putting its energy into that,” Baird said. “It doesn’t have the energy to address sealing over those wounds and putting in chemical reactions that need to take place to seal over the wounds.”

Tree removal is a balancing act between the risk the tree presents and how much the owner of that tree is willing to tolerate, Baird said, while keeping in mind that there is no such thing as a zero risk tree.

“Any tree could have a little branch fall out of it,” Baird said. “It could be blown over in a big storm like a tornado. I will usually advocate for trees to stay because I like to see trees in the town and try to push for a pruning route.”

However, there are certain signs that a tree must be removed, Baird said. These include certain defects such as dead wood, evidence of decay that is pervasive throughout the tree and co-dominance.

Co-dominance occurs when there are two major stems and the union between them is “V” shaped with a crack running down the middle.

Baird said from his experience and training, he considers the chances that this tree will fall on a neighbouring property or hurt pedestrians.

“I’ll just tell the owner what I’m seeing and how risky I think this tree is and I’ll let them make the decision as to whether or not they want to remove the tree,” Baird said. “Oftentimes people ask what would I do and I will give my honest opinion on that.”

Baird said trees that need the most care in the winter are those that are not native to the area. Growing trees outside of their forest zones could make it hard to sustain them through the long northwestern winters.

“Those are the kinds of trees that will require more care by just making sure they’re in the right environment,” Baird said. “They should get checked up on regularly. Maybe more water during the summer and regular pruning because they’ll have more dead wood.”

Baird said sometimes residents take it upon themselves to carry out pruning and tree removal without seeking help – something Baird said could result in dangerous outcomes.

“If you’re not trained in using a chainsaw, or you haven’t had a decent amount of experience with it, definitely think twice before doing it yourself,” Baird said. “I have seen people who have made mistakes and ended up with trees landing on their houses or falling off ladders. Working with chainsaws while using ladders can be very dangerous. If you’re thinking of doing that, maybe it’s time to contact an expert.”

Baird provides free assessment consultations provided they do not exceed 30 minutes. To book an appointment, you can call Baird at 807-630-9435.