Monthly Archives

December 2015

World Record Weed Pull!

By | Arborist Insights, Education, Events, Landscaping, Plant Species Information | No Comments

As soon as I found about this project, I knew I had to be there. World record attempt for the most people involved in invasive plant removal sounded interesting. This was a good chance to give back to the community and improve my green resume. I used to run at Mundy Park in Coquitlam with the Phoenix Running Club so why not remove some invasive plants and make it better.

On October 4, 2015, my group went through orientation with City of Coquitlam staff and then we picked up paper bags for green waste and gloves for safety. Water was also provided. I opted to join the group heading deeper into the woods. I love trees and hiking; and collisions with dog waste are less likely deep in the woods.
After a short hike we reached our work zone. It was a patch of ivy (Hedera helix). At your house the plant can be contained in a bed but in the woods it can do as it pleases. I am happy to report that my group attacked the ivy with great passion. All green waste was hauled out to the trail to be taken away by an ATV. Snacks and drinks were provided at the baseball diamond afterwards.

As the Tri-City News reported recently (Friday December 18, 2015, A34) the record was officially set for the most people involved in an invasive plant removal.
Over 800 people participated. If you are interested in becoming a Mundy Park Champion or a Park Spark volunteer visit, email or call 604-927-6334


Learn about these Bad Seeds


Orientation with City of Coquitlam staff


Work zone: Hedera helix Ivy about to be removed


Vas in his element


Green waste


Quick Trimmer Head Change

By | Arborist Insights, Company News, Education, Landscaping, Strata Maintenance | No Comments

This week I found myself on a narrow median up in the Westwood Plateau buzzing down crack weeds when my trimmer head died of old age. No problem.
With tools in the truck and a spare head, this was a quick job.

1) use a screw driver or Allen key and look for two openings, one on the edger and one on the head

2) spin the head until the holes align to immobilize the head

3) unscrew the old head

4) screw on the new one, tight but not super tight!

My new head was already full of string so I was back in action very quickly.
Put your safety equipment back on and line edge carefully.

photo 3 (1)

Dead trimmer head, save the line and discard

photo 4 (2)

Allen key immobilizes the head

Side-Job Hell….

By | Arborist Insights, Company News, Education, Landscaping | No Comments

Two young landscapers arrive at a residence and make decent cash by pruning cedar hedges. We have all been there. Living the dream, making extra cash on weekends. Then the owner asks them to prune her Acer palmatum away from the house and below the gutters. Then mistakes happen. First examine pictures of the FINAL product and then consider the many mistakes that were made.


Owner’s request: bring the tree crown below gutters


Brutal chainsaw cuts


Huge stubs that will die off, potentially invite disease in and give the tree zero chance of healing the wound


Let us consider the mistakes that were made.

1) Agreeing to top a tree

The crown could be reduced but topping is not done for several reasons. Educate your clients!

2) Starving and stressing the tree

In drought conditions, leaf openings (stomates) are closed to prevent water loss. That also means that CO2 can not enter and therefore food production stops. Now the tree is forced to use up food reserves stored in younger branches. The same branches that are likely to be pruned off.

3) Bad cuts

The chainsaw work is inadequate and the stubs amateurish. We have seen in an earlier blog how to make a nice cut, one the tree can cover over and heal.
The stubs die off, can invite disease in, and the tree has no hope of covering the wound.

4) Failure to wear protective gear

Chainsaw work can be dangerous so protection is mandatory; the same goes for high-visibility clothing since the workers repeatedly crossed the road to assess their work. Work which did not get completed.

Pterocarya stenoptera (Chinese Wingnut Tree)

By | Arborist Insights, Company News, Education, Landscaping, Plant Species Information | No Comments

The Chinese wingnut tree is a 40-70 foot deciduous tree from the walnut family: Juglandaceae. I first encountered this tree species by the City of Coquitlam animal shelter off Mariner Way. What immediately struck me were the seed clusters, green strings of winged seeds suspended below the branches. Then there was the scientific name which required a lot of memory work.
This is a fast-growing tree which tolerates drought. It has no fall color; the winged seeds turn brown and fall. The two specimens I know well are both used for shade. Since the trees have aggressive roots they are not well suited for lawns or gardens.

photo 4 (1)

Winged Seeds


Seed Clusters