I started 'Love Tree Service' as a partnership on 2/4/74. The 'partner' had worked for a 'Love Tree Service' in California in the early '70's and requested the name. "Hey, everybody remembers LOVE..."
I bought out his interest in the young business and as a result have been the sole proprietor from 5/22/74 to the present.
On 7/14/87 I had the name changed to Love Arboreal.
I knew that to compete, I would have to offer something additional that would set me aside from the pack. I elected to take the direction of selling myself as a 'arborist craftsman' providing fine quality workmanship and personal service to a very select customer base.
I pride myself in my abilities in all aspects of arboriculture, especially when it comes to fine ornamental pruning. I've been asked to provide these services on many of Rochester's premiere properties.
Another service I offer is tree & shrub fertilization/conditioning. In the 'early days', we would use a heavy drill and auger to drill a series of holes within the root zone of the plant and then fill them with appropriate fertilizers &/or conditioners. The current, more accepted method uses a hydro-injection system to inject a liquid solution using a soluble recipe (depending on the plants requirements) of fertilizers, trace elements, biostimulants, vitamins, wetting agents, mycorrhizae, etc. This technique is not only very effective in establishing new plant installations, but also for maintaining established plants.
After recent area storms and the resulting damage to our trees, bracing has become a popular request. I practice state of the art bracing procedures. Do not look for 'old school' seven strand guy wire and lag screws from me...
As far as tree removal goes, please understand that I still love to climb trees. And do it well! However, I'm not really set up for big tree removals. I usually refer this service out to a colleague of mine who has the man power, equipment (i.e., bucket truck, brush chippers, stump grinders, loaders, etc.), and day-in and day-out experience with this type of work. (Look for Bruce O'Neill of O'Neill's Tree & Landscape Service in my 'Affiliates' page for contact information.)
Diagnostic services. I consider myself to have an analytical mind and love the challenge of problem solving. However when I'm unable to arrive at a solution to a difficult plant problem, I know how to take advantage of available lab services to (hopefully) get the answer. If I do use a lab on your behalf, you'll not only receive a copy of the lab report, but also a professional follow up report from me interpreting the labs findings and any treatments they may suggest.
Pest management. When it's necessary to use pesticide controls to protect you trees, shrubs, flowers and turf, I have the knowledge, equipment, licenses and insurance to provide these services. These are challenging times when it comes to applying these products on our landscapes and I feel I'm an ethical applicator who is sensitive to these issues. Please refer to the the 'Pest Management' pages of this site if this concerns you.
Installations. This is becoming a more popular request over the last few seasons. I like working with homeowners, getting their input, and letting them be a part of the design process. Traditionally, I only handle small installation projects, but have found this aspect of my service to be very rewarding. You'll find that I like finding & recommending 'unusual' plant materials...
This is probably as good of a place as any to address my policy regarding 'replacement plant guarantee'.
If you do experience a plant loss, I will not however, provide you with a free replacement. Companies that are able to offer 'free replacement guarantees' are able to do so because they substantially mark up the cost of the nursery material they're selling you. I on the otherhand, charge for my labor to shop for, deliver, and install the plant material, but sell the plants (and any amendments used) at my cost. If a loss does occur (and believe me, this is rare), and we determine that it's not the fault of the follow up maintenance or weather extremes, I'll usually work something out. I'm reasonable and I do want to leave the job with you being pleased.
Turf maintenance. Not a major part of my service, but I do care for a few of my customers lawns. I require annual soil testing with follow up recommendations, so every lawn is treated based on its soil make up and site demands. I take issue with lawn care companies that still provide 'blanket applications.' In other words, treat the entire lawn for problems, whether it is needed or not. Practices like this hurt our industry's image and put us all at risk. If continued, they could contribute to the elimination of this aspect of our service. Also, with the constant annual overuse of pesticides, insects can often build up a tolerance and may end up being resistant to controls that used to be effective. I scout and treat just the areas that are found to be beyond the acceptable level that is safe for your lawn.
"Are you certified?"
Lastly, it's getting popular to hear this question. This refers to taking the ISA (International Society of Arborists) Certification exam and keeping that certification current by attending a required number of related education seminars over a period of time.
Personally, I feel there's too much emphasis put on the importance of 'certification' (as it currently stands). Studying for, taking & passing an exam is certainly no indication of an arborist skill, experience or ethics.
I know academics who have easily passed this exam and who have for instance, never even climbed a tree. And I also know tree-men who are extremely capable and experienced doing the tough jobs day in & day out that have not bothered getting 'certified'. They might not have a good understanding of tree biology, etc., but they could very well be the best choice for the job!
If a property owner requires the services of an arborist that demands skill & experience and is approached by the 'just out of college' student or the horticulturist/landscaper with limited arborcultural experience, both waving their 'I'm a Certified Arborists' credentials ...or the tree worker who has 20+ years experience in doing the work you desire, but might not be certified.. Who are you going to hire??!!!
When I came up the ranks, to become a tree worker, you started by working for a company dragging brush and doing simple jobs (i.e., shearing & shaping work, etc.). Later you'd graduate to being a ground man, running lines for a climber (& paying attention to how it's done!) Then, you'd get the chance to put on a saddle and climb a smaller tree, working your way up to larger more difficult projects over time (read years).You had to have a passion for climbing techniques, learning new knots and the tricks of the trade. Over time, you'd gain experience by meeting the challenges to the exposure you received to a wide range of arboricultural job requirements and develop an eye for the aesthetics and degree of quality of your pruning work. Rigging for big removals was considered the highest respected pinnacle for a tree worker. But a tree worker would also be knowledgeable in fertilizing trees, wound treatment, big tree transplanting, bracing techniques, etc. You would be expected to know how to figure application rates, calibrate & maintain many different pieces of equipment, deal with safety issues in a professional manner, keep professional records, make quick, intelligent decisions under pressure & be able to communicate professionally with crews & customers alike. You had to learn the horticultural end, being able to identify trees, shrubs, pests, etc., accurately. And if you were good.. you'd take a high level of pride in your work, considering it to be a privilege to be a steward of living things (a responsibility not to be taken lightly) and exhibit a high level of integrity at the business end. ( I personally consider fine ornamental pruning to be akin to an art form..). Lastly, an arborist must be able to accept the rigors of the physical challenges that are inherent to our profession.
I guess another prerequisite for today's green industry professional, (as with most any field) would be to at least be somewhat 'computer' savvy...
A lot of this is simply not learned in a book! Or proving that these aquired skills have been achieved by passing an exam!
I'd suggest to the ISA that tree workers should only be allowed to become 'Certified' after first completing five years of professional arboriculture field work where they can prove they have had the exposure and 'real experience' in the many aspects of our industry that are included in the ISA exam. Individuals who are unable or unwilling to meet this requirement could still be allowed to take the exam and achieve 'Certified non-active Arborist' status. This would add to the credibility of educators, garden professionals, green industry sales people, etc. without giving the impression that they're experienced arborists as it currently stands. To put it another way, would you seek out the services of a physician who might have passed all his medical exams, but never did his residency?
Basically, ISA Certification is just one of many criteria to consider. And yes. I am ISA Certified.
I've always thought that my 30+ years of having the privilege to provide a full range of fine quality arboriculture services for many hundreds of satisfied customers on many of our area's premier properties speaks for my credibility in my craft; but for those that are impressed with such things, I do belong to the following affiliates:
_____ISA Member #2355_Thomas A. Ewart #NY-0934 ____Member #2702_____
Thomas A. Ewart,
Last updated: Spring. 2004
Please direct all comments to: FZR4001989@aol.com