“Viewpoints” – The Art of Site Lines

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Site Lines (Photo by Phil Pavey)

In my opinion, few things in life are better than this: sitting on your front deck looking out onto the water, feeling the warmth of the sun and hearing a gentle breeze rustling through the trees. Now that’s a great day at the cottage.

Great cottage views are not always ‘born’—sometimes they must be created or nurtured. Trees often create that “special place” feeling, but they can also obstruct our scenic views.

As a certified arborist (a professional in the cultivation, health, management and study of tress, shrubs and other perennial woody plants), I talk to a lot of shoreline owners about site lines and vistas. People want the sunlight and the view, but they don’t want to create an unnatural look by “stripping” the bottom limbs or one whole side of a tree. Many cottage owners don’t realize that there are options other than tree removal. Sometimes a good prune by a trained hand is all that is required.

Site line pruning is a technique used by arborists to capture specific desired views while minimizing and/or eliminating the negative effects of whole tree removal. By leaving trees standing, many benefits are retained: shade and privacy, habitat for animals, wind and snow block, energy savings, aesthetic and increased property value. Imaging keep all that, plus gaining a view!

In my experience the key to a great site line pruning is good communication between the arborist and the client. Specific desired views should be discussed.  (“Is a view of the island achievable?”) Goals should be set and agreed upon by all involved. I always tell my clients that subtle and natural solutions always look the best. For example, reduce the length of a limb instead of removing it completely. When done expertly, site line pruning is almost invisible; you see the view, not the cuts.

In my experience, the best results come from site line pruning with the clients on site to direct and monitor progress. If the site line is from the deck, I would have them sit on the deck (I know it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it) while I work. From there, they can confirm when the desired view is created.

Some final tips: As with any tree issue, make sure you use a qualified, certified arborist with the proper insurance coverage. Remember, bad tree care, even if done with good intentions, still leads to negative results. Bring in a professional, and open up your vistas. When the work is done, all that’s left is to sit back and enjoy the view!

(Photo by Phil Pavey)

Aerial Rescue Training

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Aerial Rescue TrainingWe take safety seriously! The crew at Logan Tree Experts took time this week to perform in-house aerial rescue training. Aerial rescue is required if a climber gets injured in the tree and needs to be rescued. All of our crew members need to be familiar with these proper procedures and techniques to ensure a safe work environment.

Wind Storm Damage Cleanup

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A blown-down tree from storm damageMore than a week after the wind storm on April 28th and the crew at Logan Tree Experts are just finishing the clean up! There were many trees lost across our region which raises awareness of how important proper tree care and maintenance are for the health and sustainability of our trees.

Healthy Soil Helps Improve Tree & Root Health

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Health soil makes for healthy trees!When you think of a tree do you picture its roots? Healthy roots are key to a healthy tree and to accomplish this we must provide the tree with healthy soil! Matt recently attended an urban soils course at the Toronto Botanical Gardens where 5 keynote speakers from across North America shared their knowledge on how to improve soils in an urban setting.
Remember healthy soil = healthy roots = healthy trees!