How I Came to Be an Arborist: Some of My History

I am very sure many of you may have heard this story, but us older folks have been known to repeat ourselves. This is also given that in February 2018, I will have been involved in the field of arboriculture and related fields (including zoology, but that’s another story) for 70 years, when I started with the Davey Tree Expert Company.

When I got out of the service in December of 1947, it was hard to get into college due to the number of GIs who got out before me, so I decided to look for a job where I could move up in the world. An opening came up with Davey, so I took advantage of it.

As time went on, I decided to BRANCH out, but then I found myself out on a LIMB. I then came down to get to the ROOT of the problem as I thought I may be BARKing up the wrong TREE. Well, I was wrong, so I decided to LEAF well enough alone. So here I am HANGING around almost 70 years later and still out on a LIMB and up a TREE!

Here are a few lessons learned. There is a story that goes with each of these, but that comes later, too.

1. In your mind’s eye, prune the tree from the ground first before climbing into it.

2. If a tree shows signs of stress, be sure to look at the root system and lower trunk first. Root rot may be the culprit, or at least a contributing factor.

3. Prune the tree from the inside. As Al Shigo always admonished, “Let the tree embrace you.” It’s hard to see all that needs to be done from the outside. That’s why I never pruned a tree from a bucket truck.

By Bob Mazany, Robert Mazany & Associates, Beaverton, OR.

Editor’s note: This article continues on from a similar one submitted by Bob a few years ago, published in the Summer 2014 edition of this newsletter (Volume 35, Number 2).