ISA Certified

I know it’s been a long time since any of you have heard from me, I’ve been super busy and I have great news;

I’ve passed my ISA certification exam, that’s right, I’m an International Certified Arborist #12807A. I also just earned my Associates of Science at Truckee Meadows Community College with an emphasis in Biology. This here is the crew I’ve been working with:


That’s our main climber to the left, his name is Hunter. He knows all the knots in the book, and the knots not in the book. He’s a true Arborist, I’ve learned a lot from this fellow.

On the right is John, the owner of the company I’ve been working for about the last eight months, or so. He started doing tree work in the 70’s, worked for the City of Reno for 20 years as an Arborist, and is a high ranking member in the Nevada Shade Tree council.

I’m the giant ugly man in the middle. I’m still relatively new to this industry so as of right now I work as a “Groundie”. My job includes bucking up wood with a chainsaw, assisting the climbers however I can, and any general tree care that doesn’t require me to climb. I’m in the process of learning the ropes so to speak, and soon enough I’ll be up there too!



Here’s what some of the work is like; A very old giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) was struck by lightening early in the morning out here in the valley, and created a massive wound on the tree. After the initial inspection, it was concluded that the top twenty feet of the trees’ apex be removed, however, because the lightening strike had compromised the trunks structural integrity, a crane was needed, as it was deemed unsafe to climb above the strike.


The tree’s damaged section was separated and carried off in one ‘pick’ by the crane, where it was then carried to the ground and bucked up by yours truly. Well, me and a couple other guys on the crew bucked it up together, and then threw the remaining rounds into the chipper.

The hole from the lightening strike was big enough for me to fit my entire arm through!


After that was the fun part, the tree was bolted back together with finely threaded screws about 3 ft’ long and half an inch thick, and then ratchet strapped back together. The tree can compartmentalize around the wound made by the bolting and one of the other lateral branches near where that top was cut will assume apical dominance and become the new leader. In my opinion the tree should have been removed completely, the reason being that mature trees (or any tree for that matter) are likely to never fully recover from a severe topping like this. I haven’t been doing Arborist work as long as some of these other cats, though, and its not my company so I just do as I’m told.


Here’s a cool shot of John and Hunter in two different Jeffery Pines (Pinus jeffreyi) for some simple “Dead heading” and that’s just basically removing dead, broken, or dying branches back to a healthy lateral or to the branch collar.


Like I said, it has been a busy year, a learning experience, and a very valuable and valiant time to be alive. Thank you everyone for the patience, and get ready for lots of new updates.

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Author: garesgarden

ISA Certified Arborist, Amateur Botanist, and future Agricultural Engineer.

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