Pruning in Calgary with Nature in Mind

Welcome to a great space, about live, healthy, vigorous trees

Yes, beautiful healthy trees. Follow a few simple practices and the limping along, struggling,
not looking too good will be gone, forever
It is a proven fact that any of Calgary's trees that get close to the water THEY want, will thrive and to a greater extent be disease and insect free.
Pruning, is not a excuse to make firewood, it is strong life changing medicine and should be administered very carefully. Mostly trees know what they are about, and know it better than we do. Almost all pruning ideologies are a cultural construct.
Witness the ancient untended natural growth of forests all across this beautiful planet. They seem to do fine, fine that is until some say they have to go. Rather than including them in our thinking.
The whole tree, the natural growing balanced tree. From the far tips of the highest upper shoots, thru the twigs, branches, sub trunks, main trunk and the entire vast unseen root system. This is one whole living thing , working well as nature designed it over a immeasurable length of time. Time to get it right.
This whole tree is in balance as is any other living creatures body, there just aren't any extra leaves, or branches. Intelligence is needed to know what to prune , when and where so that the desired cultural effect can be achieved without harm.
From a distance any tree that looks pruned, really its been over pruned. And they suffer accordingly, witness the struggling poplars of Memorial drive , thinned to the point of weakness.
This is new ground, a new way of conceptualizing your trees, lets be kind, respectful, knowledgeable. That thinking with a chain saw, is not whole. I love trees and have been practicing a holistic approach for decades, its really very simple, put the tree first.
This website is packed with lots of healthy tree info, please enjoy.

Caring For Your Trees This Winter

"Winter has always been a good time to prune and a mild winter is made for it."

Trees are Here in Winter, Just Quieter...

I like to see the beauty of trees in winter. These long lived friends are still here for us, just quieter. This is the time of winter wisdom.

Pruning Deadwood is a Powerful Health Practice

Even the healthiest tree has some deadwood. Internal deadwood is natural, usually caused by shade. Every dead branch, no longer part of the functioning system, should be pruned off. Pruning deadwood is a powerful health practice that prevents decay. I love pruning in winter and seeing the beautiful shaped bounty in the spring.

Dead Branches Have Two Visual Clues That are Easy For You to Learn

Absence of Healthy Buds:
  • Healthy buds are plump and when opened contain the miniature first green leaves. This is another miracle of tree intelligence, similar to the embryo in the seed. Trees are very good at being prepared for what comes next. The bud is an amazing structure which takes the entire previous growing season to fully form. They begin as a tiny green node in the axis of every leaf. As summer advances the bud is completed and finally gets its durable winter coat we call the bud scales. It is these healthy buds that get through winter and are ready at first call of spring to begin again.
  • Dry dead buds are small, dull and shriveled looking. When opened there is no green inside.
Condition of The Bark:
  • The other symptom of a dead branch is the condition of the bark. Dead or dying branches are many times a different shade of color than their healthy brothers and sisters. As important as color is the texture; dead branches often have peeling or even missing bark. These two visual keys are easily learned and proper winter pruning becomes natural, especially without the leaves present.

Off-Season Rates on Now

I am around this winter and not camping in the desert as usual. The mild conditions seem to be with us this year, perhaps payback for two serious winters in a row. This is our off-season, most people think trees can only be pruned in the summer, not so, winter is a excellent time to prune. So, I am offering a 20% reduction for winter pruning right now.

Visit my Contact Page to get in Touch with me.

I hope you enjoy your winter.
Kevin Lee (Calgary Arborist)

What is Tree Whispering?

In my world the term "Whisperer" was first used about 15 years ago by a customer who liked my approach. The word whisperer comes from the horse whisperer, Monty Roberts and his book "The Man Who listens to Horses". The short answer is someone who can listen and see and feel and do what is right. Being able to read and work with an existing natural system. Whispering in this sense is beautiful and cuts through all the bluster, bluff and and standard procedures to address what is really going on. You are already whispering with plants if you realize that they are designed with no extra leaves, and that the removal of their leaves is always injurious to some degree.

Qualifications for whisperers are varied - lots of time on the ground, in the field, and doing the work is always good. Extensive reading is also good. As important is an open mind and a clear eye, asking what is going on here anyway? The whisperer's greatest tool is his/her heart, yup, lots of love, a strong desire to help and do what is needed. Attitude is what makes a whisperer, loving, caring, curious with empathy and respect. If those horses would have let him, Monty would have walked right up and given them the hug of their lives. Try it with your tree, see what comes back.

Being a tree whisperer is what I aspire to everyday.

Mid-Season Gratitude Post

First of all, I must apologize for the complete lack of recent postings. Frequently working to near exhaustion, doing the physical work trees require, has been a little draining on the ole fella. That said, it has been an amazing year so far, and I have so many people to thank.

You know who you are, Tree Lovers - the greatest gift I have been given is to be able to practice my own intuitive, careful tree work, with your trees. So many of you are understanding the connection with trees, and it's wonderful. We do this strictly for the sake of the tree, the whole tree, for its betterment, looking forward to the day when it is a beautiful, strong, living being, a being who adds an amazing huge dose of love back into our world. That's what good tree work is - adding love back into the system.

To everyone who had me do their tree work, to anyone who reviewed me, and to all of you who read a post or a article, thank you so much for that time and interest. Trees are one of the strongest and most immediate ways to connect to the amazing energy/power of nature.

I hope a tree hugged you back today.



Organic Tree Work, Empowering Trees and People.

Organic, without the use of chemicals, done in a natural state, allowing and relying on nature to live and grow as intended. Working with nature in a positive give and take, rather than controlling a commodity.

To me tree work is a form of forest bathing. This is a new phrase from Japan describing something ancient, being in nature for the sheer pleasure of it. Those of us with a connection to nature in its myriad forms understand this in our bones. It's just not passing time outside, but something deeper, a connection that needs to be met. It seems for most nature-connected people that this is a simple experience that requires little more technology than a good pair of shoes. Indeed the more head-phoned, texting, waiting for an email you are, the harder it will be to make a connection. Forest bathers know to leave the e-world safe at home by itself, and set forth technologically naked, so to speak.
And so with Tree work; I am hearing almost every day from people who have problems with their trees that have been injected with a chemical for various reasons. This quick money answer appears to be the latest add-on to the thinking that everything green needs to be heavily fertilized. The last example came in yesterday. A woman who is genuinely worried about her trees sent me pictures of a Schubert cherry which had been injected with a fungicide to help control black knot. This is just silly; the Schubert is only about 20% as susceptible as the May day to black knot and if knots appear they are easily dealt with by pruning. It's the thinking [?] behind these actions that worry me. The tree in question has about a six-inch diameter trunk. Within the space of three inches, three injection capsules were inserted into the trunk. They must have got the dose wrong because a strip of bark a foot and a half high and three inches wide died after the injection. This is a significant wound to such a small tree. The irony is amazing, there is now a deadwood-eating fungus living on the edge of the recently killed bark. Do you think she should have the Tree service back to inject for the thriving secondary infection?
There is a better way, and Tree owners who understand the varying water requirements of their Trees know it. Better to spend more money on water than on fear based ideas whose main concern is chemical sales and not actually Trees. Any Tree in Calgary that gets the water it needs will be healthy, full and nearly pest and disease free. Most Insects do little harm but stop for lunch, they come and go. The same can be said for most fungus, (read my series of articles, Calgary's Most Dangerous, to meet the real bad guys). Our society is just beginning to understand the positive strengthening presence of insects on plants. Without being tested and challenged, the Tree's systems grow weaker. Do you like the birds and the bees and the butterflies? Then keep toxic chemical use to a bare minimum. Water your trees more and take the power back from those who would have you in fear, relieved only by spending money on chemicals that are dangerous, sometimes lethal and about 60 years behind the times.


Cheers, Kevin.