New Dog, Old Tricks

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Depends on the dog, I guess…

One thing I have learned over the decades in this business is that It is damn near impossible to teach a new dog old tricks…

I watch new climbers ascend a tree with so much crap hanging off their climbing saddle, it looks like they are attempting to summit K2 or Everest.

My advice is to KEEP IT SIMPLE! Don’t make the most dangerous job in the world more complicated with the latest “clutter fad” that comes down the pike.

Yeah, it looks cool and all, but in the end, all you have to do is put THAT tree in THAT truck while burning the least amount of time, money and calories as possible without crushing something or someone…

Not to say you shouldn’t have the best gear such as saws, ropes and rigging that you can afford, but the more do-dads you acquire, the more you are tempted to find a way to utilize them on your job.

I will admit that the tools of our industry have evolved exponentially over the years, but one thing that has remained the same is the force of gravity, so use it!

When I first started rowing rivers as a steelhead guide, I remember an old salty guide pulling up next to me on the south fork of the Eel River one morning in his drift boat and saying “Boy, when you are rowing, you sound like my black lab drinking out of the toilet. Remember son, one GOOD stroke is worth a thousand BAD ones!”

Man, that really stuck with me..

I have learned to keep it as simple as possible and use the natural forces to my advantage. It really becomes more important as you get to be an older (weaker) dog, trust me on that one.

I take my hat off to anyone that has the stones to be an arborist, and there is some amazing new talent out there in the tree world, but I am the first to admit that the allure of gadgetry is hard to resist.

The more toys you have on the job, the more there is to go south on you when least expected,

ANYHOO… Now is the time to be watering your conifers and don’t even think about pruning anything with a cone, lest you ring the dinner bell for every beetle in town, they don’t need any encouragement this time of year…

With that, enjoy your summer and as always, plant high and often…

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