Arborist appreciation

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You know the team here at Country Culture loves a good, obscure holiday, but we strongly believe that June 16’s Arborist Appreciation Day deserves more attention.

What is an arborist? Also called a tree surgeon or an arboriculturist (if you’re fancy), an arborist is a professional in arboriculture – the cultivation, management and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines and other perennial woody plants in dendrology and horticulture. The “management” portion of that definition is usually what pops into people’s minds when they think of arborists, as that’s when they’re most visible. You’ve likely seen them high up in buckets, trimming branches, or on the ground, finding the perfect way to fell a tree without causing any property damage.

According to an awesome post from Pennsylvania Wilds, “arborists were first recorded in the date palm and olive orchards of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. These trees had to be maintained to provide food for the hungry populations. The Old Testament even has a few lines about a ‘dresser [arborist] of sycomores [figs].’”

They note that the term “tree surgeon” first gained popularity in the early 1900s from an Englishman that lived in Ohio named John Davey. In 1880, Davey started the first commercial tree service in the United States. The best part? Davey Tree Expert Company is still in business.

Arborists are people that genuinely care for the health of trees, even if they’re removing them. Sometimes that’s a necessity! And they’re often doing this work at their own peril. Being a tree arborist is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Every day, arborists find themselves within inches of live electrical wires, sometimes suspended dozens of feet in the air and operating machinery that can easily remove a body part. They deserve some love.

There are many tree-related tasks that homesteaders can handle on their own, but please recognize when you need a professional. Arborists are your friends.

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