Why Hire An Arborist? thumbnail

Why Hire An Arborist?

Tree Care Principles thumbnail

Tree Care Principles

Spurless Climbing thumbnail

Spurless Climbing

Pruning Definitions thumbnail

Pruning Definitions

Useful Links thumbnail

Useful Links

Tree Care for People Who Care About Trees

GROW Tree Care is living up to its name. We are growing and it’s time to add a Manager to our arboriculture team. This is a newly created position to help us manage an increased volume of work.

  • Do work you care about!
  • Competitive compensation package
  • Ethically run, values-based company, with a well-established team. We care about our people just as much as we care about the work we do.
  • 100% locally owned and operated
  • Located in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island

Love trees? So do we…

GROW Tree Care is a family-run arboriculture company that prides itself on quality tree work. We emphasize the integration of trees within the urban landscape and in finding the balance between the client’s objective and the health of the tree. We work to ISA standards, including tree retention and proper pruning techniques. We take special care and pride in our client relationships, and value work-life balance for the team very highly.

The Position

The Manager reports to the Owner of the company, and has responsibility for:

  • Leading and managing a team of approx. 2-4 climbing and ground crew
  • Climbing Arborist duties
  • Job and site management
  • Working with clients to meet their needs, including sales, estimates, and follow up
  • Scheduling work and overseeing maintenance of equipment
  • Staff training

The Manager takes an active role in the tree and ground work that the crew undertakes, and provides hands-on training and coverage for other staff.

You might be the ideal person if:

  • You enjoy working with people as much as you enjoy working with trees
  • You love solving challenges and puzzles
  • You believe in nurturing a happy coexistence of humans and nature
  • You’re friendly and professional
  • You have a passion for pruning and high-quality tree work
  • You have an ISA Certification and a minimum of 5 years climbing experience
  • You have a valid BC Driver’s Licence
  • TRAQ (Tree Risk Assessment Qualification) and estimating/management experience would also be an asset

Why should you apply?

This is a great opportunity to join a dedicated, skilled team with shared values and engage in varied, interesting work. The Manager will be fully supported in learning and development by the company owners, who are fully involved in the day-to-day running of the business. GROW Tree Care believes in supporting happy and healthy relationships at work, and run regular, fun teambuilding events and nurtures a respectful working environment for the whole team.

GROW Tree Care is located in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. There is a vibrant arts and food community, and a multitude of year-round sports and outdoor activities for all ages. Local business is thriving, and throughout the year the valley hosts a variety of activities and events. GROW Tree Care believes in supporting a healthy work-life balance for its team so they are able to enjoy the amazing community we live in.

For candidates considering relocation from another area, we will consider some flexibility over start date to ease the relocation process.

How to apply

If you think a career with GROW Tree Care is right for you, please submit your resume and cover letter to office(at)growtreecare.com no later than 12:00pm PST Friday, May 24, 2019.


Orange arrows indicate spur wounds. Notice the proximity of the failure point to the uppermost spur wound.

Large big leaf maple tree located very close to a house and spreading over the deck. Three years ago, the tree was aggressively pruned back off the house and deck. Approximately 40% of the canopy was removed and spurs were worn to access the tree.


  • Excessive water sprouts are produced at large cuts and overall form has been destroyed.
  • The infection of a decay pathogen (that entered through the spur wound) weakened a stem which then failed and damaged the glass railing around the deck.


Damage was caused by the method of pruning. An improper pruning cut can compromise the tree’s ability within the branch socket to stop the spread of decay pathogens.

More than 25% of canopy loss has potential to stress the tree. Excessive removal of one portion of a tree’s canopy can:

  • increase the chance of sun scald (especially a south facing portion of the canopy) and leaves the remaining canopy compromised.
  • expose large branches and limbs that were once protected to new windthrow causing increased potential of failure.

Notice the concentration of decay at the failure
point which is also the location of a spur wound.

Spurs can significantly damage the tree, opening up the cambium to infection and decay. When climbing on spurs, every step creates a puncture wound that has the potential for fungal or bacterial infection. Fungus and bacteria can penetrate the trees’ natural defences and cause premature failures.

Spurs should only be used on trees slated for removal.

Trees in the urban environment are often found in less than ideal growing conditions which may include:

  • compacted, oxygen-poor soils
  • soils lacking in organic material
  • minimal space or soil (trees surrounded by parking lots/pavement on all sides)
  • lack of proper irrigation/change to drainage during nearby construction.

These obstacles and stressors can inhibit growth, leave the tree susceptible to pest and disease, and cause the decline of valuable specimen trees. Continual leaf pickup, lack of soil amendments and heavy rainfall also leave soils lacking the appropriate nutrients required for proper tree growth.

Proper installation of new trees, improving soil by amending, and assuring adequate irrigation can minimize stress to trees.

Another effective and valuable means of improving the health of your trees and shrubs is with a soil injection system. This high-pressure system injects a water soluble or suspended slow release fertilizer six-to-eight inches into the soil surface. The system aerates and waters at the same time and additional products can be added to improve soil conditions.

When To Use Soil Injection

  1. Trees that are stressed:
    • before or after construction
    • poor site conditions
    • trees showing signs of pests and/or disease.
  2. Hedging – to encourage dense growth or prior to hard pruning to encourage new growth and minimize stress.
  3. Trees and shrubs with minimal soil like those in planters found around condos or in formed landscapes.

Soil injection should be used in conjunction with other plant health care practices (like applying mulch or compost) for optimal results.

With the long history of forestry in BC, urban tree work on the West Coast can be confusing. Foresters, utility certified tree workers and ISA arborists carry different certifications and perform different services.

To better understand the difference between these tree workers it helps to look at the objectives of each.

Forestry workers specialize in clearing and maintaining large woodlots in a forest context with the objective of maximizing timber value. Though some skills are transferable to the urban environment (eg. removals), some techniques that are well suited to forestry (like topping and spiral pruning) can pose hazards when applied in an urban setting.

Utility certified arborists understand the dangers of working with electricity and focus on clearing vegetation around electrical wires using specialized equipment. The objective is hazard reduction and public safety.

To understand the expertise of an arborist, it is useful to know the definition of the word arboriculture:

The planting, care, and scientific cultivation of trees and woody vegetation in a non-forest context.

Spurless climber doing residential work.

An ISA certified arborist’s objective is the integration of trees in the urban environment with a focus on tree health and preservation. Asking about the experience and training of anyone working on your trees will tell you if they can achieve your objectives.

Why Hire an Arborist?

Proper pruning is essential in developing a tree with a strong structure and desirable form. Trees that receive the appropriate pruning measures while they are young will require little corrective pruning when they mature.

Here are a few simple principles to know about tree pruning:

Each cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree.

Proper technique is essential. Poor pruning can cause damage that lasts for the life of the tree.

Trees do not heal the way people do.

When a tree is wounded, it must grow over and compartmentalize the wound. As a result, the wound is contained within the tree forever.

Small cuts do less damage to the tree than large cuts.

For that reason, proper pruning (training) of young trees is critical. Waiting to prune a tree until it is mature can create the need for large cuts that the tree cannot easily close.

Making The Cut

The location of the pruning cut is critical to a tree’s response in growth and wound closure.

Pruning cuts should be made just outside the branch collar. Because the branch collar contains trunk or parent branch tissues, the tree will be damaged unnecessarily if it is removed or damaged. In fact, if the cut is large, the tree may suffer permanent internal decay from an improper pruning cut.

Pruning cuts should be made just outside the branch collar.

If a permanent branch is to be shortened, it should be cut back to a lateral branch or bud. Cuts made between buds or branches may lead to stem decay, sprout production, and misdirected growth.
Source: www.treesaregood.com

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