Arbor Intern Adds New Skills to His “Tool Belt”

This guest post was written by Colby, about his intern experience with us this summer.
From a very early age, I’ve had a love for trees!  Hardwood species can live hundreds of years, bearing witness to history that future generations only study.  After a few diligent seconds of deliberation, I chose to major in Forest Resource Management, minoring in Business Management, at Clemson University.  This summer, I am interning with the Charleston, South Carolina branch in their Arbor Division.  Charleston is home to the Angel Oak, which is estimated at 400-500 years old, dating this tree to be an acorn at the time of Columbus’ arrival to the New World.
Although I began my internship with a rotation through all facets of branch operations, arbor is my home.  During my time with Yellowstone, I have worked with Live Oaks measuring 36-40 inches in diameter.  I have spent time on a Vermeer track loader and a 65-foot lift and have used various sizes of Stihl chainsaws along with chippers.  These various experiences have added new skills to my “tool belt”.  Stepping away from the field and into the office, I have also gained experience in the managerial roles of arbor.  Working with my Mentor, Jordan Fields, I have had the opportunity to walk jobs with clients, bid and write proposals, and manage crews.  These experiences have helped me to understand how to resolve issues with clients and ensure that all work is being done properly from start to finish.
My favorite experience so far has been the opportunity to work at Southampton Pointe in Mount Pleasant.  There, we trimmed and dead wooded large grand oaks that fell into decline after 20 or more years without care, improving their condition and removing limb hazards.  Large dead pieces were removed and the trees were elevated over parking areas, along with one eight-inch branch being removed for truck clearance.  This limb had to go as it had crushed several UPS trucks and moving van tops over the years. 
The Arbor Division has, by far the most work hazards in the company.  Each time a climber ascends into a tree or a ground man is feeding the chipper, their lives are on the line.  We specifically stress these points to new employees.  Charleston’s Arbor Division, being the newest of the company, has an influx of people from other areas of the company as well as new hires working with us.  This has taught me that not everyone learns the same way and you cannot expect someone to jump in and transition perfectly.  There is a learning curve, but it’s nothing that experience can’t fix. 
I am extremely thankful to have this opportunity to intern with Yellowstone Landscape and the Charleston team, who have shown me great hospitality and made me feel welcome.  I have enjoyed my time with Yellowstone Landscape and I am excited to see where this relationship will go. 

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