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Arbor Intern Grows Through Experiencing Daily Challenges and Obstacles!

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This is a guest post, written by Matt, about his intern experience with us this summer.

Interning with Yellowstone Landscape’s Arbor Division in Southwest Houston has been a rewarding experience, showing me what to expect from my future career, and realizing I made a great choice in studying Urban Forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University.  Arboriculture has always been an interest of mine and this internship has only piqued and focused this interest into what may be a lifelong endeavor.

As an Intern at Yellowstone Landscape, I have worked in the heat hauling brush and using a chipper, climbed trees and trimmed them with a chainsaw, excavated trenches and installed root barriers, pruned with an extended chainsaw, and stacked giant logs moved by a crane.  I’ve also gathered valuable experience in the sales sector; from shadowing my Mentors, to bidding my own jobs and managing and supervising crews.  Bidding jobs has boosted my confidence by meeting with clients in a professional environment.  My Mentors have provided supportive guidance and instruction while also giving me the freedom to use my intellect and make important decisions.

One of my favorite experiences was the removal of a large ash tree in a client’s front yard.  It was a huge tree with two main branches, each the size of large tree. One of the branches was leaning over the house and had the potential to cause tremendous damage if it fell.  A few years prior the tree was bolted at the base and cabled throughout the crown to keep it standing.  A recent storm caused some splitting of the base and the bolt was visible where it wasn’t before, so the homeowner decided it was time to have the tree removed.  We started around 7:30 AM and it took until 4 PM to finish.  I helped with hauling limbs to the chipper and stacking logs to be picked up later that day.  It was hot and humid, and our climber was pushing to finish in one day.  Late in the morning a section of limb became wedged between him and the tree while he was roping it down. This was a little scary, but he managed to get around it and drop it the way he intended. We could tell he had become fatigued and it was time for a break.  After lunch he went right back to the removal and worked with even more gumption than he had earlier in the day.  Once he had the tree down to a snag, the foreman decided to saw it and let it fall in the yard. When the snag dropped, it split in two showing that it was completely hollow in the middle.  Had this tree not been bolted and cabled, it would have failed long ago.  

It was interesting to see that the past work of an arborist kept a tree standing that wouldn’t be otherwise, and that over time, even with these mitigation techniques, the tree became dangerous as it decayed.  Best takeaway; a questionable tree and the installed hardware should be inspected regularly.

This was the most challenging job I’ve seen a single climber do, and he did it very well. He was tied in climbing around and using a chainsaw from 7:30 to 3:00 with only one brief break.  I have a lot of respect for these climbers, and having done a little climbing myself, I know that they are in much better shape than I am.  It is a difficult and dangerous job that takes a tremendous amount of effort and skill to perform. 

Being an Intern with Yellowstone Landscape’s Arbor Division has provided me the opportunity to learn many aspects of arboriculture.  My interest in this field has increased significantly and I have confidence that I will be successful in the future.  Yellowstone Landscape is a wonderful company to Intern with, and I highly recommend it to students for future work experience!

 

 

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