From an Early Age 1My first experience at tree care I was about eight years-old. My family had a bunch of medium sized oaks in the yard and after one storm I saw a branch hanging down about 25 feet up in the tree. It was bent over but still attached. I climbed the tree and tried to put the branch back in place but it wouldn’t stay. The tear where the branch met the stem was long, but there was good wood holding the two together. So I climbed back down, found some thin rope, put it in my pocket and went back up. At first I tried to push the branch up and and tie it in place but it was too heavy and kept bending back down. So I tied one end of the rope far out on the branch then took the other end and threw it over a crotch further up the main stem. I then pulled on the free end of the rope as hard as my eight year old body could pull until that branch was back in place and the wound completely closed. I tied the free end off to a neighboring branch. After that I wished the branch good luck and climbed back down.

Young boys being who they are, I forgot about the branch for a few years until one day I looked up in the tree and saw the rope still holding the branch. I climbed up the tree and the branch appeared sturdy. The tear mark seemed to have healed over and new wood was growing around the connection point. I untied the rope and gently released the branch. It held in place. I climbed back down, wished the branch well again, and left it for good.

Thirty plus years later I went back to my old neighbor and walked around the roads I grew up on. While reminiscing I thought about the branch and walked out into my old front lawn. It had been a long time and the the trees were bigger but I was pretty sure I knew what tree it was. I stood at the base of that tree and looked up. I can’t say without a doubt the branch stayed in place, but I eye balled that canopy for awhile and there were no tear marks from a branch coming off and there were no healed pruning cuts from anyone that might have had to go up the tree and prune out a broken branch. I’m pretty sure I healed that tree and though I didn’t know it then my fate was set, I when I got bigger I was going to work on trees.