Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week One Under the Sun

What a week!

Imagine a college student used to sleeping in having to get up at 5:30am. Not so bad, but one phone call had me starting on Monday morning at 5am, which mean a 4:20 wake up call. Let's just say the cup of coffee I made was a plus. However, the early start was well worth it!This week was unusually short, however, I felt as if in just these 3 days I have gotten back into the swing of things and working my butt off as usual.

This week was good because of the grab-bag style jobs kept me on my toes.Monday started early, and my boss and I spent the entire day treating trees for spring pathogens. At the first place, which was a shopping plaza, we sprayed horticultural oil mixed with Conserve* as an ingestion poison to most Lepidopteran larvae on Malus spp. (Crabapple) to protect against Eastern Tent Caterpillar. We also sprayed a red pine hedge to deter aphids and other sucking insects. Last, we noticed an ailing birch that was suffering from root rot. For this we did a soil drench with a fungicide. At this job, I started my training driving the big Ford truck, since we were in a parking lot. I did well, and was even able to defensively avoid an accident. Next, we went across town to combat an infestation of Winter Moth on some Maples. We used the horticultural oil with Conserve* mix. We were spraying at 400psi and reaching 50+ft. We then proceeded to cross town again and sprayed a hemlock hedge with straight horticultural oil as a preventative action against Woolly Adelgid and other pathogens. Dwight, my boss, has had much success with this in the past. Our last stop for the day was a condo development in Marlborough. Here we sprayed Hort. Oil mixed with conserve on some Malus spp.

Tuesday was a mixed day. We started at an estate working in some Norway and Sugar Maples. Regretfully, I don't have pictures up yet, but this pruning job was a good one to get my feet wet again. I went up a 6-ledered Norway Maple and removed weight off the ends of the branches in order to ease the ailing tree. I also cleared all the deadwood from inside it. When I got in the tree, I expected an easy walk from stem to stem, but partway through realized it was out of the question. It turned out that 1 leder was inaccessible from my tie-in point and the others turned out to be too far apart to use just my one tie-in point and my buck strap, so I did some stretching, shimmying, and not to mention some pull-ups. After I finished that tree I moved to a GIANT sugar maple and removed some lower deadwood. I tied in almost half-way up and when I glanced at my rope realized that that spot was past 45ft. This tree was BIG. Sadly, one of the dead branches had housed a robin's nest. After that job, my boss sent the other two workers to another quick job and to dump chips, while we rode back out to Marlborough and did another condominium complex. This turned out to be a long day. We sprayed the Rhododendrons to shield against Black Vine Weevil, and sprayed the Hemlock Hedges as well. Today, Wednesday, we went to Mendon and pruned a Hemlock hedge, a Lilac infested with bittersweet vine, two Callary Pears, and cleaning up some Red Pines crossing the property line. I pruned the lilac off the house and out of the front pathway. I also removed some stems that were infested with a Borer. Last, I finished creaning out the entangled bittersweet and put together a boquet of lilacs for the homeowner (who was quite happy). Next, i moved to the Red Pine Branches hanging into the yard and growing into and above the Arborvitae hedge. That was done solely with a pruning saw due to property issues. Last, i moved to the Callary Pears. I used my 192-TS Stihl chainsaw to raise the lowers. I then used a pole-saw and pole-pruner to make weight cuts and thin the tree. I also climbed them in order to thin the top. We chipped the brush and finished for the day.And that was my week. Although only three days, it felt a little longer due to the long hours put in. Now, I will be going to field training for the Army Reserves for a long work-filled weekend, then back into the trees on Monday! I can't wait!



Nicole Collins said...

Sounds like a pretty full week. Lilacs for the homeowner are a very nice touch. Any news of the longhorn beetle where you're working?

T-BO said...

No, not yet Nicole. It has been pretty well quarentined in Worcester. There was a scare a couple weeks ago when a Douglas Resident mis-identified a bug as ALB. The news reported it as confirmed before it was even properly ID'd. Needless to say we havent seen it yet. But Worcester is very close. With any luck we wont see it!