So, backtracking just a little by way of prep, I guess we might also entertain ourselves by asking: why can’t an experienced Arboriculturalist, (I really hate that word, It feels like trying to talk with a mouth full of grapes…), why can’t an experienced Arbor……….st just wave a magic laser and generate a forcefield around the best trees on site whilst simultaneously maximizing developable area for the Owners of The Project?
Some of us can do this of course, you just have to know how to get hold of the right Arbor……….st. But generally speaking, it is quite a bit more complicated than that.
I’m going to randomly name some issues now: ground level changes, drainage, undergrounding of cables, spoil storage, working space, maintaining surface porosity…. oh my, there are an awful lot more. The troubling existence of these issues, and many other things, are why I love a good engineer.
There’s no escaping it, even the most competent Arbor……….st is weaponized in the productive company of a good civil engineer. Important to pause here I think and say that, of course there are no ‘bad’ engineers, at least not in terms of their technical abilities. It’s just that, now and again, you come across someone who doesn’t really see the point of accommodating tree roots (“They’re pretty resilient things? Aren’t they? Trees?”), or someone who simply doesn’t like being asked
dim questions about things that would, in engineering terms, be really obvious except there seem to be some big, unappealing, woody plants in the way.
A good civil engineer and a good Arbor……….st can really scythe through the tree-constraints jungle and cut to the chase*. Now it may be something to do with getting older (so many things are), or with the stresses accompanying the more challenging tree protection situations I’m asked to tackle, but I find I’m increasingly fond of effective collaboration and cutting decisively to the chase. An Arb MS full of BS, full of ‘maybe’s and empty best practice assertions, left on a desk (metaphorically speaking) for some poor sod in Project Management to feel really discouraged about, is just not good Karma*. Hard working people will be coming on site with a tight remit based on lead-times, quality and delivery, and they just want to know what action to take. They want clear instruction, workable methods, thoroughly considered guidance, good communication and somebody capable to call if perplexity overwhelms them.
Tree-planning + Tree-engineering = Tree-mendous. And exceptionally good Karma.
*“Cut to the chase” is a phrase that means to get to the point without wasting time. The saying originated from early film studios’ silent films. It was a favorite of, and thought to have been coined by, Hal Roach Sr.
*Karma in simple words “is getting what you give” or reaping what you sow.