We need trees. In an urban environment, ocassionally trees need our help. That’s what got me started in this business. We need to keep our trees as structurally sound as possible to help them withstand increasingly dramatic weather, and evermore density in our cities. In Toronto, our trees provide us with more than $80 million annually in environmental services but more importantly, they provide us with a happy and healthy environment to live, work and play. Of course, we enjoy trees more when we feel safer around them.
My undergraduate studies in Canadian history at U of T opened up a new way of thinking about the economic role of the environment in the past and the future. Urban arboriculture enabled me to fuse my skills and interests into a livelihood. I became an apprentice in the Ontario program, climbed a lot of trees, and completed a diploma at Humber College. I then qualified as a climber specialist, certified arborist and tree risk assesor with the ISA. I later qualified as a Heritage Tree Inspector through the Ontario Urban Forest Council and served on their board of directors for five years.
Years later, it was the trees themselves, as components of both the urban environment and my agrarian experiences, that lead me to broaden my knowledge at Harvard University, where I will soon complete a professional diploma in Sustainability and Environmental Studies.
But I still climb trees because I continue to take advice from them; go out on a limb, stand tall and proud, remember your roots and enjoy the view!