Transition times

Time for us all to adapt and change, a transition to a new era. What a year 2020 has been…

Maybe your trees are ready also !

Remove, renovate, revive? Winter prep?

Fruit tree pruning: best during dormancy starting mid-January through February. Plums, figs and cherries better to wait until a bit warmer in early spring. Please contact me, will put you on the list and get in touch in early 2021.

Stay safe everyone, we’re in this together…


approaching solstice & dormancy

December 21 this year is Winter Solstice… 2:20 pm on Vancouver Island and in PST zone!

This time of year the trees go into dormancy. FRUIT TREES are best pruned in this time, removing dead-diseased-dying branches, re-structuring, renovating.

In the Victoria area, it seems January/February is ideal from what I’ve witnessed in the weather during my time here.

If your fruit trees need some work, happy to assist ! Talk to you in 2019… Tsuga_logo




Thanks! ethicalDeal-ers for purchasing a bargain for your trees & shrubs. I look forward to a wave of fresh jobs, people and spring days. So far so good: we are at 35 sold tonight with 3 days to go:  Tsuga ethicalDeal

À bientôt


Portland: Also a leader in trees

I have been in Portland, Oregon recently and am once again impressed by their abundance of urban trees, and some large naturally structured ones at that. Portland is known for its’ progressive leadership in many facets of urbanism with respects to a better, healthier, urban environment…so of course it would make sense their trees and arboricultural practices are of good standard. I cannot say I have seen much evidence of wise and proper tree pruning, mainly due to my limited exploring, however in brief outings the specimens of trees and their natural stuctures are impressive. Their size as well. There are large deciduous trees lining downtown streets lurking under high-rises and over major roads.

It seems Portland has realised that the right tree in the right place, left to grow naturally with minimal pruning…works well. I agree. This is one of my fundamental practices in my day to day pruning and tree work in Victoria. Minimal pruning means minimal future problems and maintenance, in most instances. Of course it depends on the situation, and “drop-crotch” pruning of entire limbs as opposed to many small cuts can be very beneficial. More to come on this type of pruning in my next post.

Welcome to any ethicalDeal browsers. I will be running a deal with ethicalDeal for Victoria for the start of April. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Making way for FOOD…a growing partnership

I have been enjoying a growing friendship and partnership the last few years with Tayler Krawczyk of Hatchet & Seed Contracting. Specializing in bringing permaculture to your yard, progressive design and simple fundamentals are Tayler’s strengths.

Although I enjoy trees and take convincing to remove them, I am always more willing to clear out undesirables to make way for food production. Of course there must be good reason to remove trees beyond a simple desire to grow food, but there are several such as a declining health, poor location, trivial species (insignificant), and poor structure/historical pruning. When stacked up with wishes for more sunlight, groundwater availability, and nutrient uptake for food, these reasons may lead to favoured tree removal(s)!!

We will be teaming up on projects and making it happen. If you are looking to let the sun shine through and harvest your yard, bring us on-board!

Tayler Krawczyk
Hatchet & Seed Contracting
Regenerative design, agro-ecology, permaculture & organic land care
PH:  250.884.2279


Passion Pruning

2013 feels like a good year, I am excited.

If you are looking for the following with your trees, I would be happy to assist as these topics are developing more and more as my areas of passion with regards to arboriculture:

structuring   One of my favorite practices when pruning a tree is to keep its’ established, or help to bring back its’ natural form. I believe in allowing trees to grow naturally as much as possible. Any pruning disrupts this flow, however if done appropriately, can have minimal impact with desired results.

renovation   Many trees have been pruned hard or improperly in the past. I enjoy trying to bring a tree back to form, eliminating poor growth/structure, cleaning out reactive growth (brought on by pruning and over-pruning historically), and with fruit trees… reducing height & overgrown shoots to bring canopy back down to reachable fruit-picking height.

aesthetics   Sometimes all it takes to make a tree look better than it does, are a few pruning cuts and/or branch removals. Taking a minimal approach while reducing unnatural and undesired reactive growth helps minimize future maintenance pruning.

All of this being said, sometimes a tree needs alot of pruning! Which I am happy to assist in. Not all trees grow in spaces suitable for natural, expansive growth. Also, if a tree has been pruned in certain ways historically, it may be best to continue this style of maintenance.

These next few months are a great time to prune before things start to grow on the ground below. Garden damage is most minimal this time of year.

Thanks for reading, maybe see you soon.

Lush Times

I had forgotten how nice it is this time of year with fresh foliage, blossoms, and growth. It’s safe to say all species are fully leafed-out and catching some rays for energy. I’ve been enjoying observing the different leaf explosions, exposing themselves for a summer season. Some species already have alot of growth, primarily with suckers.

The winter moth (the little green guys with silk trails) are still around but I have been witnessing tent caterpillars everywhere. I have been combining physical removal of their lairs by pruning, and some spraying of Safer Insecticidal Soap (approved for organic use, made from naturally occurring plant oils and animal fats) and Spinosad (also approved for organic use).

Word on the street is it may actually be beneficial to prune in the summer growing season over other seasons. I will be researching this topic and gaining evidence, but some of the arguments include better healing of wounds and less reaction growth by the tree in the future. I will post findings in the future months.

Enjoy the sun, and if you are not getting enough maybe some selective pruning will help. 🙂


The other day I was reminded how fast spring comes here on the coast. There are already signs of new growth, buds, and break-outs from the ground. If possible, this is still a great time…a window of opportunity… now diminishing, to get some clean-up pruning done before stuff really starts to grow and get into spring “fragile phase”.  Winter gardens are much tougher at absorbing falling branches, wood chunks and foot traffic! The winter pruning post below sheds light on some potential for your trees this time of year.

Snow Damage

Well the snow is actually accumulating in Victoria, which can sometimes lead to unplanned pruning! Seasonal snow and/or excessive snow load can cause branches, stems, or even entire trees to break or fail. If you have trees and/or shrubs that you are worried about under the new stresses of snow weight, or that have already succumbed and failed…please give a call before it’s too late! Sometimes it only takes a slight end-weight reduction on branches or some thinning to allow less snow accumulation. If you have a partial or full failure I am experienced in hazard removal and clean-up.

Have fun in the white stuff.


Winter Pruning

This time of year is ideal for the following treework:

pruning in general… in the winter dormant season, pruning is safer and cleaner. Pruning cuts are less likely to fall victim to bacteria and fungus. Insect activity is low or gone. Structure (in deciduous trees) can be easily seen and enhanced. Hazards and damage can be more easily seen.

planting… the dormant season provides a great window of opportunity to install new species or more favorites. At this time, trees are the least susceptible to damage, stress, and lack of water (important in newly planted trees) as long as we have typical mild Victoria weather. If the ground freezes lack of water and a “hard” dig may be deterrents.

deadwood & hazard removal… with winter comes the odd storm and cold/brittle conditions. Wind, freeze/thaw action, and a combination of storms with brittle wood may cause trees to drop dead, diseased, dying, or damaged components (branches/stems).

renovation… With deciduous trees, missing foliage (leaves) provides great structural viewing. Steps can be taken to renovate, improving structure and tree health, and/or achieving desired results.

fruit trees…  Again, for reasons stated above, an ideal time to get your fruit trees in shape. As with all things, there are varied opinions on timing and theory, and I continually shape my theory. Depending on the situation and tree, I am becoming more inclined to perform heavier structure pruning, and health (dead, diseased, dying and damaged) pruning in the dormant season, while leaving sucker growth (vertical reaction growth following damage or pruning) pruning until mid-summer.  There are a few reasons for this, including decreased sucker growth the following season.