Recent Press
This January The Seattle Times covered one of our Winter storm removal projects in an online article. A sizeable Sitka Spruce fell between two houses in the Montlake neighborhood miracuously damaging only the fence that separated the two properties. Upon inspection of the failure the tree showed significant signs of rot near the base and had broken out just above the root crown. The precariously balanced stem presented Conor with a difficult limbing situation which he navigated skillfully. We called in Western Crane Service to ensure the safe and speedy removal of the bole and had the whole thing cleaned up in a short day.
Featured Tree

Lake Quinault Redcedar
Thuja plicata
Wood Volume: 500 cubic meters
Height: 55 Meters
Diameter: 6.04 meters

We paid a visit to the largest known Western Redcedar last December on our way back from a razor clam dig in Moclips. A short hike from the lake's North Shore Rd., the visit was well worth the detour. Immensity aside, this tree's hollow contorted trunk sets it apart from any other Western Redcedar I've seen. Equally stout and fragile in appearance its declining health somehow enhances the beauty of the tree. The Quinault rainforest is home to countless other remarkable trees including the world's laregest Sitka Spruce directly accross the lake on South Shore Rd.  If you find yourself near Lake Quinault it's worth a short sidetrip to see these giants.

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Sitkum Newsletter June 2012
Dear friends,

We are excited to bring you the first edition of the Sitkum Newsletter. We’d like to begin sharing the latest Sitkum developments, projects and news pertaining to arboriculture in the Pacific Northwest. Winter pruning and storm work kept us busy this season and now we’re well into spring enjoying longer and warmer workdays. The last couple of months have been full of unique and challenging jobs. The following is a snapshot of the work we’ve been tackling lately. If you would like to learn more about the Sitkum team and what we do please visit our updated website and find us on facebook . 

Thank you for your continued interest and support,

The Sitkum team
Seasonal Treatment Recommendation: Summer Pruning

We are frequently asked "when is the best time to prune my trees?" Unfortunately there isn't a simple answer that encompasses all trees and objectives. The proper timing of pruning treatments depends upon objective, species, climate and risk of disease. Late spring and summer, however, are excellent times to consider pruning larger trees for health, aesthetic and structural improvement. "Considering available information, it appears that live branches are best pruned following a flush of growth after leaves harden and turn dark green in late spring or summer" (Gilman 128). Wounds caused by pruning cuts close rapidly during this period as "most callus and woundwood growth occurs in summer" (Crowdy, 2008) (129). Consequently, the risk and degree of decay are reduced. Canopy reduction and hazard limb removal performed now can also help mitigate the risk of storm damage down the line. We've found that large conifers, Maples, Alders and Cottonwoods respond particularly well to reduction treatments in warmer months.
Gilman, E. 2012 An Illustrated Guide to Pruning Third Edition, Delmar Cengage Learning, New York

Featured Project: Quilcene Bay Residential Stand 

Conor setting up rigging to safely remove limbs from a hazard tree

This Winter we were fortunate to spend a week on Quilcene Bay improving a residential stand. The morning view of Mt. Constance looming behind the bay stands out as a seasonal highlight. Conor spent a day with the landowners walking through the trees and setting goals to improve the health and aesthetic value of the stand. Work began with the removal of a dozen or so mid-sized Alders to allow for some more light to reach a Norway Maple. Next we entered the canopy to assess the health of the larger trees and prune back hazardous limbs and dead wood. Only one of the trees we inspected proved hazardous enough to warrant removal—a large Big Leaf Maple with three dominant leaders and a considerable amount of rot at their attachment points. In order to work the tree safely Conor had to climb an adjacent Silver Fir and set an anchor above the Maple to protect himself from the possibility of limb failure. He used a combination of spurs and top rope to move through the tree safely and efficiently. Despite the backup anchor it was still a little unnerving to see water pour out of the hollow pockets in the big wood as he made his cuts.
Mickey tipping back cedar limbs to bring them up off the clients' deck
Rigging posed another set of challenges and compelled us to employ a few techniques that we aren’t often able to use. We speedlined all of the large branches into into a wood chip pile across the driveway from the tree. Speedlining is an excellent way to move big wood considerable distances minimizing time and effort. With one anchor in the tree and the other on the ground the system works much like a zipline—materials are attached to the line with a carabiner and gravity brings them to a carefully positioned ground anchor. We then verticle speedlined sections of the trunk down to the base of the tree to eliminate the possibility of rolling logs. This system works similarly, however, the rigging line runs from just below the section being cut to the base limiting movement when the log hits the ground. Speedline rigs are infinitely helpful when it comes to moving big wood in tight quarters.

We finished off the week in the orchard fine pruning apple trees and a couple of Japanese Maples. To round out the trip we headed for the nearest tideland to shuck a few oysters on our way home.

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