Professional Arborist and Volunteer Extraordinaire
Wildfires, forest closures and equipment issues cropped up for us right when we needed to access our resistant seed trees to collect cones in mid-September. The recurrent theme this year, however, seems to be: overcoming unexpected challenges with ingenuity and community support to carry out our mission.
Enter Zach Armstrong: owner-operator of Armstrong Tree Service, who has been a friend of the Sugar Pine Foundation for some time. Out of sheer generosity and curiosity to get involved more directly with our program and our style of tree-climbing, he offered to help out with cone collections this fall – just when we needed a hand!
What started as a request to borrow his slingshot – which he graciously supplied – ended up as Zach climbing the one tree that we could access with cones this fall for us!
Zach is a certified arborist and he has been in business running Armstrong Tree Service for 12 years, though he has been living in Tahoe for over 20 years. He never uses spikes when tree climbing (unless doing a tree removal), but he does use a double-rope system – and was interested in trying out the single-rope method that we typically use. He provided all the gear and his time free of charge for a host of reasons. He says, “I’m interested in saving trees and not just trimming or cutting them down.” Plus, he wants to be able to bring the highest quality tree care services to his clients, so he wanted the practice the single rope system to broaden his own skillset.
Zach successfully harvested 10 cones from the tree he climbed, which should provide enough seed to plant about 1,000 seedlings. In addition, he trimmed some dead limbs that act as ladder fuels on the lower part of the tree on his way back down. The tree likes it when we help out like this – and as a certified arborist, Zach knows how to keep trees happy and healthy!
All in all, it was a great win-win for all parties – us, Zach and the forest! Zach says, “It was a great experience for me… and I hope to be more involved in the future!”
We’re super grateful to Zach for sharing his time and expertise – of course, he’s welcome to join us any time!
And we recommend Armstrong Tree Service for quality, professional and friendly tree care in the Tahoe region. Visit his website and check out all the services he provides!