Our Brother Tarzans and Sister Tarzettes all had extremely full agendas in 2018! In other words, much has happened within our company since the previous newsletter and we would like to tell you all about it...
Vicente departed for Mexico last year, but came back to us in the autumn, mainly because the facets of tree care in Mexico is just so different from here in the Netherlands.
Kaj went on a four-month trip with his lady, Mara-Luna. In September commenced his part-time training program as European Tree Worker (ETW).
Diederik completed his part-time European Tree Worker (ETW) training. This frees him up to work the one extra day per week for us.
Frans has initiated the build of a large new barn on the farm.
Annemiek has become even more active within the board of the Circle of Practicing Tree Surgeons (KPB).
Christiaan en Annemiek have taken on more company responsibilities and workloads in the field of organisation, policy and administration.
Eelco really wanted to be hired in by us more often, just because working together is more pleasurable than always working alone.
Buddy applied for a temporary workplace at Tarzan with the text: "I want to start next week!" Although most of the above had a serious influence on organising all the in-coming jobs, we do believe it important for everyone to be able to do 'their own thing'.
Vicente, "Even though 2018 is now behind us, I still want to mention a few things, for instance - where was I and what did I get up to? Perhaps you can remember our previous newsletter in which I told you that I went with my girlfriend to live and work in Mexico. Upon arrival I had to tackle a problem, which was my chronic lack of Spanish. I had already picked up a few words here and there, but much more than a short conversation about the weather was not really possible. After following a language course for three weeks I was well on my way and could now focus my attention on finding some volunteer work, an internship, or maybe even paid employment.
When I saw an announcement on a social media site of the Mexican Climbing Championships for tree surgeons it seemed like a good start! A week later I was on the bus to Léon (Guanajuato) where the organizer could use me as a volunteer. The championship is more or less identical to that as in the Netherlands with the same major elements, ie. speed climb, throw-line, rescue climb, foot lock and work climb. I assisted with the throw-line, and judged this element together with four other officials. For the sake of clarity, the throw-line element is throwing a throw-line over a marked side branch. The more difficult the branch, the higher the number of points that can be awarded. I have witnessed several championships in The Netherlands and there are a lot of good throwers out there but the standard of throwing in Mexico was extremely high! Nobody missed a single throw. Perhaps this is because the tree workers in Mexico, unlike in the Netherlands, work much less with large catapults. After all, in Mexico they would cost you a whole months income ...
In the weeks and months that followed, whilst still searching for a job I made contact with various people, some of whom I had met during the championships. It turned out to be difficult to cash in on those contacts. Several things played a role in this, but cultural differences were the most important. Only after some months did I start to understand Mexico properly and be able to apply that knowledge within my conversations. Eventually I did manage to partake in a number of projects with a group of young tree surgeons, but there was not enough work to accommodate me full-time. Perhaps I was naïve in my expectations. Although I did not find a job in Mexico, I did have a very meaningful time. And now? Now I'm back at work with Tarzan! "
Since its foundation in 2003, Tarzan Tree Specialists have regularly done work for municipalities and other authorities. This work usually meant that we were pruning all day from a high platform at the side of a public road. None of our team members really enjoyed this work situation. Working alongside the public road you can encounter some very negative reactions from some passersby and this broke us up a little so four years ago we decided unanimously to limit our work to within the private sector.
That is until our great friend Michel Weenink of Pius Floris Boomverzorging phoned us in October with the request to come and prune trees for four solid months in the Amsterdamse Bos. We then listed the pro’s and con’s and came to the conclusion that there were more 'pros' than 'cons'.
So it came to be that from the end of October to somewhere early in 2019 you had the chance, every morning, from 7.00 am onwards to spot two Tarzans in our aerial platform somewhere within the Amsterdamse Bos. They did all the safety pruning along with a fauna check along the paths. For this, a 26-meter high lift was used to give us a great view of the woods, especially while the trees still carried autumn foliage. Sometimes it was more than a little exciting, due to the platform being at times such a wobbly thing.
For the fauna check, all the rabbit burrows, bird and squirrel nests, were mapped as well as many other animal enclosures. When no animals were found that could be disturbed due to our work we could start to remove dead or dangerous branches from all the trees growing within five meters from the paths. The pruned off branches were left in the woods as naturally as possible, so that nature can continue with her functions. All in all, it is good work. Although it can sometimes be quite cold and mind-numbing but also quite relaxing for the muscles and it can be fun. Fixed working hours and break times were are also a big plus. And please realise that when you meet our platform-worker Tarzans - they are not blocking the road on purpose, but are probably just waiting for you to pass by, just because they care about your safety!
Last year we all experienced an exceptionally dry and hot summer. During this period some customers expressed concern about their trees. With some tree species the dry summer was clearly visible, the leaves and needles of rough pine and birch for example were brown and sometimes falling. The plane trees even dropped their bark. Some areas of the Netherlands were more extreme than others. The trees around Amsterdam for example appeared relatively unaffected. In this article we would like to give a clear picture of the effects of drought on trees. For example - is my tree dead and does it make sense to water trees?
A tree converts sunlight, water and CO2 into sugar and oxygen in its leafy green cells. Ground water also contains building elements such as copper, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and potassium. The tree builds cells through these substances but not all the water is used for this process. A very large part of the absorbed water will evaporate directly through the evaporation of the tree. The evaporation rate of an adult tree usually ranges between 200 and 1000 liters per day. The leaves absorb Sunlight and CO2 and evaporate water, the water enters the tree through its roots. Explained briefly, this is a closed system in which evaporation of the leaf creates a vacuum in the roots, so that the roots can absorb moisture. If there is too little water in the soil, more moisture will evaporate than can be absorbed and the tree will intervene by closing the leave openings. In the event of a long drought, the leaves can become weak, brown or even fall off.
A tree needs the leaf to make sugars. No leaves means no sugars. But is the tree dead? Fortunately not. Even after a leafless winter or being fed on by insects, a tree can create new leaves from the reserves in its trunk. When this happens for many years in a row, the reserves in the trunk become depleted and this can lead to the death of the tree.
In and around Amsterdam, the groundwater is artificially kept at a fixed height. The water levels are managed to prevent the ground from drying out too much, thus limiting ground subsidence. Because of this groundwater management, most mature trees had enough available water throughout the summer. Some trees are still dehydrated, but that is mainly due to the extreme evaporation caused by the heat. In such a situation a tree cannot transport the water fast enough internally and the leaves will wither.
The answer is simple - in principle you only need to water those trees that have been planted in the previous three years. They have not yet created sufficient root structures to reach the groundwater. Naturally, trees in containers or pots must be supplied with enough water. In other situations we advise against giving extra water. To be effective it concerns literally hundreds of liters of water per day, per tree, of which more than eighty percent will run directly through the soil and will not even reach the tree’s roots. During dry periods we also need to be careful with our drinking water reserves. Logically it is a waste to let such large quantities of purified water run directly back into the ground.
In recent years we have been asked on several occasions to place trees as decoration for interior spaces. This year, (2018) we received a special request, namely: building a climbing tree for the jaguars in the famous ARTIS zoo in Amsterdam.
Even though we are experienced with the cutting and reassembling of trees within interior spaces, this project embraced an exceptional stature. Why? Because of the large diameter oak tree trunks that had to be placed within the jaguar residence, without the help a crane! Additionally, this particular climbing tree needed to have long branches, on which the jaguars can lie. Last but not least, everything had to remain firm and secure without any supporting struts so that the jaguars, each weighing about 65 kilos - could climb safely into the tree.
Together with Caspar van Baal (project manager for the ARTIS buildings) and Mathieu Derckx (landscape architect) we forged a good plan. First of all we assembled the trunks and branches in the car park at ARTIS. This gave us a good overview of the construction and indicated precisely where the foundation piles were necessary. Later we disassembled the tree and transported all the component parts with Tarzan muscle power, helped a little by some hoists and winches. Lifting the first heavy trunk (1500 kilos) was exciting.
With dozens of tension and hoisting belts we raised the tree into an upright position and held it in place long enough to fix it onto the foundations. The lateral branches then followed. All in all, five Tarzan's were working nine long days (from sunrise to sunset) for the benefit of the ARTIS jaguars. And with good results! The jaguars showed their immediate appreciation when they entered their new country home by climbing gracefully and expertly into their new tree.
And the Tarzans? They were exhausted, but had a satisfied glow about them.
Here you can see an eleven year old Kaj in a willow at a German campsite. He was travelling with his family to the Czech Republic and just wanted to climb to the top of this particular tree. It was frustrating for him that his legs were a little too short to get him that far.
We are increasingly aware that our hourly rates are relatively low compared to other specialised companies that provide similar services. In addition the hourly rates within the green sector always seem to lag other sectors when looked at nationally. As a company, we do need to invest in the future, both in equipment and people. To achieve a workable balance we did need to adjust the rate of our tree specialists, but only by € 2.50 per person per hour.
• Tree specialist: € 49.50 per person per hour.
• Surcharge for climbing: € 15 per person per hour.
• Disposal of green waste: € 25 per cubic meter
You will find the complete list with all our rates HERE
1. On our team photo you can see our team wearing the original Tarzan Tree Specialists bandanas (Buff). Would you like to have your own? Just ask us when you see us at work and we will gladly present you with one.
2. We are installing a special 120 kilowatt heating boiler. This central heating system, fuelled by our own wood chips, will heat 2 homes, 2 apartments and a workshop on a carbon (CO2) neutral footing.
3. Frans and Christiaan are formalising their business partnership this year in V.O.F. Tarzan Boom Specialists.
4. We have now pulverised more than 188 roots with our tree root shredder (purchased in 2017).
5. Actually we do not like cars and driving, so we work as regionally as possible. Over the past year (2018), with 4 vehicles, we only covered a total of just 17,345 kilometers.
6. Tarzette ‘Annemiek’ gave her first professional presentation last year. This took place during a theme day of the Circle of Practicing Tree Surgeons. She spoke on tree safety in Adventure Climbing Parks.
7. On our team photo you will see our team with original Tarzan Tree Specialists Bandana's (Buff). We share it!
Ask us when we are at work, we will gladly give you one.
• 18 to 20 April
The L.B. Climbing events in Holsbeek, Belgium.
• 19 to 21 May
Dutch National Championships for Tree Surgeons (NKB) in Apeldoorn. Tarzan Boomspecialisten is actively involved in these two events, either as organisation, participant, sponsor and / or volunteers.
• 3 t/m 18 augustus
Tarzan Boomspecialisten - closed for summer holidays.
• 21 december t/m 1 januari 2020
Tarzan Boomspecialisten - closed for Christmas holidays.
...To be of service to as many customers as possible. To work well together within our diverse team of specialists. To further develop all the Tarzans and Tarzettes in our team through offer them enough challenging work and appropriate training. To have pleasure in our work and professional activities so that we may be of better service to our customers.