Our latest Newsletter

The Year of Physical Discomfort


The Tarzan Team from left to right: Frans and Christiaan (below), Annemiek, Diederik and Frank (center), Kaj (above)

The Year of Physical Discomfort

Diederikduring the past 12 months Diederik has experienced increased problems with his triple hernia. Despite the necessary rest and therapies, there was negligible improvement.       He now only performs household duties with us so as to maintain the social aspects of his connection with the Tarzan Team. Together we are also looking for alternative work for him or possible re-training. The highly demanding physical work at Tarzan is unfortunately no longer a possibility for him.

Annemiek has always devoted more than one hundred percent to her family, her hobbies, her work and the people around her. Last year, after a manifestation of physical and psychological discomfort, it became evident that the situation was not sustainable for the long term. Currently she’s progressively increasing her work at Tarzan to three days a week. Annemiek will also be hired as a supervisor by ‘Zorgboerderij Kerkzicht’ for one additional day per week.

Frank had severe knee pain due to a ruptured cruciate ligament. He therefore had to take it a little easier. For this reason, he has barely been able to perform any climbing work in the past six months. Fortunately, it is now much better and he will return to the trees this year.

Frans was mainly busy with the further construction of the new shed in the yard of Zorgboerderij Kerkzicht (the care-farm from his wife Marijke). He also keeps busy with trading in timber and with his wood-fired central heating boiler (see also later in this newsletter).

Kaj was happily in top form and is becoming indispensable within Tarzan Tree Specialists.

Chris has done top work by climbing a lot of trees, and was also responsible for part of the organisational and quotation work. He is now also a co-owner of Tarzan Tree Specialists(see also later in this newsletter).


Tarzan Frank in an Australian tree.
“My name is Frank. Whilst following multiple studies, ranging from Physiotherapy to Technical Business Administration, I noticed that I didn’t feel settled. My plethora of interests did not make it any easier and I thus decided to change course completely: I journeyed off to take a look at things on the other side of the globe. At the beginning of 2016 New Zealand was my destination, initially chosen due to my passion for surfing. The sea there has perfect waves.

But: wherever you live, income needs to be earned to make ends meet. A job as a surfing instructor came my way and I did this with pleasure for two years. In addition to surfing, I started helping a friend - gardening with local people in order to earn some little extras. As a result, I came into contact with some arborists who sparked my interest in this rather traditional profession. It was not feasible to do the tree caretaker training in New Zealand.

Eventually I decided, via a small detour through France, Portugal and Morocco, to pick up tree care in the Netherlands. During my search for a place to work and learn, I came across Tarzan Tree Specialists.         Their vision and appearance really appealed to me. The switch from surfing to Tarzan was a major physical challenge. In my free time I try to relax by doing a lot of yoga. We are now three-quarters of a year further and I am having a great time. It is very educational, and I push my limits almost every day.

Continuing together with Tarzan as a official partnership.


Christiaan and Frans have just registered as
partners at the Chamber of Commerce

Continuing together with Tarzan as a official partnership.

On August 12, 2003, Frans sent his first invoice under the name of Tarzan Tree Specialists, the one-man business he had just started. That first job was the pruning of an ash tree at Amina in the Amsterdam Bijlmermeer. Frans cycled on his old dutch delivery bike, complete with chainsaw and climbing gear, all the way from Amstelveen to the Bijlmermeer. He cycled back home with his cargo bike but this time it was also full of sawn-off branches. Those were the days! Both the company and Frans’life back then were simple, cheap and well-arranged. If he did three chores a week in this way, he earnt enough money to get by and had enough time over for other pursuits. In 2005 the first car arrived at Tarzan, a Ford Pick-Up. And also the first intern, Jaap, who later became the first employee. Annemiek joined, then Chris and so the company grew to what it is today: six Tarzans and four cars, piles of chainsaws and hundreds of meters of climbing rope. About five years ago we started thinking about the long-term future of our company, we decided quite early on that Tarzan Tree Specialists should and could continue to exist well into the future. Christiaan (usually refered to as Chris) has worked with us since 2010 and wished to be self-employed, preferably within the Tarzan organisation and Frans wanted to go back to the beginning, the time when he had more moments for his own jobs.

The corporate form is of course something to think about carefully. Would it become a limited company, partnership, Ltd. or Vof? All these forms have their own advantages and disadvantages. A BV is nice and safe for your private capital, but quite expensive and administratively tricky. We also think: if you really go for it, then you are not hiding behind a company, but you are fully involved, also with your private property. A general partnership is a form that, in our opinion, fits us well.In addition to the general partnership with Chris, Frans has started another company within which he can do his own ‘odd jobs’.

So, as per January 1, 2020 there are actually two Tarzan companies:
1. Tarzan Tree Specialists V.O.F.
In this company, owners Frans and Chris, together with the existing Tarzan Team are responsible for supplying, planting, pruning and felling of trees in addition to providing advice on trees, roots and stump grinding, in shor: everything that has to do with the living tree.

2. Tarzan Wood & Energy
In this sole proprietorship, Frans is mainly concerned with the processing and marketing of the wood and the branches. He will also do jobs for customers which have nothing to do with “the living tree”. Tarzan Wood & Energy is aiming to supply its self-generated sustainable energy directly to the local electricity grid. You can read more about Tarzan Wood & Energy further on in this newsletter

What will change for you as a customer?
Well, we don’t expect so very much. Perhaps you will now have more contact with Chris for tree work. Frans continues to work for Tarzan Tree Specialists, but less intensively and maybe more so from behind the scenes.

Tarzan Wood & Energy

Tarzan Wood & Energy

In addition to the old and trusted Tarzan Tree Specialists, Frans has founded a new company: Tarzan Wood & Energy. In fact, this new company is not going to be doing very much that is essentially different from that which we have already been doing for years at Tarzan Tree Specialists. As tree specialists specialising in private gardens, we often get asked the question: ‘Can you also do other work in the garden?’ For example - building a fence, laying a stone pathway and a terrace or possibly creating some underground water storage? Frans enjoys doing odd jobs but this type of work doesn't have much to do with our tree specialisation so from now on these kinds of jobs will be carried out by the Tarzan Wood & Energy company. In addition, branches and trunks that we dispose of for our customers are deposited on a site at the rear of the farm, Frans then processes this waste wood for re-use.
Some examples:
•   Tree stools and side tables manufactured from tree trunks.
•   Thin slices of tree trunk for wall decoration or as a platter for serving a (bridal) cake.
•   BSlices of trunks with a thickness of up to two meters (!) which can be used for large round tables.
•   Long planks sawn from tree trunks to make worktops, tables, benches or cupboard shelves.

•   Firewood from all wood that is not suitable for our products. We only use wood such as ash, oak and beech for this.
•   Wood shavings made from the thin branches and the unsuitable branch and trunk material.
•   The very thin branches, the softwood and other green waste is then stored. This is ultimately used as landfill for raising the meadows.

Sometimes there are large and unusual assignments in store for Frans:
•   Last year he was asked to assemble 185 examination packages for MBO schools. The packages consisted of a number of logs of differet
lengths and specified thickness classes, in addition to slices of tree trunk. Sawing the logs, sorting out the packages and taking care of.
subsequent delivery to the schools was a colossal task.
•   Only a short time ago Frans was asked to saw three hundred discs with a diameter between 23 and 28 cm. The discs then needed to be
sanded and varnished at the front and milled at the rear for the fitting of a timepiece. Our client then distributed these tree disk clocks as a gift
to all of their franchisees
Have you spent years searching for a large tree trunk, a thick plank, tree disc, stool or table? Discover more about the products that are available from Tarzan Wood & Energy by visiting: www.boomschijf.nl
Wood-fired heating boiler
Last year, Frans invested heavily in a very large wood-fired central heating boiler. The principle is the same as a gas-fired HR boiler but burns wood chips instead of gas. Our boiler was imported from Austria has an efficiency of up to 96% and is computer controlled. The wood chips are automatically transported into the boiler to be burnt there.

The heat generated warms the water in an insulated four thousand liter vessel up to a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius. Insulated pipes burried in the ground then transport this heated water to our four homes and the business premises where it flows through the radiators for heating and further to a boiler for heating the domestic hot water. Natural gas is no longer needed!

Tarzan and Fun Forest

Tarzan Tarzan and Fun Forest

Tarzan en Fun Forest

For the non-tree caretakers among us who would like to climb trees: go to Fun Forest! Here you can take an exciting (but safe) route high up in the trees. Usually there are visitors from school classes, company team-builders, and in the weekend family outings. There are local branches in Venlo, Amsterdam, Almere and Rotterdam.

Fun Forest is also one of our regular customers. Every year we carry out annual safety checks and all the maintenance on their 1126 trees. We work on this project for several weeks every winter. Of course, not every tree owner needs to have his trees inspected and maintained so intensively but climbing parks are subject to extra requirements with regard to inspections and tree safety. This makes sense - not only do some 30,000 visitors recreate for a long periods of time under these trees, but the visitors who also climb them must be able to rely on the trees for their own safety. The climbing trail is secured to those same trees.
The climbing parks are therefore largely dependent on the survival of the trees in order to be able to retain their course. In cooperation with Tarzan Tree Specialists, Fun Forest is doing everything it can to safely maintain their climbing forests in a sustainable way.

Why there is no such thing as deep rooting trees

TarzanDue to the high groundwater level,
these conifers could not root deeply enough.

Why there is no such thing as deep rooting trees

We are often told by people that their tree would or maybe would not root deeply. As a result, the said tree may or may not be suitable for, or safe in, a certain location. For years, we as tree specialists have been claiming that the rooting depth has absolutely nothing to do with the tree species. This has now been proven by a recentAmerican study

The depth of a tree is mainly dependant the following two factors:
1.   How deep is the tree physically able to root?
2.   How deep does it make sense for the tree to root?

Ad 1. A tree root consists of living cells that grow in length and width by means of cell division and cell stretching. A root is very strong in thickness growth; a very thin carrot can grow through a joint between pavement tiles and then, by means of the thickness growth, push a sidewalk considerably apart. The length growth is not that strong: if the root tip encounters something during its length growth, such as a stone, the root tip is unable to push the stone away. The root tip will therefore go sideways along the stone and then grow around it. A root can only grow lengthwise if the soil does not require too much force to be able to grow through it. So... if the soil is considerably compressed at a certain depth, the root cannot grow deeper than this layer of compaction. The tree root cells, like many other living organisms also require oxygen to survive. If there is insufficient oxygen in the soil, the root will just not grow deeper. The amount of oxygen in the soil is determined by the amount of open space in the soil and the permeability of the topsoil. The presence of (too) much water in the soil can also cause a lack of oxygen. So a tree cannot root deeper than the depth of the groundwater
Ad 2. A tree root has a number of built-in receptors that can, among other things, ‘measure’ whether the root is growing in the direction of gravity, whether there is enough moisture in the environment, whether there are enough good fungi to work with and whether there are enough nutrient salts in the area. When the tree root finds enough of all that it requires in its immediate environment, it has no need to grow in depth and thus the tree will have shallow roots. What does this mean for our customers in practice? For almost all customers in the Amsterdam region, the groundwater is between 30 and 80 centimeters deep. For a tree in the average nutrient-rich Amsterdam garden there are more than enough nutrients to be found in the topsoil, so there is simply no reason for the tree to root deeply. In principle, this tree then produces shallow rooting (but wide enough) to remain upright. An exception to this are conifers on extremely wet top soils (such as allotment complexes). Under extremely wet conditions, we have seen that they are not always capable of sustaining themselves.In our local dune area where some of our customers live, the groundwater is often very deep and the soil poor in food and soil organisms. In these areas it is possible for the trees to root deeply but they are therefore not necessarily safer; the tree can just simply break off.

Do you have doubts about the stability of your tree?
If so, then please have this investigated. If you are in doubt, we can determine the groundwater and the rooting depth, or have a tensile test carried out.

From the archives


From the archives

In this photo you can see Tarzan Frans. No air travel and luxury all-inclusive resorts for him. His parents went on holiday with the family for two weeks each year to an ANWB Landgoedkamp*. It was in 1965 that the ANWB began with these estate camps. The formula was simple: free camping with a large group at a special location, such as on an estate or in a nature reserve. In return, at least one person from each family worked the week mornings with a group to help maintain the area.

At those estate camps, in addition to working together, there was also a common campfire every evening which everyone sat around . Some brought musical instruments, others told stories. Frans was already crazy about campfires and you simply could not get him away from them.

Frans (second from the right) about ten years old, at the campfire at an ANWB Landgoedkamp

8 Tarzan facts:

8 Tarzan facts

1.  Tarzan Christiaan and Aranea are expecting their first child in March.
2.  Moles, worms and other soil life help cultivate an excellent rooting environment for trees.
3.  Kaj came third in the “Tree Climbing Championships for Students” this year.
     Kaj and Frank will be participating again this year aiming for an outright win.
4.  In Amsterdam a tree felling permit is also required for rigorous pruning and / or severe decorative pruning.
5.  We are fervent WhatsApp enthusiasts and find it an ideal method for contact with our customers. You can always reach us on our special.
     WhatsApp number: 06-24395234.
6.  Frank has never passed his Dutch Shoe Lacing Certificate and Kaj’s has expired.
7.  There is a Kaki tree (Diospyros kaki) in Amsterdam and is currently growing and doing well in the Dutch climate.
8.  This year Frans will be investing in 40 solar panels. The electricity generated from this is supplied to our homes, our business premises
     with the excess going back into the local electricity grid.

Rates 2020

Rates 2020

Ideally we would like to keep our hourly rates identical to last year.
The costs and revenues have proved sufficiently balanced during the past 12 months to allow this.

We did notice two things though:
1. Every year at Tarzan we suffer from the summer silence (meaning little work), while in the autumn and winter we are always rushed off our feet. Frankly, we do not understand this because it is almost always better to prune trees during the summer.

2. The increased traffic, parking problems and environmental zones in the big cities cost us more and more both in time and in money. We would like to continue helping our Amsterdam customers but as a direct result of the increased costs within the A10 ring road catchment area a surcharge of € 25,00 per ‘Tarzan’ will apply to this area as from 1st February 2020.

Our rates for labour, waste disposal and travelling time from 1 February 2020:
•  Tree specialist: € 49,50 (€ 59,90 incl. btw) per person per hour.
•  Surcharge climbing work: € 15,00 (€ 18,15 incl. btw) per person per hour.
•  Disposal and landfill green waste: € 25,00 (€ 30,25 incl. btw) per cubic meter.
•  Surcharge for travel costs within the A10 ring road: € 25,00 (€ 30,25 incl. btw) per person.

You can find the complete list with all our rates on our website: www.tarzan.eu
(under the heading ‘rates’)

What we aim to achieve in 2020

…to take it a little bit easier and permit ourselves more moments of rest. Our work is physically demanding and we do like to work hard, but we also want to start dosing it in a suitable way so that our bodies can continue working hard well into the future. This way we can continue to be passionate about tree care for the coming years.

Agenda 2020


Frans his tree discs trading

Agenda 2020

•    18 to 20 April
      L.B. Climbing Competitions in Holsbeek, Belgium

•    14 to 16 May
      Dutch Championships for Arborists (NKB), De Kemphaan in Almere
      Tarzan Boomspecialisten as an organisation,  
      sponsor or volunteer is closely involved with these two events.
•    25 July to 9 August
      Tarzan Boomspecialisten closed due to the summer holiday period

•    December 25 to January 3, 2021
      Tarzan Boomspecialisten closed due to the Christmas holidays.