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Climb a Mile: A Day in the Life of an Arborist, An Introduction

Have you ever wondered about what goes on in the life of an arborist? I'll be honest, before I entered the wonderful world of arboriculture (back when I was doe-eyed and innocent) the word "arborist" wasn't even in my vocabulary. At the time, I wasn't a homeowner, and I had never spared a thought for those gentle green giants growing around my rental house. They're just permanent fixtures of the landscape—like clouds in the sky. What do you mean you have to maintain and care for them? What do you mean there are men and women who study them, earn certifications and degrees to work with them, and spend their lives climbing, pruning, healing, and loving them?

And only a few years later, now I'm one of them! While I mostly spend my work day indoors, admiring trees through the window of my home office, I do have the opportunity to join our crew on site any time I'm craving a little hands-on tree work. And I get the added bonus of spending seemingly half my life on the phone with Mike—my brother and Blue Ox's trusty arborist—discussing client bids and work orders, and picking his brain about all things arboriculture.

Being Blue Ox's one and only estimator, Mike has witnessed every sort of tree-related incident, issue, and—yes—catastrophe you could think of. Plus he spends half of every week assisting our third partner, John, on site with the crew. Even though he puts in 50+ hours every week, he still enjoys getting his hands dirty on site, tossing a throwline over a branch, and hopping into a tree. As a forestry graduate, certified arborist, and veteran of the tree service industry, Mike's seen it all and boy, does he have some stories to share!

Our new blog series, Climb a Mile, is my attempt to give you—Blue Ox's valued clients, friends, family, and fans—a peek behind the curtain and into the life of an arborist, as we take a walk in Mike's boots. Most days it's a sweet life: working for ourselves, assisting our kind and generous clients, and doing our part to take care of our urban forest. But every industry comes with its struggles, and sometimes it's the challenging days at Blue Ox that really make us proud to do what we do.

At Blue Ox, we're one big family, and we want to share our set-backs and celebrations just like any other. We hope you'll join us for the climb.

Climb a Mile, Episode 1 will be out soon. See you then!

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