I stumbled across a video by an old friend of ours, Danny Courtis, who is based up in Frankfurt where he runs his business, Freelance Baumpflege. Over the years, Danny has run some pretty… colourful crews, to say the least, some of the shenanigans they got up to have passed into the lore of arboriculture.
OK, the video is in German, but you get the gist of it. And, if it is any consolation, Dany does the whole thing in German with a slight English accent, maybe that helps?
On a more serious note, when I clicked on the link of the video and started watching, I was expecting another one of those vids with wobbly head cam footage, guys swinging round trees whilst running big chain saws. Not so. This one turned out to be something a little different: Danny and the Freelance crew demonstrate in a very professional and authentic fashion what it means to be an arborist, the passion, care and diligence it involves. The tree (watch out, spoiler coming up!) they end up felling is a beauty that Danny had been working on for 16 years, until finally a point was reached where it was clear that the tree was truly no longer safe.
I believe this is a very central question to what we do: when is the point reached when you condemn a tree? How do you strike the balance between safety and conservation? Danny and the Freelance crew did the profession proud with the way they approached this job.
I found myself wishing we saw more of this kind of material and a little less of the rampant self promotion that seems to have become so ubiquitous nowadays, as I found this video genuinely interesting and engaging, whilst the alternative tends to be, well, a tad tedious, to be honest.
Thanks, Dany, for a job well done and for sharing.