Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Arboritecture Defined

Woodland Stewardship Institute
The art & science of trimming for safety, structure & design.

The primary goal of proper trimming is not to prevent breakage, but to try to avoid major failures. In other words trees trimmed and maintained properly and periodically, should be self pruning without major breakage or uproot. The obvious solution to the tree butchers, especially in the not so distant past, was to just cut everything. If the tree was falling apart, just cut all the limbs off, or cut the tree down. Believe it or not we still have essentially the same problem. In most communities now they have tree programs that prohibit butchering. However, hazard trees are even more of a problem because trees trimmed improperly are often more dangerous than if they were left alone. Inevitably, mature trees reach the stage where they start to break down. It's only natural. Consequently, most are terminated simply because of the absence of any evidence of the true science of arboriculture and\or anyone capable or knowledgeable enough to perform the right kind of maintenance. Any one can cut a tree down. The only requirement is a stump. How many things get broken or people killed in the process, is just an after thought.
So, we want to look at the very basic principles of tree safety, structure and design.
First, it has to be Natural. Nature is the best teacher. "Never does Nature say one thing and wisdom another."
Second, we need to understand all the dynamics of wind and snow and ice.
Third, we need to understand all the various aspects of the structural integrity of the tree. The type of wood, limb formation, defects, etc.
Fourth, we need to know how everything around and within the tree affects the way it grows and responds. Every cut you make has a short and a long term affect. No matter if it's in the tree or near the tree.
Then you need to be aware of anchorage. How well is the tree anchored now and later.
Now, let's look at this a little closer.
What is Natural? Obviously, there are many grand specimens that have never been trimmed. Except by Mother Nature! What are the key factors?
Number one. Preserve and promote the lower limbs. The most common assault on trees these days is ravaging the bottoms of the trees. It's only human to cut the lower limbs. Not only is this unnatural, it creates serious issues. The lower limbs stabilize the tree and deflect the wind over the top. If a tree looks top heavy, "it is!" If a tree can retain it's canopy right down to the ground and dominate it's space, it will be tremendously stronger, healthier, safer, live longer, and be more productive. The lower limbs shade the root zone, and eliminate the competition. Trees are the answer, not shrubs, and turf, and yard ornaments, etc. So many times I've seen trees neglected. [A lot of times just because people didn't know there was any such thing a proper care and maintenance.] Only to be cut down and replaced with shrubs and turf and decorations and more air conditioning. All high maintenance. We need to keep the lower branches where we can. This will do more than anything to keep our arboriculture standard high.
Number two. Is the tree shaped for wind and lightning resistance? As we just stated. The lower limbs deflect the wind. As you will see. All these things are interrelated. However, now we want to look at how to train the top of the tree. Is it natural to top trees? As we just said, "Cutting the bottom limbs is unnatural." The worst thing that is happening. Mother Nature will often top trees. This is natural. Anything that grows straight up is vulnerable to wind and lightning. The best strongest specimens that survive, spread out with a low profile.
Number three. Identify and adjust structural defects and malformations. If trees are trained from the beginning with a natural strong design in mind, you would never need anything more than a hand saw. Some of the best survivors have never been trimmed. The large majority though need help. Most tree failures are predictable. Often times serious defects are neglected beyond the point of saving the tree.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Quiet Company

Woodland Stewardship Institute
~Premier Safety Bulletin~

Not Quiet Safe Yet ?

This is an all important safety principle. It's a fact that most just don't quiet understand.

What is the first safety rule? I have often thought it was attitude. Attitude is everything right? Well quiet is an attitude. An attitude of reverence. Reverence is the product of respect. Respect for Nature. Respect for each other. Respect for everything God has made.
Then I have thought many times that, knowing how to think, is the first and most important rule. Thomas Edison said, "The most important task of civilization is not more inventions or technology. It is to teach people to think." [somewhat paraphrased]. This goes right back to that old saying, "There's no such thing as teaching, only learning." What good is it to teach all the safety business if your students haven't really learned the real principles behind it?
Another term you might use is legalism. Legalistic people are everywhere, believe me. The perfect example of this was Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith show. He was a coward, a bumbling fool. He tried to make up for it by following the letter of the law. He couldn't think for himself. He had no common sense. He could not understand the true intent of the law. The reason for it all? He didn't know true Love. He was self centered.
Let me explain it another way. "Work without faith is vanity." Have you ever been on a job with someone who worked twice as hard as everyone, trying to make up for their constant errors. Have you heard the old saying, "Work smart not hard."? The Law is just a list of work to be done. Faith is the spiritual wisdom that is behind it. Knowing the Law can actually be dangerous if you don't know the Law Giver. The second half of the Law which is just as important as the first, is to love others, but even helping the poor is all vanity, without faith. It's just something to make you feel good, unless you are really concerned and always "THINKING" about how you can lift them up to your level, or more.
So, quiet is about taking the time to think. Taking the time to listen to your conscience. Most accidents are the result of some stupid mistake. Caught off guard. Not paying attention to what matters. Thinking you know everything you need to know. Being so overconfident you don't have to think about what you are doing.
You have to constantly make an effort to think. You have to constantly invent the safest way to perform, every moment. If your mind is full of garbage from spending all your free time listening or watching some idiot box, your just coasting along. Reminds me of the old saying, "Only dead fish roll with the flow." and the opposite of that, "Satan yields to uphill traffic."
Remember God knows everything. As soon as you think you know something. You become your own god. You can't save yourself. Just following all the rules is no guarantee.
Fortunate is the man who is not distracted with the idols of this world, who is not impressed with the world and it's ways. "But his delight is in the Law of the Lord and in His Law doth he meditate day and night." Psalm 1.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Company Policy

Woodland Stewardship Institute
Foundation Principles for Operations

One Perfect Solution

Everything needs to be based on the first and greatest commandment. Employee relationships, customer relationships, safety policy, franchise agreements, dress code, etc. "Unless God builds your house, your labor is in vain." Millions refuse to believe in God because of all the terrible things that happen. At the same time, all the trouble in the world is because of one thing: We haven't followed God's directions. Without God's Law there's only the law of the jungle. "Kill or be killed." “Do unto others before they do unto you." The Bible says that Satan is the god of this world. Jesus says that if your not with Him your against Him. "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'” “Only a fool follows his own rules, an even bigger fool follows another man's (church's) rules.” So many ask, "How can God allow this world to be such a mess?" While they continue to commit more atrocities and blame it all on Him. “People ruin their lives with their own foolishness (lawlessness), then they are mad at God." Proverbs 19:03

Now I want to say, What other option is there? The Bible is the only book I know of that proclaims who God is. The one and only Creator of heaven and earth. He gives his credentials and His seal and His territory in the fourth commandment. Anything else is man made religion. Everything, and especially our interpretation of the Bible, has to be based on the Ten Commandments. This is the rock that all truth has to be built on. "To the Law and the Testimony, if they speak not according to this Word there is no light in them." All of the prophets, and especially Jesus, were trying to bring the people back to Moses' writings. This is why there are so many churches. They don't really want to put God first. Everyone wants what they want first. This is one reason the Sabbath has never been popular. God requires 1\7th of our time, 1\10th of our increase, and 100% of our devotion.

"If you turn away from hearing the Law even your prayer is an abomination." Proverbs 28:09

Now I'm not really telling you what to believe. I'm telling you how I am going to run this company. No one wants to put up with lying and cheating and stealing. You can believe what you want. All I ask for is respect and tolerance. If you have no respect for God's Law, you won't have respect for me.

The New Testament writers warned us that the greatest thing we have to fear is the Ante-Christ, and that it was already happening in their day! I will not condone fake Christianity with all its lies and excuses. They claim to believe in the Bible and the Ten Commandments but they can't get past Genesis One. The Bible makes it abundantly clear. The Devil is going to deceive the whole world in Jesus' name. It doesn't matter how ridiculous your doctrine is as long as you go to church on Sunday. God has no respect for your inventions. Read the Bible from cover to cover. The Seventh Day is Holy. How many ways can you interpret that?

Like Solomon says, writing from inspiration, “There is a time for everything.” There's nothing wrong with being a workaholic, as long as you know how to tell time. You can work as hard as you want, but not as long as you want. There are emergencies of course, but generally things work better when you follow God's timing.

So, here's the bottom line. “You have to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.” Now you know what's wrong with the world. For most, it's just easier to stand for nothing. Only dead fish roll with the flow. This company stands on God's law which includes the fourth commandment as well as the other nine.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wood Stock Investments - part 2

Woodland Stewardship Institute

WSI & RTC - Benefits and Pension Plan

They say a good benefit package is worth about $10,000.00 a year. That's about $900.00 a month. Many settle for a mindless, meaningless, boring, monotonous slave job for 6 or 7 dollars an hour as long as good benefits are there. Along with guaranteed stuck in a rut steady work.
This has always been the problem with the tree business. Seasonal work. From the beginning I wanted to develop the woodworking, and blacksmithing, and carpentry. Anything to do with trees and wood. Anything to keep from being a starving tree trimmer. Well, I'm still dreaming. People on low wage jobs can be spending 40% of their time working for benefits. How many will have the discipline to come to work at the mill on days when the work is slow or the weather is bad for good solid wood? What good is wood?
What good is gold? You can't eat it. You can't build a house with it. Well, you could, but Heaven can wait.
I have always said, " The definition of a welfare case is, ' someone who won't work unless their paid." Back to that saying, " If making money is your first priority, your head is on backward." Everything has to be based on the " first and greatest commandment." God first.
I keep thinking of how to build a real quality company. There is a big difference between a one horse, family operation, where it's all about you and your equipment. Maybe hire some extra grunts during the season. And, having quality employees, quality programs, and quality customers. How can you do it all and compete?
First, take the time to read the first post about Wood Stock Investments below. That was over a year ago. Obviously anyone with money won't invest in a solid risk free enterprise that supports the local economy. They would be the laughing stock of all there big investment friends. It's all right to lose a million in a money market scheme in something with no real tangible value. How many millionaires can we support on sheer speculation and foreign exploitation?
So, this is my strategy. We have 2 crews going right now and in the slow time. Pretty soon we're too busy and we need 2 more crews. Where do you find good quality employees that want to work part time? You don't.
For years I've been trying to diversify. It's easier said than done. I could put one hundred people to work here with my ideas if I had the resources to get started. Everything to do with trees and wood.
I just realized, the solution is simple. When we are slow or the weather is too wet or windy to do tree work. Employees can work at the mill. Especially when we get a roof over it. Their time goes into Wood Stock. This of course will increase in value as we build the hardwood business. Also, they will have an unlimited supply of wood for their own use. To build a house or for their own wood shop. There are three basic things people will always need. Food, shelter, and heat. We are blessed to be in the middle of these. Money is just a distraction and will soon be nothing more than a figure on a screen.
This is farming. To keep working and producing regardless of pay. Some things cannot be bought. "A good reputation is worth more than gold."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Got Ambition ?

Why are you tired and lazy?

My life growing up was mostly about work. Lots of activity. Lots of things going on. Lots of thing to do all the time. 7 days a week. Even on Sabbaths there were things to do. After church there would often be a potluck. This required, of course work and preparation. After that, Sabbath afternoons were full of activities with family and friends. Hiking, tennis, games, camping, etc. God's law is all about family really. Then there was Saturday night volleyball in the school gym during the winter months. Sunday was the day to work at home. It was what you would call real homework. Of course Sundays were never long enough to get everything done around the place.
Do you know the three, primary, basic, battles in life? The three main struggles? Laziness, Drunkenness, and Ignorance. You might say that Laziness covers it all. You could say the same though of Ignorance. Actually, work ethic is everything. No matter if it's mental, physical, or spiritual. Henry Ford said, " Genius is nothing more than the extraordinary capacity for hard work." Everything takes effort.
When I was young, like most young kids, I had plenty of energy. I remember later in my teens I had to make more of a conscious effort to keep going. Most young people go through a real lazy streak then, and as you know many never grow out of it.
Fortunately, I liked working. I found that the more physical it was the better I liked it. That's undoubtedly one of the reason's I wound up in the tree business. That and the fact that all I ever really knew was, cut and chop and pack wood.
Until I was about 35, I thought I was indestructible. When I started to fall apart at that early age, I became quite depressed. Now in my 50's I find I am totally addicted to physical activity. It's the only thing that keeps me going. I'm just thankful when I feel good enough to get out and enjoy working. I started this blog business last year. Got off to a good start, but I just haven't been able to sit down long enough to update them for the last 5 or 6 months. I'm going back out in the rain. I'll finish this later.
OK, you can see what I'm saying. If you learned good work habits growing up there's a good probability you will retain that all your life. If your parents sat on the couch, you probably sit on the couch. It's really alarming how many grow up sitting. Sit in front of the television [don't get me started!]. Sit in the car. Sit at school. Sit at work. etc. etc. This is one of the reasons a good scouting program is so essential to any healthy community. [don't let me get started there either.] I'll be here forever. " Of the writing of books there is no end."
Now for the next angle on the problem. Diet and health. I've spent my whole life studying diet and health and fitness whenever and wherever I could. I could definitely write books and more books.
When you are young you're full of it. Many were quite ambitious in their youth in spite of their bad diet and bad habits. Then comes premature aging. You just don't feel like it anymore. The signs of old age start popping up everywhere. This is the biggest cause of the problem. Bad habits of eating and drinking. Old before your time. Believe it or not, it starts with many in their late teens. How sad. In other words, when your young you can get away with eating and drinking anything anytime.
Life the way Nature intended is to remain relatively functional until your 90 or so and then keel over without any extended illness or suffering. Chief Swift Arrow lived to 129. I'm sure he was in better condition when he was 100, than I am now. Today the majority start to fall apart in their 20's. They are over the hill in their 30's, and disabled in their 40's or 50's.