Dear Katie,
I just received your new October magazine and quickly skimmed the articles as I always do. Saw an article entitled “Chain Saw Maintenance for All Seasons. Thought, “Oh no, here we go again. Another article on maintenance.”

My point and criticism: There are so many repeat articles in tree care magazines. Little new. How are we really going to challenge our industry to go to a higher, more professional level? Solution: Professionalism will come as our industry becomes more profitable. Money in any industry brings smart people who start running companies like a business. Let’s feature great companies; companies who make money and reinvest it back into their company, not ones where the owner takes every dime out for himself. Katie, the industry has everything to win with this approach.

Ask your readers to nominate companies, city forestry departments, etc., that ought to be featured in an article in your magazine.
Larry Ryan, president, Ryan Lawn & Tree

Dear Larry,
Great idea! It has always been my opinion that the most valuable source of information for tree care contractors is other tree care contractors. If you know of a company using innovative techniques, creating new sources of revenue, developing creative marketing ideas or advancing the industry in some other way, please let me know, and I may feature them in an upcoming issue of Tree Services.

Dear Katie,
We love Tree Services magazine, and find a lot of beneficial news and articles month after month. Thank you for such a quality product.

I am a bit confused, however, with your October 2009 front cover. It appears that the two gentlemen (with saws) on the page are at potential for felling trees directly onto one another, and the third man is apparently not aware of the happenings, as he should be. Can you possibly help us to understand this from a different perspective; or is this just a poorly staged cover page?
Jan Meyer

Dear Jan,
Excellent observation. To clarify, here’s what
Tree Services contributor Michael Tain (who supplied the photo in question) had to say:

“The picture is from a training session, all three folks are students. The two in the rear are working as a pair, as is the one in the foreground, though you cannot see his partner (out of the frame). Both of the folks cutting, foreground and right rear of the picture, are only putting in their directional/felling/face notches, which in this case are almost directly opposite one another. The partner in the left rear is safely away from his cutting partner’s work area and appears to be looking slightly up to follow the projected path of the tree when felled. In this setting, instructors were observing both of these students preparing/cutting their face notches, once the notch was completed satisfactorily, all other personnel were cleared from the danger area as one of the trees was felled at a time. Communication had been established with all involved, instructors had everyone within eyesight and under observation; and the students were well aware they were to do no more than establish their face notch. Using an open-face notch technique, as these individuals were being taught, leaves the majority of the diameter of the tree intact, giving the saw operator more to work with for the back/release cut, but also increasing its security and stability on the stump even after the notch has been created.”

Katie Meyers