A Side-by-Side Adventure in to the Smith Lakes

A cracked and rotting spruce jam-packed between several structures (and other trees) at a property outside of Amherst, NS needed to come down as soon as possible. With two experienced climbers (Beck and Rory) on deck, it could be done in the afternoon if all went smoothly. What turned this lakeside spruce into an all-day adventure was its location: situated by a remote cabin only reachable by 2.5km of back-road terrain or by boat.

Becky holds part of a spruce

The first thing we always consider when taking on any job is safety. In the event of an emergency, such as an injured climber, an ambulance wouldn’t make it through the muddy trails. Rory and Beck ultimately prepared a sled that could be dragged via off-road vehicle to transport an unconscious person, and were ready to call a rescue helicopter if that was not possible. Our usual safety measures remained in place, such carrying pressure bandages on equipment belts, having a first aid kit present, and a healthy dose of caution while working.

Once we were satisfied with our safety measures, the next logistical question was another head-scratcher: How were we supposed to get our gear on site? Our trucks are reliable, but would definitely get stuck in the muck if we tried to get them down there. So, with help and transportation provided by the client and cabin-owner, we got creative.

Beck smiles in a side-by-side

We often carry equipment on foot into the more secluded areas our trucks can’t reach, but it would be impractical to haul all the gear needed for this job in that way. Luckily, the client had a side-by-side and an ATV to lend us for the trek, which Beck and Rory were thrilled to pilot.

All necessary gear was packed and hauled with our climbers in those recreation vehicles. When the cabin was built, this is how the majority of supplies made it to the construction site, including the windows and the roof.

Rory and Beck are a dynamic and experienced duo, and managed to get the hazardous spruce down with care and without incident. The client describes the process best, in the review he left for us:

I had a nasty situation with a 90’ spruce which had started to split vertically and was making mournful noises in the wind. This tree was less than 4’ from my camp and hurting, not to mention dangerous as it was, it needed professional attention… I am struggling to accurately express just how professionally the crew handled the job. It was like watching a Utube instructional course in how to remove a dangerous tree. I can’t lay bricks and I can’t play a musical instrument, but I can stand back and appreciate the work of a terrific brick layer and a world class musician. That is how I felt that day at camp watching this two-person crew operate, scaling neighbouring trees affixing safety lines and others for rigging lines. The tree was down, and site cleaned up by 3:00… I have great respect for the character and professionalism on display that March Day. It is without hesitation that I recommend Woodpecker Tree Care should you ever find you have a need.”

Beck in a spruce tree

The way back took awhile, since the ground tends to soften in the afternoons this time of year, but Beck and Rory made it back to HQ in time to give a play-by-play to a very enthusiastic audience. This one was definitely a job to remember!

Many thanks to our client, who was enthusiastic and helpful throughout the process.