All this wild weather may have left you a bit worried about the trees around your home.
Luckily there’s a local who can put your mind at ease. Clive Woodnutt is a qualified arborist from Bohmer’s Tree Care.
While Clive is perfectly named for the job, ‘Bohmers’ is actually German for ‘man of the tree’. He’s also known as ‘the tree whisperer’!
Clive actually wanted to be an architect but hated being stuck inside, so when his mother married Peter, an English tree surgeon who spent all day outside in the garden, Clive did a day’s work experience and decided that was the job for him!
Clive says the tallest tree he’s climbed in the Illawarra is 45 meters, which was at the base of the escarpment in Bellambi. “We get within a meter of the top,” he says. “Unless you get up and have a good look you have no idea of the problems the tree really has.”
Thanks to the power of GoPros, Clive captures his view from the top and shares his ‘eagle-eye’ tree surgeon diagnosis on video!
You can watch Clive work HERE
“Most people don’t realise they need an arborist until something catastrophic happens,” he says. “We are actually all about prevention.”
Clive says it’s a dangerous job but they do everything by the book. “We always have two climbers on hand, as per the legislation. I don’t take risks. That way, nobody gets hurt and everyone stays fully insured!”
With a fully trained and qualified crew of five, Bohmers carries out risk assessments at local public schools, safety checks for trees hanging over homes and trees in local back yards.
Clive says if you have a tree looking a bit dodgy, or is close to your house, he’ll have a look at it.
“We give you a management and maintenance program,” he says. “It’s a lot less expensive than removing the tree, and obviously a lot better than having it fall down!”
Plus, a well-cared-for garden can increase the value of your home by tens of thousands of dollars.
But Clive says he won’t be ‘lopping’ your trees any time soon! “It’s a forbidden practice,” he says. “Unless it’s under power lines, it’s prohibited by legislation.
“If we ‘lop’ a tree, it will grow back to the same height but have no vascular connection, so the regrowth will eventually fail.
“We remove or reduce branches, and may thin a tree by removing a percentage of the crown mass, but will will never take the top off.
Clive says it’s a worst-case scenario when they have to remove a tree.
“We do everything we can to save trees,” he says, ” but if it’s reached the end of its life or the owners have a DA to remove the tree, we have to take it out. We recycle as much as we can of the tree. We return the mulch to the area the tree has come from, then where we can we use the wood for outdoor furniture.
“Our larger logs are turned into the benches or seats, or garden ‘jump stumps’, and we donate them to local schools, community garden projects and to the fantastic blokes at Corrimal Men’s Shed, who epicycle them into amazing pieces. We love that it extends the life of the tree. “
You can find out more about Bohmers and how an arborist could help you HERE