Seattle Tree Consulting is a full-service tree company that offers a wide range of services for established trees and also specializes in the selection and installation of young trees. The following interview is with STC's owner and long time northwest arborist Douglas Smith.
Q: What do you like most about being a northwest arborist?
D: I admit that for a long time I was enamored with getting to climb big trees all the time. The urban canopy in and around Seattle has some pretty tall trees in it and the work can be very exciting. But the longer I spend climbing, pruning, and sometimes removing trees, the more I feel the pull to plant trees so that they are around for the next generation, and the generation after that.
Q: Do you feel like our local urban forest is in danger of being cut down?
D: The recent construction boom has put a lot of pressure on our urban forests. There are simply a lot of nice trees being cut down to make way for buildings. Part of this is inevitable but I think that it is important to protect veteran trees when possible and to take advantage of the range of trees that will grow around here and make sure that we are installing trees that can mature in the locations that they are being planted.
Q: What are some of the factors that help you determine what tree to plant in a given spot?
D: I like to recommend trees that have more than one interesting feature—providing privacy isn't enough for me. I like a tree or plant that will provide privacy, have a beautiful floral display, stunning fall color, and create a habitat for birds. Of course sun exposure, soil conditions, and ultimate size are considered.
Q: What are the advantages of planting native species over exotics?
D: Natives tend to establish more easily and are lower maintenance. They also tend to support local wildlife better than plants that aren't native to the region.
Q: When is the best time to plant a tree?
D: The answer to that question is always "today." Just remember that trees take at least three years to establish, that they will need access to water in the summer, and pruning should be limited to deadwood and clearance issues.
Please contact STC for a consultation and to get on their planting list for 2019.