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The History of Professional Arboriculture


The earliest origins of arboriculture go back more than 8,000 years to the Nile Valley of Egypt and the Mesopotamia Valley. By the 6th century B.C., olives and fruit trees had been well established in Greece and Rome. They were masters in planting, grafting, pruning, pollinating and creating new varieties.

Over the years, stone axes gave way to bronze and iron. After 2,000 years, many of the iron tools work just as well today. Although today's equipment is lighter and there are sharper versions than ancient predecessors.

The term arborist comes directly from the Latin term Arborator, which is the person who was assigned to overall tree care.

The Victorians created modern Arboriculture. When tall hedges needed shearing, they built and used tall scaffolding on wheels. This is still in use today in Vienna!

An early attempt to mechanize tree felling was demonstrated in 1878. A steam powered felling machine was set up. This was carried by 4 men and operated by 2. Once set up, it took 3 minutes to fell an oak 3 feet in diameter.

At the end of the 19th century steam traction engines and winches took the place of horses and men with axes for pulling over trees.

Today, we have arborists who receive formal training and have a skilled eye to transform and protect your trees. We have learned from the past and hold great respect for our rich history, as arborists.

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