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This is our safety procedures for tree service work.

Accident Prevention Program 

Each of our employees are required to follow the General Safety Requirements



Tools and equipment shall conform to the requirements of this standard.

A qualified arborist should determine whether direct supervision is needed on a job site.

A job briefing shall be performed by the qualified arborist in charge before the start of each job. The briefing shall be communicated to all affected workers. An employee working alone need not conduct a job briefing. However, the employer shall ensure that the tasks are being performed as if a briefing were required.


Traffic Control Around the Job Site 

High visibility safety apparel and headgear, when required, shall conform to ANSI-ISEA

IO7-2004 and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Manual on Uniform Traffic

Control Devices (MUTCD), when required.

Effective means for controlling pedestrian and vehicular traffic shall be instituted on every job site where necessary, in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) or applicable state and  local laws and regulations.

Temporary traffic-control devices used in arboricultural operations shall conform to the

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

(MUTCD) and applicable federal and state regulations.


Emergency Procedures and Readiness

Emergency phone numbers shall be available when and where arboricultural operations are being carried out.  Arborists and other workers shall be instructed as to the specific location of such information.

A first-aid kit, adequately stocked and maintained, shall be provided by the employer’ when and where arboricultural operations are being carried out. Arborists and other workers shall be instructed in its use and specific location.

Instruction shall be provided in the identification, preventive measures, and first-aid treatment of common poisonous plants (poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac

stinging and biting insects, and other pests and,indigenous to the area in which work is to be performed.

Employees who may be faced with a rescue decision shall receive training in emergency response and rescue procedures appropriate and applicable to the work to be performed, as well as training to recognize the hazards inherent in rescue efforts.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first-aid training shall be provided in the absence of an infirmary clinic, or hospital near the worksite.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE), as outlined in this section, shall be required when there is a reasonable chance of injury or illness that can be prevented by such protection. Training shall be provided in the use, care, maintenance, fit, and life of personal protective equipment.

Workers engaged in arboricultural operations shall wear head protection (helmets) that conforms to ANSI 289.I.  Class E helmets shall be worn when working in proximity to electrical conductors in accordance with ANSI ZB9.l. Workers shall not place reliance on the dielectric capabilities of such helmets.

Clothing and footwear appropriate to the known job hazards shall be approved by the employer and worn by the employee.

Hearing protection provided by the employer shall be worn when it is not practical to decrease or isolate noise levels that exceed acceptable standards.

Eye protection shall comply with ANSI 287 .I and shall be worn when engaged in arboricultural operations.

Chain-saw-resistant leg protection shall be worn while operating a chain saw during ground operations.


Fire Protection

Equipment shall be refueled only after the engine has stopped. Spilled fuel shall be removed from equipment before restarting.

Equipment shall not be operated within 10 feet (3.05 m) of refueling operations or areas in which refueling has recently taken place.

Flammable liquids shall be stored, handled, and dispensed from approved containers.

Smoking shall be prohibited when handling or working around flammable liquids.

Clothing contaminated by flammable liquid shall be changed as soon as possible.

Open flame and other sources of ignition shall be avoided.



All overhead and underground electrical conductors and all communication wires and cables shall be considered energized with potentially fatal voltages.

The employer shall certify that each employee has been trained to recognize and is appropriately qualified to work within proximity to electrical hazards that are applicable to the employee’s assignment.

Arborists and other workers shall be instructed that

(a)  electrical shock will occur when a person, by either direct contact or indirect

contact with an energized electrical conductor, energized tree limb, tool, equipment,           or other object, provides a path for the flow of electricity to a grounded object or

to the ground itself. Simultaneous contact with two energized conductors phase to phase will also cause electric shock that may result in serious or fatal injury.

(b)  electrical shock may occur as a result of ground fault when a person stands near

a grounded object (for example, if an uninsulated aerial device comes into contact with a conductor with outriggers down).

(c)  in the event of a downed energized electrical conductor or energized grounded

object, there exists the hazard of step potential.

If the minimum approach distance for a qualified line-clearance arborist or for a qualified arborist (see Table 1.) cannot be maintained during arboricultural operations, the electrical system owner/operator shall be advised and an electrical hazard abatement plan shall be implemented before any work is performed in proximity to energized electrical conductors.


Working in Proximity to Electrical Hazards

The items contained in the General Electrical section 2.1(previous) shall always be included in the review of this section.

An inspection shall be made by a qualified arborist to determine whether an electrical hazard exists before climbing, otherwise entering, or performing work in or on a tree.Only qualified line-clearance arborists or qualified line-clearance arborist trainees shall be assigned to work where an electrical hazard exists.  This currently is not in the scope of work that this company performs and is not under consideration.  Again, our arborists are not qualified for line-clearance and therefore must maintain a minimum approach distance as described below in Table 1.

Nominal voltage in kilovolts (kV)phase to phase* Distanceft-in Distancem
0.0 to 1.0 10-00 3.05
1.1 to 15.0 10-00 3.05
15.1 to 36.0 10-00 3.05
36.1 to 50.0 10-00 3.05
50.1 to 72.5 10-09 3.28
72.6 to 121.0 12-04 3.76
138.0 to 145.0 13-02 4.00
161.0 to 169.0 14-00 4.24
230.00 to 242.0 16-05 4.97
345.0 to 363.0 20-05 6.17
500.0 to 550.0 26-08 8.05
785.0 to 800.0 35-00 10.55



The tie-in position should be above the work area and located in such away that a slip would swing the arborist away from any energized electrical conductor or other identified hazard.

While climbing, the arborist should climb on the side of the tree that is away from energized electrical conductors while maintaining the required distances shown in Table I.

Ladders, platforms, and aerial devices, including insulated aerial devices, shall be subject to minimum approach distances in accordance with Table 1 as applicable.

Aerial devices with attached equipment (such as chippers) brought into contact with energized electrical conductors shall be considered energized. Contact by people and/or equipment shall be avoided. 



Prior to daily use of any vehicles and mobile equipment (units), visual walk-around inspections and operational checks shall be made in accordance with manufacturers’ and owners’ instructions and applicable federal, state, and local requirements.

Units shall be equipped and maintained with manufacturers’ safety devices, instructions, warnings, and safeguards. Arborists and other workers shall follow instructions provided by manufacturers.

Manufacturers’ preventive maintenance inspections and parts replacement procedures shall be followed.

Manufacturer’s instructions shall be followed in detecting hydraulic leaks. No part of the body shall be used to locate or stop hydraulic leaks.

Units shall be operated or maintained only by authorized and qualified personnel in accordance with company policies and federal, state, or local laws.

Material and equipment carded on vehicles shall be properly stored and secured in compliance with the design of the unit in order to prevent the movement of material or equipment.

Step surfaces and platforms on mobile equipment shall be skid resistant.

Safety seat belts, when provided by the manufacturer, shall be worn while a unit is being operated.

Riding or working outside or on top of units shall not be permitted unless the units are designed for that purpose or the operator is performing maintenance or inspection.

Hoisting or lifting equipment on vehicles shall be used within rated capacities as stated by the manufacturers’ specifications.

Units with obscured rear vision, particularly those with towed equipment, should be backed up only when absolutely necessary and then should be used with external rear guidance, such as a spotter, or a backup alarm.

When units are left unattended, keys shall be removed from ignition, the wheels chocked, and, if applicable, the parking brake applied.

Units shall be turned off, keys removed from the ignition, and rotating parts at rest prior to making repairs or adjustments, except where manufacturers’ procedures require otherwise. Defects or malfunctions affecting the safe operation of equipment shall be corrected before such units are placed into use.

Personal protective equipment (for example, eye, head, hand, and ear protection) shall be worn in accordance with the section on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

When towing, safety chains shall be crossed under the tongue of the unit being towed and connected to the towing vehicle.

Care should be taken to ensure that a unit’s exhaust system does not present a fire hazard.

Towed units that detach from another unit (for example, a motorized vehicle) shall be


Brush Chippers 

Please review all items in ‘General’ section of Safe Use of Vehicles, etc.

The items contained in section 3.1 shall always be included in the review of this section.

Access panels (for example, guards) for maintenance and adjustment, including dis- charge chute and cutter housing, shall be closed and secured prior to starting the engine of brush chippers. These access panels shall not be opened or unsecured until the engine and all moving parts have come to a complete stop (see Annex A, General Safety Procedures That Apply to All Tree Work).

Rotary drum or disc brush chippers not equipped with a mechanical infeed system shall be equipped with an infeed hopper not less than 85 inches (2.15 m) measured from the blades or knives to ground level over the center line of the hopper. Side members of the infeed hopper shall have sufficient height so as to prevent workers from contacting the blades or knives during operations.

Rotary drum or disc brush chippers not equipped with a mechanical infeed system shall have a flexible anti-kickback device installed in the infeed hopper to reduce the risk of injury from flying chips and debris.

Chippers equipped with a mechanical infeed system shall have a quick-stop and reversing device on the infeed system. The activating mechanism for the quick-stop and reversing device shall be located across the top, along each side, and close to the feed end of the infeed hopper within easy reach of the worker.

Vision, hearing, and/or other appropriate personal protective equipment shall be worn when in the immediate area of a brush chipper in accordance with section 1.4, Personal

Protective Equipment (PPE).

Arborists, mechanics, and other workers shall not, under any circumstances, reach into the infeed hopper when the cutter disc, rotary drum, or feed rollers are moving.

When trailer chippers are detached from the vehicles, they shall be chocked or otherwise secured in place.

When in a towing position, chipper safety chains shall be crossed under the tongue of the chipper and properly affixed to the towing vehicle.

See section 6.6, Brush Removal and Chipping, for additional requirements.


Equipment-Mounted Winches 

Please review all items in ‘General’ section of Safe Use of Vehicles, etc.

Operators shall wear the appropriate personal protective equipment during winch operations.

The winch cable shall be inspected daily for broken or worn strands, bird caging, and major kinks. Damaged cables shall be taken out of service.

Cable hooks and attachment points shall be inspected for damage. Damaged hooks or attachment assemblies shall be taken out of service.

All mounting bolts and hardware shall be inspected for loose or missing components.

The winch shall not be used until complete repairs are made to damaged or missing bolts and hardware.

Operators shall be aware of the dangers of load or cable breakage and ensure that all personnel remain clear of the recoil area in the event of load or cable breakage.

All winch operators shall be properly trained and be aware of the inherent dangers associated with winch operations.

Operators shall be aware of the winch cable at all times during extension and ensure that it does not become a hazard to personnel or machinery.

Winch systems and cables shall be used only as intended and instructed by the manufacturer.

The winch shall never be used with personnel, including the operator, within the span of the winch cable and the winch.

Pinch point hazards develop during winching operations, therefore, all operators involved in the winching operation shall constantly be aware of such hazards and stand clear of these areas.

All loads shall be pulled in such a manner as to avoid angles that may result in tipping, cause the vehicle to become unstable , or result in unintended movement of the vehicle.

Pulling loads from the side requires special equipment and techniques. Therefore, loads shall be pulled in line with the winch unless the winch is properly equipped with a fair lead and the operator is trained to pull loads at an angle.

The operator shall ensure that the vehicle supporting the winch is secured to avoid unintended movement.

The operator shall ensure that all rigging points comply with section on Rigging.

To ensure precise communication, an effective means of communication shall be established and used with all workers involved in the winching operations.  This means of communication shall be the same or similar in type when needed for other operations. 



The purpose of this section is to provide guidelines for arborists and other workers pertaining to the safe use and care of portable power hand tools.

Manufacturers’ operating and safety instructions shall be followed unless modified by this standard.


Communications shall be established among arborists working aloft, either in a tree or from an aerial device, and arborists and other workers on the ground, before starting or otherwise using any portable power hand tools. The command “stand clear” from aloft and response “all clear” from the ground are terms that may be used for this purpose. Pre-arranged, two-way hand signals may also be used. Arborists and other workers returning to the work area shall be acknowledged by arborists aloft.



Portable Electric Power Tools


Corded electric power tools shall not be used in trees or aerial devices near energized, electrical conductors where there is a possibility of power tools or supply cords contacting the conductor.


All corded portable electric power tools shall be


(a) equipped with three-wire cords having the ground wire permanently connected to the tool frame and a means for grounding the other end; or


(b) double insulated and permanently labeled as “double insulated”; or


(c) connected to power supplies by means of an isolating transformer or other isolated power supply.


Extension cords shall be maintained in safe condition. Exposed metal sockets shall not

be used.


Arborists and other workers shall


(a) prevent cords from becoming entangled, damaged, or cut by blades and bits;


(b) avoid laying extension cords in water, and


(c) support electric power tools and supply cords by a tool lanyard or separate line, as appropriate to the work, when used aloft.


Chain saws


When an arborist or other worker is working in a tree other than from an aerial device, chain saws weighing more than 15 pounds (6.8 kg) service weight shall be made safe against falling (i.e., supported by a separate line or tool lanyard).


Secure footing shall be maintained when starting the chain saw.


When starting a chain saw, the operator shall hold the saw firmly in place on the ground or otherwise support the saw in a manner that minimizes movement of the saw when pulling the starter handle. The chain saw shall be started with the chain brake engaged, on saws so equipped. Drop-starting a chain saw is prohibited.

Chain-saw engines shall be started and operated only when other arborists and workers are clear of the chain saw.

When operating a chain saw the arborist or other worker shall hold the saw firmly with both hands, keeping the thumb and fingers wrapped around the handle.


Arborists shall use a second point of attachment (for example, lanyard or double-crotched climbing line) when operating a chain saw in a tree, unless the employer demonstrates that a greater hazard is posed by using a second point of attachment while operating a chain saw in that particular situation. Using both ends of a two-in-one lanyard shall not be considered two points of attachment when using a chain saw.


Chain-saw mufflers and spark arresters (if the latter are provided) shall be maintained in good condition.


The chain brake shall be engaged, or the engine shut off, before setting a chain saw down.


When a chain saw is being carried more than two steps, the chain brake shall be engaged or the engine shut off. The chain saw shall be carried in a manner that will prevent operator contact with the cutting chain and the muffler.


The chain-saw operator shall be certain of footing before starting to cut. The chain saw shall not be used in a position or at a distance that could cause the operator to become off-balance, have insecure footing, or relinquish a firm grip on the saw.


Powered Pole Tools and Backpack Power Units


Only workers operating the equipment shall be within 10 feet (3.05 m) of the cutting head of a brush saw during operations.


Power units shall be equipped with a readily accessible, quick shutoff switch.


Operators shall observe the position of all other workers in the vicinity while the equipment is running.


Engines shall be stopped for all cleaning, refueling, adjustments, and repairs to the saw or engine, except where manufacturers’ procedures require otherwise.


Powered pole tools with poles made of metal or other conductive material shall not be used in operations where electrical hazards exist.





Correct hand tools and equipment shall be selected for the job.


Hand tools and equipment that have been made unsafe by damage or defect, including

tools with loose or cracked heads or cracked, splintered, or weakened handles, shall not be used.


Workers shall maintain a safe working distance from other workers when using hand tools and equipment.


When climbing into a tree, arborists shall not carry hand tools and equipment in their hands unless the tools are used to assist them in climbing. Tools other than ropes or throwlines shall not be thrown into a tree or between workers aloft.


Arborist climbing lines or handlines should be used for raising and lowering hand tools and equipment. Arborists should raise or lower hand tools and equipment in a manner such that the cutting edge will not contact the arborist climbing line or handline.


Hand tools and equipment shall be properly stored or placed in plain sight out of the immediate work area when not in use.


Cant Hooks, Cant Dogs, Peaveys, and Tongs


Cant hooks should be firmly set before applying force.


Arborists, and other workers shall always stand uphill from rolling logs, and all workers shall be warned and in the clear before logs are moved.




Ladders made of metal or other conductive material shall not be used around electrical hazards.


All ladders shall be inspected before use and removed from service if found defective.


Cleats, metal points, skid-resistant feet, lashing, or other effective means of securing the ladder shall be used when there is danger of slipping.


Ladders shall not be used as bridges or inclined planes to load or handle logs or other material.


Ladders shall be supported while in storage to prevent sagging. Except when on mobile equipment, ladders should be stored under suitable cover, protected from the weather, and kept in a dry location away from excessive heat.


The third, or hinged, leg of a tripod./orchard ladder shall be braced or fastened when on hard or slick surfaces.


All ladders shall be used in accordance to the manufacturers’ recommendations and shall not be altered in a way that contradicts those recommendations.


 Ropes and Arborist Climbing Equipment


A visual hazard assessment, including a root collar inspection, shall be performed prior to climbing, entering, or performing any work in a tree.


A second arborist or other worker trained in emergency procedures shall be within visual or voice communication during arboricultural operations above 12 feet (3.65 m).


Climbing lines used in a split-tail system and split-tails shall be terminated with an eye splice or a knot that interfaces appropriately with the connecting link that it is attached to. The termination knot selected shall remain secure under normal loading and unloading. When using a carabiner without a captive eye, the knot or eye splice shall cinch in place to prevent accidental opening and/or side-loading of the carabiner.


Arborists shall inspect climbing lines, worklines, Ianyards, and other climbing equipment for damage, cuts, abrasion, and/or deterioration before each use and shall remove them from service if signs of excessive wear or damage are found.


Arborist saddles and lanyards used for work positioning shall be identified by the manufacturer as suitable for tree climbing.


Arborist saddles and lanyards used for work positioning shall not be altered in a manner that would compromise the integrity of the equipment.



Hardware used in the manufacture of arborist saddles shall meet the hardware material, strength, and testing requirements outlined in ANSI 359. l.


Arborist climbing lines shall have a minimum diameter of I/2 inch (12.7 mm) and be constructed from a synthetic fiber, with a minimum breaking strength of 5,400 pounds

(24.02 kilonewtons (kN)) when new. Maximum working elongation shall not exceed 7 percent at a load of 540 pounds (2.402 kN). Arborist climbing lines shall be identified by the manufacturer as suitable for tree climbing.



In arboricultural operations not subject to regulations that supersede Z133.1, a line

of not less than 7 /16 inch (11 mm) diameter may be used, provided the employer            can demonstrate it does not create a safety hazard for the arborist and the arborist      has been instructed in its use. The strength and elongation ratings of the line           selected shall meet or exceed that of 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) arborist climbing line.


Prusik loops, split-tails, and work-positioning lanyards used in a climbing system shall meet the minimum strength standards for arborist climbing lines.


Snap hooks (rope snaps) used in climbing shall be self-closing and self-locking, with a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds (22.24 kN).


Carabiners used in climbing shall be self-closing and self-locking, with a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds (22.24 kN). Carabiners shall be designed to release the load by requiring at least two consecutive, deliberate actions to prepare the gate for opening.


Splicing shall be done in accordance with cordage manufacturers’ specifications.


All load-bearing components of the climbing system shall meet the minimum standards for arborist climbing equipment.


Equipment used to secure an arborist in the tree or from an aerial lift shall not be used for anything other than its intended purpose.



The arborist climbing line may be used to raise and lower tools.


Rope ends shall be finished in a manner to prevent raveling.


Ropes and climbing equipment shall be stored and transported in such a manner to prevent damage through contact with sharp tools, cutting edges, gas, oil, or chemicals.


Arborist climbing lines shall nevel be left in trees unattended.


Arborists shall have available a climbing line and al least one other means of being secured while working aloft; for example, an arborist climbing line and a work-positioning Ianyard.



The arborist shall be secured while ascending the tree. The arborist shall be tied in once the work begins and shall be tied in until the work is completed and he or she has returned to the ground. The arborist shall be secured when repositioning the climbing line.


While ascending a ladder to gain access to a tree, the arborist shall not work from or leave the ladder until he or she is tied in or otherwise secured.


Hands and feet should be placed on separate limbs, if possible, and three points of contact should be maintained with the tree while climbing.


A false crotch and/or false crotch redirect may be used at the discretion of the arborist in

lieu of a natural crotch.


The tie-in position should be well above the work area so that the arborist will not be subjected to an uncontrolled pendulum swing in the event of a slip.


When a climber is working at heights greater than one-half the length of the arborist climbing line, a figure-8 knot shall be tied in the end of the arborist climbing line to prevent pulling the rope through the climbing hitch.


Pruning and Trimming


Communications among arborists aloft and among arborists and other workers on the ground shall be established before cutting and dropping limbs. The command “stand clear” from aloft and the response “all clear” from the ground are terms that may be used for this purpose. Pre-arranged, two-way hand signals may also be used. Arborists and other workers returning to the work area shall be acknowledged by arborists aloft.


Pole pruners and pole saws, when hung, shall be securely positioned to prevent dislodgment. Pole pruners or pole saws shall not be hung on electrical conductors or left in a tree unattended. Pole saws and pole pruners shall be hung so that sharp edges are away from the arborist and shall be removed when the arborist leaves the tree.


Scabbards or sheaths shall be used to carry handsaws when not in use. Folding saws, when not in use, shall be closed and hooked to the arborist saddle.


Pole tools used in line-clearance operations shall be constructed with fiberglass rein- forced plastic (FRP) or wooden poles meeting the requirements of OSHA 1910.269.


A separate workline shall be attached to limbs that cannot be dropped safely or controlled by hand. Arborist climbing lines and worklines shall not be secured to the same crotch.



Dry conditions and dead palm fronds present an extreme fire hazard. When dry conditions exist, arborists and other workers shall not smoke while working in or near dead palm fronds. All chain saws used under such conditions shall have mufflers and spark arresters in good working condition.


Palm frond skirts that have three years or more of growth shall be removed from the top down. Arborists performing this work shall be supported by an arborist climbing line and a false crotch. Arborists shall never attempt to remove skirts of three years or more by positioning themselves below work areas while being supported by a lanyard.


Cut branches shall not be left in trees upon completion of work.




Arborists and other workers on the ground shall not stand under the work area of a tree when a cabling system is being installed.


Tools used for cabling, bark tracing, and cavity work shall be carried in a bag, on a belt designed to hold such tools, or attached to a tool lanyard.


Arborists installing cabling systems in trees shall be positioned off to one side in order to avoid injury in case of cable system failure that could occur when a block and tackle or a hand winch is released.




Arborists performing rigging operations shall inspect trees for their integrity to determine whether the trees have any visible defect that could affect the operation. If it is determined that the tree poses a risk of failure due to the forces and strains that will be created by the design of the rigging operation, an alternate plan shall be used.


The number of connecting links used for connecting components of a rigging system shall be minimized when possible. Care shall be taken to ensure that connecting links interface properly and in compliance with manufacturers’ recommendations.


The qualified arborist shall ensure that load ratings shown on the rigging equipment or provided by the manufacturer for all ropes, connecting links, and rigging equipment are observed in all rigging operations. Rigging equipment shall be chosen for the specific task based on working-load limits and design specifications.


All equipment used for rigging operations shall be in good working condition. Equipment that has been damaged or overloaded shall be removed from service.


When the potential exists for rigging equipment to be confused with climbing equipment, the equipment shall be clearly marked to indicate their different purposes.


Rigging points shall be assessed for their structural integrity by a qualified arborist. The rigging plan and the tree shall be considered relative to the forces being applied to any part of the tree, including branch attachments and anchoring roots, before a rigging point is chosen and established.


Climbers shall choose tie-in points that will provide proper protection while allowing for a separation between the rigging system and the climbing system. Running rigging lines shall not be allowed to come into contact with any part of the climbing system.


Arborists performing rigging operations shall be educated to understand and trained to estimate the potential forces at any point in the rigging system being used. The system components shall comply with working-load limits relative to the operation and the maximum potential forces.


Careful consideration shall be given to the potential forces resulting from the specific influences of rope angles as well as the number of lines and/or line parts that will act on any rigging point.


Arborists working aloft (either climbing the tree or from aerial device) shall establish a communication system with arborists and other workers on the ground.


A method of verbal/visual communication shall be discussed and established during the job briefing, prior to the start of removal/rigging operations. The verbal/visual communication system shall use an established command and response system (see example) or pre-arranged, two-way hand signals. The communication method shall be clearly understood and used during all rigging operations.



Command: Stand clear!

Response: All Clear!, Underneath!, or No!


A work zone shall be established prior to the start of rigging operations. Workers not directly involved in the rigging operation shall stay out of the pre-established work zone until it has been communicated by a qualified arborist or qualified arborist trainee directly involved in the rigging operation that it is safe to enter the work zone. Workers shall be positioned and their duties organized so that the actions of one worker will not create a hazard for any other worker.


Only qualified arborists or qualified arborist trainees directly involved in the operation shall be permitted in the work zone when a load is being suspended by the rigging system.


Taglines or other means may be used to help control and handle suspended loads.


Arborists working aloft shall position themselves so as to be above or to the side of the piece being rigged and out of the path of movement of the piece when it has been cut.

Climbers and their climbing systems shall be positioned outside of the rigging system itself when a cut is being made or a load is being moved or lowered. Climbers shall have an escape plan prepared.

The spars, Iimbs, or leaders being worked on and the spars being used for tie-in and/or rigging points shall be assessed for structural integrity and potential reaction forces that could cause a spar to split when it is cut.


Steps shall be taken to prevent spars from splitting or tearing during the rigging operation, and climbers shall take steps to avoid trapping, pinning, or entangling themselves in the system should the tree split or the rigging fail. Load binders are one possible means of preventing splitting.


Tree Removal


Before beginning any tree removal operation, the chain-saw operator and/or crew leader shall carefully consider all relevant factors pertaining to the tree and site and shall take appropriate actions to ensure a safe removal operation. The following factors should be considered:


(a) The area surrounding the tree to be removed, including nearby trees;


(b) Species and shape of the tree;

(c) Lean of the tree;


(d) Loose limbs, chunks, or other overhead material;


(e) Wind force and direction;


  • decayed or weak spots throughout the tree (be aware of additionalhazards if these conditions exist in the hinge area);


(g) Location and means to protect other persons, property, and electrical conductors;


(h) Size and terrain characteristics or limitations of the work area, and


(i) Evidence of bees or wildlife habitation in the tree.


Work plans for removal operations shall be communicated to all workers in a job briefing before starting work.


Workers not directly involved in the removal operation shall be clear of the work area, where practicable, beyond the length of the tree, unless a team of workers is necessary to remove a particular tree.


A planned escape route for all workers shall be prepared before cutting any standing tree or trunk. The preferred escape route is 45 degrees on either side of a line drawn opposite the intended direction of the fall. Obstructions shall be cleared along the escape path.

The chain-saw operator shall use this path for egress once the cut has been completed.

When it is necessary to shorten or remove branches before removing the tree, the arborist shall attempt to determine whether the tree can withstand the strain of the lowering procedures. If not, other means of removing the tree should be considered.


The crew leader shall determine the number of workers necessary for tree removal operations.


The crew leader shall develop a work plan so that operations do not conflict with each other, thereby creating a hazard.


Climbing spurs shall have gaffs of a type and length compatible for the tree being climbed.


Wedges, block and tackle, rope, wire cable (except where an electrical hazard exists), or other appropriate devices shall be used when there is a danger that the tree or trees being removed may fall in the wrong direction or damage property. All limbs shall be removed to a height and width sufficient to allow the tree to fall clear of any wires and other objects in the near vicinity.


Tackle blocks and pulleys and their connecting links shall be inspected immediately before use and removed from service if they are found to be defective.


Workers returning to the work area shall not enter until the chain-saw operator has acknowledged that it is safe to do so.


When a pull line is being used, the workers involved in removing a tree or trunk shall be clear by a minimum of one tree length.


Workers not directly involved in manual land-clearing operations shall be at least two tree lengths away from the tree or trunk being removed.



This requirement does not apply in the presence of site restrictions, such as         waterways or cliffs. Other arborists and workers shall be beyond the trees’ striking           range and at a distance as close to twice the tree’s height as practicable.


Notches shall be used on all trees and trunks greater than 5 inches (12.7 cm) in diameter at breast height.


Notches and back cuts shall be made at a height that enables the chain-saw operator to safely begin the cut, control the tree or trunk, and have freedom of movement for escape.


The notch cut used shall be a conventional notch, an open-face notch, or a         Humboldt notch.


Notches shall be 45 degrees or greater and large enough to guide the fall of the tree or trunk to prevent splitting.


Notch depth should not exceed one-third the diameter of the tree.


The back cut shall not penetrate into the predetermined hinge area.


With a conventional notch or Humboldt notch, the back cut shall be 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) above the apex of the notch to provide an adequate platform to prevent kickback of the tree or trunk. With an open-face notch (greater than 70 degrees), the back cut should be at the same level as the apex of the notch.


The two cuts that form the notch shall not cross at the point where they meet.


Before making the back cut, there shall be a command such as “stand clear” from the arborist operating the chain saw and a response such as “all cIear” from the workers supporting the removal operation. Pre-arranged, two-way hand signals may also be used.

Only designated persons shall give such signals. All workers in the near vicinity shall be out of range when the tree or trunk falls. Visual contact should be maintained with the tree or trunk until it is on the ground.


When the back cut has been completed, the chain-saw operator shall immediately move a safe distance away from the tree or trunk using the planned escape route.


Workers shall not approach mechanical tree removal or mechanical re-clearing operations, such as with a rotary or flail mower, until the operator has acknowledged that it is safe to do so.


Brush Removal and Chipping


Traffic control around the jobsite shall be established prior to the start of chipping operations along roads and highways.


Brush and logs shall not be allowed to create hazards in the work areas.


To prevent an entanglement hazard, loose clothing, climbing equipment, body belts, harnesses, lanyards, or gauntlet-type gloves (for example, long-cuffed lineman’s or welder’s gloves) shall not be worn while operating chippers.


Personal protective equipment shall be worn when in the immediate area of chipping operations in accordance with section 1.4 (PPE) in this manual.


Training shall be provided in the proper operation, feeding starting, and shutdown procedures for the chipper being used.


Maintenance shall be performed only by those persons authorized by the employer and trained to perform such operations.


Brush and logs shall be fed into chippers, butt or cut end first, from the side of the feed table center line, and the operator shall immediately turn away from the feed table when the brush is taken into the rotor or feed rollers.  Chippers should be fed from the curbside whenever practical.


The brush chipper discharge chute or cutter housing cover shall not be raised or removed while any part of the chipper is turning or moving.  Chippers shall not be used unless a  discharge chute of sufficient length or design is provided that prevents personal contact with the blades.


Foreign material, such as stones, nails sweepings and rakings shall not be fed into chippers.


Small branches shall be fed into chippers with longer branches or by being pushed with a long stick.  Never push small branches in with body parts!


Hands or other parts of the body shall not be placed into the infeed hoper.  Leaning into or pushing material into the infeed hoppers with feet is prohibited.

While material is being fed into the chipper infeed hopper chute, pinch points continually develop within the material being chipped and between the material and machine. The operator shall be aware of this situation and respond accordingly.


When feeding a chipper during roadside operations, the operator shall do so in a manor that prevents him or her from stepping into traffic or being pushed into traffic by the brush  that is being fed into the chipper.


When using a winch in chipper operations, the operator shall insure that the winch cable is properly stored before initiating chipper operations.


Please refer to section 3.2 Brush Chipper for additional information.


Limbing and Bucking

Work plans for limbing and bucking operations shall be communicated to all workers in a job briefing before work begins.


When more than one worker is limbing or bucking a tree, each shall be positioned and their duties organized so that the actions of one will not create a hazard for any other worker.


Chain saws should be operated away from the vicinity of the legs and feet. Natural barriers, such as limbs between the saw and the body, should be employed where possible, while ensuring proper balance. While operating a chainsaw, the preferred working position is on the uphill side of the work.


The worker shall make sure of firm footing before and during limbing and bucking.

The worker shall not stand on loose chunks or logs that will roll when the log being bucked is sawed off.


Trees, limbs, or saplings under tension shall be considered hazardous. Appropriate cutting techniques and precautions shall be followed.


Wedges should be used as necessary to prevent binding of the guide bar or chain when bucking trunks of trees.


Cant hooks or peaveys should be used as an aid in rolling large or irregular logs to complete bucking.


If mechanized equipment is to be used, the equipment operator shall establish an effective means of communication with other workers (see subsection 6.4).


Workers shall not approach mechanized equipment operations until the equipment operator has acknowledged that it is safe to do so.




General Safety Procedures That Apply to All Tree Work



Before lifting any weight, workers should


(a) be sure there is a clear path available if the weight is to be carried from one place to another;


(b) decide exactly how the object should be grasped to avoid sharp edges, slivers, splinters, or other factors that might cause injury;

(c) make a preliminary lift to be sure the load can be safely handled;


(d) place feet solidly on the walking surface;


(e) crouch as close to the load as possible, with legs bent at an angle of about 90 degrees;


(f) lift with the legs, not the back, keeping the weight as close to the body as possible;



(g) use additional workers or material-handling equipment when necessary.




Addendum 1.




Outdoor Heat Stress

Prevention Program


Policy Statement


This program was developed to protect employees from hazards posed by working in the outdoor environment.  Renaissance Tree Care is committed to preventing heat related illnesses that can occur to employees working outdoors by:


  • Identifying, evaluating and controlling potential exposure to extreme temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors.
  • Providing drinking water
  • Providing supervisor and employee training
  • Establishing heat-related emergency procedures


Program Scope and Application


This program applies when employees and students are exposed to outdoor heat at or above the following temperature and clothing action levels.



Outdoor Temperature & Clothing Action Levels
All other clothing 89° F
Double-layer woven clothes including coveralls, jackets and sweatshirts 77° F
Non-breathing clothes including vapor barrier clothing or PPE such as chemical resistant suits 52° F



Outdoor work includes any employee assigned to work in the outdoor environment on a regular basis.


This program does not apply to incidental exposure which exists when an employee is not required to perform a work activity outdoors for more than fifteen minutes in any sixty-minute period.


Note: It is possible outdoor heat related illness might result at temperatures below the action levels when employees have not acclimatized to sudden and significant increases in temperature and humidity.  Supervisors, employees should monitor for sign and symptoms of outdoor heat related illness when there is a significant and sudden increase in temperature.




Program Responsibility


Units are responsible for implementing this program as part of their Accident Prevention Program.  Supervisors are responsible for encouraging employees to frequently consume water or other acceptable beverages to ensure hydration.

Employees are responsible for monitoring their own personal factors for heat related illness including consumption of water or other acceptable beverages to ensure hydration.


Evaluating and Controlling Outdoor Heat Stress Factors


In addition to outdoor temperature, supervisors should evaluate other potential heat stress factors.  These factors include:


  • Radiant Heat (Example: Reflection of heat from asphalt, rocks, or composite roofing material, or work in direct sunlight)
  • Air Movement (Example: Wind blowing and temperature above 95° F)
  • Conductive Heat (Example: Chipping)
  • Workload Activity and Duration (Examples: Hand sawing, digging with a shovel)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (Examples: Chaps, gloves and Helmet)

Supervisors should attempt to control outdoor heat stress factors when feasible.  Controls to consider include:

  • Taking breaks in a shaded area (building, canopy and under trees)
  • Starting the work shift early (when daylight begins) and ending the shift early and/or not working outside during the hottest part of the day.
  • Removing personal protective equipment such as Chaps, gloves and Helmet breaks
  • Using cooling vests or headbands



Drinking Water


Sufficient quantity of potable drinking water will be provided and made accessible to employees.  At least one quart of water per employee per hour will be available. Water can be found at the following locations:

  • Clients outdoor faucet
  • Asking the client for water
  • Leaving the job site to replenish water supplies


Procedures for Responding to a Heat-Related Illness


Supervisors will respond to heat-related illness in a quick and safe manner.  The table below outlines the potential types of heat-related illnesses, signs and symptoms and specific first aid and emergency procedures.  The information should be present at all work sites where outdoor work activities are conducted.


Employees experiencing signs and symptoms of a heat-related illness are to cease work and report their condition to their supervisor.  Employees showing signs or demonstrating symptoms of heat-related illness are to be relieved from duty and provided sufficient means to reduce body temperature.  Employees experiencing sunburn, heat rash or heat cramps will be monitored to determine whether medical attention is necessary. Emergency medical services will be called (911) when employees experience signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.




Heat-Related Illness First Aid and Emergency Response Procedures
Heat-Related Illness Signs and Symptoms First Aid and Emergency Response Procedures
  • Red, hot skin
  • Possibly blisters
  • Move to shade, loosen clothes
  • Apply cool compress or water to burn
  • Get medical evaluation if severe
Heat Rash
  • Red, itchy skin
  • Bumpy skin
  • Skin infection
  • Apply cool water or compress to rash
  • Keep affected area dry
Heat Cramps
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Grasping the affected area
  • Abnormal body posture
  • Drink water to hydrate body
  • Rest in a cool, shaded area
  • Massage affected muscles
  • Get medical attention in cramps persist
Heat Exhaustion
  • High pulse rate
  • Extreme sweating
  • Pale face
  • Insecure gait
  • Headache
  • Clammy and moist skin
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • CALL 911*
  • Provide EMS with directions to worksite
  • Move to shade and loosen clothing
  • Start rapid cooling with fan, water mister or ice packs
  • Lay flat and elevate feet
  • Drink small amounts of water to hydrate and cool body
Heat Stroke
  • Any of the above, but more severe
  • Hot, dry skin (25-50% of cases)
  • Altered mental status with confusion and agitation
  • Can progress to loss of consciousness and seizures
  • CALL 911*
  • Provide EMS with directions to worksite
  • Immediately remove from work area
  • Start rapid cooling with fan, water mister or ice packs
  • Lay flat and elevate feet
  • If conscious give sips of water
  • Monitor airway and breathing, administer CPR if needed



*In remote areas specific procedures might be required to move or transport employees to a place where they can be reached by emergency medical services.




Supervisor Training


Prior to supervising employees working in outdoor environments with heat exposure at or above the action levels supervisors will receive training in the following topics:


  • The content and procedures contained in this program.
  • Procedures listed in this program the supervisor will follow if an employee or student shows signs and symptoms consistent with possible heat-related illness.
  • Specific procedures, if necessary, describing how to move or transport employees and students to a place where they can be reached by emergency medical services.
  • Information provided to employees.


Employee Training


Employees who may be exposed to outdoor heat at or above the action levels are to be trained on the following topics:


  • Environmental factors that might contribute to the risk of heat-related illness (temperature, humidity, radiant heat, air movement, conductive heat sources, workload activity and duration, and personal protective equipment)
  • Personal factors that may increase susceptibility to heat-related illness (age, degree acclimatization, medical conditions, drinking water, consuming alcohol, caffeine use, nicotine use and use of medications that affect the body’s response to heat.
  • The importance of removing heat retaining personal protective equipment, such as non-breathable chemical resistant clothing, during breaks.
  • The importance of frequent drinking of small quantities of water.
  • The importance of acclimatization.
  • The different types and common signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.
  • The procedure for immediately reporting signs and symptoms of heat-related illness in themselves, co-workers or students to their supervisor or person in charge.


Refresher Training


Supervisors, employees covered by this program are to receive annual refresher training.



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Wind and Tree Service in Bellingham WA

You get your timber to the mill in the best sizes possible.Got a referral call yesterday about 4:30 p.m. from a home owner who was concerned about a tipping douglas-fir.  The heavy rain followed by strong winds apparently caused the tree to up-root and fall over a couple feet.  You could see where the root ball was coming up through the ground.  Wasn’t enough time to do much before dark so I re-arranged my schedule and said I’d be there in the morning.

By the time I was leaving Lynden for the job, the wind was kicking.  Gust up to 50 mph, and a nice steady rain.  At least it was warm though.  Stopped at the 76 in Lynden for diesel for the chipper and headed for Yew St. 

After looking at the tree, I thought it would be a good idea to shore it up.  I did not want to climb it, looked like the extra weight could cause it to go over.  Carry a 50′ one inch rope for such things as this.  Climbed around 30′ and tied off, came down and climbed up another douglas fir 20 feet away and secured the rope.  At least this way if the fir went over it would swing around and miss the road.  San Jaun Blvd is a pretty busy side road. Better that the tree not smash into it.  

Let the wind blow, and it did.  Monkeyed up the tree next to the one I was removing.  Another fir and close enough that I could do the cutting while in it.  

Leaned over and took off branches as I ascended up towards the top of the dangerous tree.  Once I got within 20 feet of the top I yelled for Steve to send up a lowering rope.  Put it through the tree I was on and tied it to the dangerous fir.  At this point the wind is whipping the trees back and forth two to three feet.  Was concerned that the swirling nature of the wind would cause the top to come back in my direction, so I practiced my escape maneuver a couple times before making the cuts.  Put the face cut in, then brought the back cut up close enough that the wind would break it over.  This gave me time to jump into my safety position has the top came over.  The wind calmed, I waited, and then blow she did and the top came floating over, hanging on the lowering rope.  Steve gave it slack and slowly lowered the 20 foot top safely to the ground.

Bucked it all up into firewood size and loaded it on the truck.  If you one to buy firewood here’s a few things to consider.  Buying firewood

The fun wasn’t over.   The trees are moving hard and jolting back and forth.  I leaned over and cut in a few inches then came around and cut from the back toward the hinge, leaving just enough that I could break it off myself and control where it landed.  The pieces were around three feet.  Slam right into the drop zone.  Piece by piece until I couldn’t reach the cuts anymore from the tree I was tied into.  I felt, pretty good, about putting my weight onto the removal fir and it not tipping over.  So after I set up my repelling line, I swung 176over the fir and held on free hand.  Didn’t want to secure myself to the tipping tree in-case it fell over.  The angles and the force of the wind held me right in place to take enough pieces off that Steve could fall it.

Left a pull rope in the top and swung 10 feet back to the other fir.  Came on down and got out of the way so Steve could finish it up.  

That was probably in the top 5 for windy tree service work.  Don’t recommend it and usually won’t do it but for combat pay, I’ll get’er done!   

Tim Bento Owner
DigLynden Tree Service

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Selective Limbing verses Topping Trees

Working on tops in Lynden WA

Working on tops in Lynden WA

Topping trees is a heated topic in the tree industry.  I have met other tree professionals that will not top trees under any circumstance, and others that have no problem lopping off 30′ of a giant doug fir or cedar.

For some reason here in Whatcom County we haven’t pursued selective limbing as an option to topping.  Selective limbing is exactly what it sounds like; taking out selective limbs to improve the health of the tree, let more light into an area, and reduce the sail affect of the top. Thus reducing the risk of the top breaking out.

Personally, I am not excited about having a large tree next to the house. I have seen where branches have gone through roofs during storms, trees tip over and crush through houses, branches spear through roofs, gutters damaged, and gutters and roofs destroyed from moss and debris.  Thank goodness I wasn’t the cause of any of these events.   With proper branch removal, a homeowner can reduce the chances of these events happening.  There is no way to eliminate the treat but you can really reduce the chances.

Trees have characteristics that are common with each other.  Maples for example, will shed a huge branch, do mostly to the excess weight of the branch.  It may be as healthy of a tree as can be, but the weight distribution causes the branch to break off.  Poplars will loose stems that can become spears on the way down and puncture right through roofs.  Willows will have branches break off, just like the maple.  And birch and alders will start to die from the tops and large pieces will eventually break off.

By removing key branches, trees can be made to enjoy a long life and create a safer environment for your family.  

A lot of times trees are shaped and reduced to keep the tree from growing over roofs, roads, and the mess the leaves make cause many people to want to just eliminate the whole tree.  At least by just reducing the size of the tree, it can remain for years of enjoyment.

Wildwood Resort called us last January and we spent seven weeks limbing 200 cedars.  The cedars were so full of branches that the resort would be dark by 3:00pm everyday.  Now the light shines through, and the trees have more resources to improve the health of what’s remaining.  

Topping trees can get contentious between neighbors.  Recently we were asked about topping and thinning some douglas firs in Lynden, WA.  The neighbor with the most concern spoke with the contractor before buying the home and was assured the firs would be taken out.  He and his wife went away for a couple of weeks just after purchasing the home and when they returned the foundation for the home next to them was in but the trees were not gone.  When the contractor was asked about why he didn’t remove the trees he just said he changed his mind.  Well, that has resulted in this couple being terrified every wind storm.  The doug firs are not very big yet but they will be.  They are around 80′ tall right now.  There are nine of them in a row between the houses.  Pretty unusual for firs to break out tops but it happens and the concerned neighbor doesn’t want the top of one of them to come crushing down through the house. Don’t think that will happen but can’t blame him for being concerned.  The owner of the trees says let them grow.  Terrible place for a row of doug firs but they’re hers to do with as she likes.DigLynden.jpg

So at the end of the day, I am for doing what the property owner wants done. I give my recommendations, which seldom involves topping, and go from there.  

Hope you’re having a great day. If we can help with any of your tree service needs, just call. 360-318-9795 and schedule a free estimate.

Thank you….


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Log Homes in Bellingham WA and Whatcom County

Log Homes 1 Log Homes 2 Log Homes 3


Log Homes around the Bellingham WA and Whatcom County Area   

True Log Homes is located 15 minutes from Bellingham WA.  Friendly owners, and willing
to design your dream.     

                                                                                      Log homes have been used in  many locations flourishing with easily accessible tree, from the frontier cabins to present day abodes. Not only are they resourceful, but also are splendid in appearance and efficient in storing heat. Sometimes fortunately, other times not so much, log houses can very just as easily as other types of houses, such as in the wood used, the price rang of the wood, the insulation of the wood, and, though unforgettable, the unparalleled beauty. 

If one ever decides to construct a log home, he would have to determine his wood species to use. In such a scenario, two are commonly used. The first is the Eastern White Pine. The Eastern White Pine is responsible for the “camping” feeling in a home. It’s a creamy, tan color and is remarkably sturdy in defending a house. This species, replete in knots, can also enhance the feeling of “camping”. Another useful addition is its capability of being stained in almost any color because of its white shade and fails to warp easily.

The second most popular tree species constructed in log homes is the Western Red Cedar. In the scientific family of Cupressaceae, it runs darker than Eastern White Cedar, hence its name. This wood is typically more expensive, though in exchange has some convincing benefits. For one, all cedars are insect resistant, creating unique advantage over other woods. Secondly, it possesses a rich figured grain and the knots are smaller and less concentrated together than white pine. Though these two types aren’t the only wood used, virtually any good-sized tree species wood work. Many other different kinds are used too. Besides wood benefits, prices affect the buyer just as much as the wood. 

Bellingham Tree Service

Going to the mill!

Wood homes, by one calculation, are approximately fifteen percent more expensive than a conventional home. Four standard series form the pricing of log homes: craftsman, tradesman, cabin, and recreational. Craftsman can reach from $50,000 to almost $300,000 and is signatured by its open architectural post and beam-style roof and loft idea. Next, designed to be the least expensive by taking the best effectiveness of dimensional material, is the tradesman series. It spans $40,000 up to just about $200,000. Proceeding the tradesman is the cabin series. Taking you back to Little House of the Prairie, it appears as the classic, knotty, and rustic sort of log home. Strange as it may seem, it’s actually priced less than tradesman, from low as $30,000 through $70,000. Last is the recreational series. Being the lowest of all in price, it makes this fact by abiding with simple four-times-eight logs. It costs no more than $40,000 and as less as $20,000. Despite it sometimes being expensive, keeping a log home warm can save money and possibly pay for itself. 

R-value equals the measurement of thermal resistance; the strength of how well an object retains its heat. In relation to wood, its R-value is around 1.41 per inch. Therefore, a reliable six-inch softwood log has an R-Value fragments over eight.

In perspective of conventional wood stud walls with three and-a-half inches of insulation, sheathing, and wallboard, the R-value levels at R-14. Nonetheless, wooden logs can reach much thicker widths than stud walls, creating a rivaling R-value.

Air dried logs can still contain up to twenty percent water during construction, yet after a year or two, it slowly dries completely, resulting in a problem: shrinking logs. Air leaks are devastating when trying to conserve heat, and end up as nasty nuisances. To counter this, people have learned to se

ason the wood for as much as six months before used as building material. Also, people have discovered the best wood to use in avoiding these scenarios: cedar, spruce, pine, fir, and larch. Picking one of these is one of the rudimentary choices for building a log home. 

            In the construction process, wooden logs can be in the “D” shape, round, or square. A timber framing is required to hold the house together; this idea traced its original back to Greece, being a very Hellenistic style in architecture. One organization of lying the logs down is the Scandinavian Full-Scribe, or the “chinkless method”. The builders use the wood’s natural

You get your timber to the mill in the best sizes possible.

 geometry, excluding a small crescent cut at the bottom in order for the log below to fit nicely, and simply stack each log into making a wall. 

            Log homes, as back from the past one may look, are still appealing, satisfactory, and desired. No wonder we used them in the forest frontier!

This article was written exclusively for DigLynden Tree Service by Ryan Kelly and edited by DigLynden. 

Thank you for visiting our website. If we can help with any tree service needs, please call.

Tim Bento Owner

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Photo Gallery of doing tree service in Bellingham WA

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DigLynden Tree Service – Beetle Infestation

Hello Wildwood,

While working on helping the beauty and health of the trees over seven weeks, we noticed a considerable amount of trees stressed from beetles.  I found one of the beetles and gave it to Jan.  Here is an article from Arborage Magazine that explains the current problem.  Our estimation is that 25% of the cedar trees are infected.  Due to the amount of time the beetles have had to spread, treatment may be futile and removal of all infected trees may be best solution.  Doing nothing will allow the beetle to continue to spread.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve your community.  The grounds look wonderful.

Tim Bento Owner DigLynden Tree Service

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Bellingham WA Tree Service is very competetive!

A solid reputation, DigLynden Tree Service Here we are taking out 20 130′ White Firs in a backyard.

DigLynden Tree Service 360-318-9795 knows doing tree service in Bellingham WA is tough.  I have seen at least seven good size companies serving Bellingham go out of business.  The question is what makes a tree service company successful and what kills it?

After nine years in business you get a good sense of the pulse of your industry.  The tree service industry is filled with interesting characters and situations.

One company does estimates in Bellingham in his $50,000 fairly brand new truck.  Very successful, and you pay for it.  About 30% higher than the rest of us, and for one reason.  Because of a solid reputation and time in the tree service business around Bellingham WA, his schedule is usually busy.  Although he was running two crews, but now is back to one, they are usually working consistently.  Having three weeks of business lined up and more estimates waiting means you can charge more, and win less estimates, and still do good.  The service isn’t any better than the other professional tree service companies in Bellingham but you get the privilege of paying the highest prices out there.

I had something I think is pretty funny happen last week with one of my competitors.  DigLynden Tree Service is now running two crews, so I tried hiring one of my competitors to chip up one of the jobs going on.  If it worked I could leverage their equipment and grow even faster, was my idea anyway.  I should have know something was wrong when the owner quoted me $70.00 per hour, including two of his employees, a chipper and a chip truck.  Well, I was told that the two guys chipping were obviously in no hurry, and even looked like they were stalling, but it gets better.  

DigLynden Tree Service can help you make money with your timber. Even a few trees can be worth a lot of money.

The owner quoted me 4.5 hours, about $360, I said fine.  The next day I was at the job finishing it up, he came by and I wrote him a check.  During the chipping the day before the neighbor came over and asked one of DigLyndens’ ground crew for an estimate. Steve told her that I would be over tomorrow to do the estimate.  I guess she told her husband to expect us to come over and give them an estimate to remove a birch tree in the back yard. After the owner of the tree service company got his check for the chipping, he went over to his truck, got a clip board, went up to the door, said hi, the home owner came out and my competitor did the estimate.  I am sitting right across the street working, and watching this happen right before my eyes.  One of his employees told him about the lady coming over and asking for an estimate and he must have thought, all’s fair in love and war.  I should have known a guy that rents his chipper on craigs’ list for $100 a day, wasn’t all there.  Oh well, won’t ever be calling him back for more chipping jobs.  Too bad, it could have been a good start of a mutually beneficial relationship.  Glad I found out early about his character and business ethics.

Ok, you’re asking, “so what, what’s the point”?  DigLynden Tree Service is growing and now has seven employees.  We are growing because we fair, focus on safe practices, and work great as a team, with an attitude to deliver the best service in the tree service industry.  As our schedule has grown three weeks out, we have kept out prices the same.  We feel in the long run, it will pay off.  

Ya, doing tree service in Bellingham WA is competitive, but with the right business practices it can be a wonderful business to operate.  We love it!

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J&H Storage Tree and Excavating Estimate

The value of the 30 to 40 trees should bring between $2,000 and $3,000.  The size of most of the trees is minimal in producing timber value.  

Job Description:

Remove all trees on the “island” and up to four more of your choice.  

Chip all branch material.  The cost includes as much dumping of the branch material on site

Chips Ahoy!

as possible.

Customer to rent excavator for one week.  DigLynden will provide operator and  dump truck for removal of stumps and dirt.  Any stumps and dirt that needs to be removed from site, will be taken to other location.

Dirt mound where trees are will be brought down to even level with rest of parking lot.

The investment for this improvement is $7,500.00, tax will be added to $5,500.00.  Cost includes $2,000 for excavator.


We appreciate this opportunity.  Let us know what you need to make it happen.

Tim Bento 
DigLynden Tree and Tractor Services 


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Huge Fir Limbs Tree Service Bellingham WA

Worked on a huge Douglas Fir today, getting some limbs away from power lines and avoiding fences. Great day to do tree service work in Bellingham.

Overlooking Lake Whatcom today on Poplar Drive in Bellingham Wa, DigLynden Tree Service 360-318-9795 wasn’t too high but boy the branches were ginormous.

The base of this Douglas Fir was 10′ around, and the limbs started about 25′ up. Used a ladder to get up to a more manageable height.  Threw my flipline around the tree and caught it with the teeth of my hand saw.  Brought it in and popped the clip on my belt. Off the ladder and up the tree I went.

The main issue was power lines running through the tree.  I was blessed to have the power lines on the side with the least amount of limbs to remove.  A few of the branches were 25′ long and  15″ at the tree.  Pretty simple procedure.  I like to throw my lowering rope over a nice big branch above the one I am planning on lowering, then, because I leave a small stump when I cut off a branch, I use the stump to wrap the lowering line around seven times.  Nothing moves seven wraps.  I wanted to direct the break of the branch away from the power lines, so I placed a face cut  wedge centered toward the intended direction and came through with the back cut right toward the intended direction. It’s just like felling a tree on the ground.  Same technique. 

Although it would have been fun, the home owner said I could crush a dilapidated shed in

Not sure if you can see the limbs but they were the size of small trees. 25′ to 30′ foot branches and 15″ at the cut.

the kill zone, but it would have been harder to dig the tree branches out of the shed debris, so we got them down slow and gently.

Filled the truck to the brim with chips.  Got the perfect place for them.  Great sunny, warm September day in Bellingham WA, in Silver Beach area.  Awesome view of Lake Whatcom. 

If you are in need of an estimate for tree service in Bellingham WA, or anywhere in Whatcom County, please call 360-318-9795.  

Thank you,  here’s what the day looked like to me: 

Tim Bento – Climber/Owner DigLynden Tree Service

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15th Street – DigLyndenTree Service Bellingham WA

First hot week of the summer and DigLynden Tree Service 360-318-9795 was on a good size tree service job in Bellingham WA.

The lead came in the form of a text. First lead by text, but it will probably be normal in the next few years. We had a couple text back and forth, went over to South Hill, a pretty area overlooking Bellingham Bay, to see what the investment of removing the trees would be, and sent over an estimate.

After eight years of estimating, you really get a feel for where the market is, time involved, any value in the wood, and how to put it all together so that everyone wins. I estimated this job around $1,200.00, which was aggressive for this tree service job.

We try to use every piece of wood the best way we can.

The trees included a Noble Fir that had a base on it of 50” across the trunk. It was a shorty, but the 10’ was worth some money. Well at least I thought it was. I asked a sawmill owner to come and take a look and see if the trees had value and he did and said yes. Great, that meant I could call in Precision Crane and have the wood taken off the job for at least a break even, and something other than firewood could be done with the wood.

Back to that part of the tree job in minute. The work was in the alley of 15th Street in Fair Haven. As I was working a lady came out and said, “in Germany we have to get permits to take down trees,” and went into how awful it is that people can cut trees down any time they want. I said that’s why my ancestors left Europe. Our constitution is mainly about the right of property ownership. And as a society we still believe that if I buy property and want to cut down the trees, it’s my property.  Keep in mind, sometimes I suggest to people not to cut their trees down.

I found out later that another neighbor’s boy, 20, was listening in his yard. His Mom came out and patted me on the back for taking the stand that I did. Turns out she is Patty Brooks’s sister, whose Facebook page I comment on a lot about these same sorts of concerns.

We give lots of woodchips away. Bellingham and Whatcom County residents can call DigLynden and be placed on a list.

When I got back to the tree job Wednesday morning, I set up to start chipping branches and I got nailed by a wasp. Looked closer and there was a ginormous paper wasp nest 5 feet away from where I was standing. Asked my gardener friend for some help and she said that she knew the bees were there and deserved to live out their lives in peace. Ok, but I said, “if they bite me again I am going to kill them.” Thankfully the noise and smell of the chipper must have numbed them, because they never bothered me again. I hate bees, other than eating their tasty honey.

Back to the tree job. Tuesday afternoon a neighbor down the alley a bit asked for the wood. I said no problem, take all you want. Wednesday morning when I returned to the tree work the wood was still there. Bummer; so I loaded up all the rounds and small pieces that were left. Some of the pieces were over 100lbs. First week of tree work in the Bellingham area during the heat of summer. Was feeling it too. Pretty exhausted loading the wood, I get to the last three or four rounds and he shows up. Oh well, I gave him all he wanted. Matt, nice guy, got his number for more throw away firewood in the future.

I tried to give the woodchips away on facebook, but didn’t get any takers, and I needed to dump them to be able to get the wood home. Enemies are just friends waiting happen, so I asked the gardener, who one side of the street doesn’t have many nice words to say about, if she would like them for herself or a customer. No, but the wall was knocked down between us. She came over a little while later and we had an enjoyable conversation about gardening and places to buy organic food in Bellingham WA. Out of all the people on the job, she turned out as pleasant as any of them.

Finished up the work, and left nothing but the smell of trees. Another good tree job in Bellingham, met nice people, saw great views, and enjoyed the hard work.

Thanks for taking a moment to read about this week’s tree service job, we look forward to helping you with your project.

Tim Bento Owner/Climber


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Getting lots of estimates for tree service in Bellingham WA

360-318-9795 I was once told that you have to advertise to get tree service business in Bellinham WA, but how to do it is the million dollar question.

I started writing about DigLynden Tree Service a few months ago, and enjoy putting down on-screen the adventures of tree service work in Bellingham, WA.  Tomorrow we will be in Fair Haven, a small town just south of Bellingham WA, to remove a thick spruce and 4 or 5 little cedars.

The idea of letting people know about the tree service work we do in Bellingham is to go beyond just another paid commercial in a phone book or static website that gives our potential customers little to no feel for who we really are and the type of professional tree service work we are providing in Bellingham WA.

Eight years of tree service work and going strong.  We get most of our new business from referrals.  That says one thing about our tree service, it’s good!  Tree service is physically demanding and has many interesting facets to get the job done safe and professional.

Some of the tree service companies in Bellingham WA will tell you how quickly they can get the job done.  We tell you how safely we can get the job done, and because we use a different philosophy about equipment, our overhead is lower, and our pricing is aggressive. We have a great relationship with other tree service companies in Bellingham WA.  Sometimes we exchange leads when we are super busy and someone needs something done fast.

What is it about a tree service company in Bellingham WA that makes a new customer choose them.  A proven tract record, a prompt response to the estimate, a fair price, and answers to questions.

We use every type of tree service equipment there is available today for our work in Bellingham WA.  Bucket trucks, cranes, excavators, whatever the job demands.  

If you need an estimate for tree service work in Bellingham WA or anywhere in Whatcom County, give us a call at 360-318-9795 and you will see right from the first call a refreshing difference in how we respond to your tree service needs.

Tim Bento – Owner/climber

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Tree Service Bellingham WA DigLynden 360-318-9795

Wow, things happen fast in the tree business in Bellingham WA, DigLynden Tree Service finishes up one job and before we can leave the job site, the neighbor comes over to get a small project done.

Was on my way back to DigLynden’s company yard, and a neighbor was walking down the middle of the road. “Been meaning to come and say hi, can you help me with that hedge over there?”  I had the backhoe with me, so taking out the hedge was easy.  

Brought eight pretty good size laurel bushes home to plant “an instant hedge.” Love those!  Our neighbor has an industrial center going on in his back-yard and I have been trying to block some of the few for years.  Brought home some 15 foot cedars I tried to transplant.  They didn’t make it.  It’s so hard transplanting. But I keep trying. Maybe I’ll watch some youtubes on the process.  I know how, it’s just hard.  I go all over Bellingham WA and Whatcom County getting paid to take out different species of trees and plants and do my best to keep’em alive.  It’s a lot of fun. Been gardening for 20 years.

If you’re re-doing your landscaping in Bellingham WA, don’t throw those plants away.  Shoot me an email at and I’ll find time to come get them. There’s got to be some roots though. Not going to keep it alive if you just hack it off at ground level.

If the load is too big for you, give us a call 360-318-9795 and we’ll chip it up and haul it away.

The hedge I removed is Laurel.  This tree grows fast and big. Great hedge for Bellingham WA homes but you must maintain it or will it take over.

Laurels are a great hedge for homes in Bellingham WA. Just be prepared to maintain them in the spring or they will get big, fast.

Got them all planted this morning before heading out to take some small dead alders down for a long time customer on Everson Goshen Rd, just North of Bellingham WA about 5 miles.  Tomorrow I am going to wake up early and put B-1 on them. 

DigLynden Tree and Tractor Service

Tim Bento – Owner/climber

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Dangerous Alder: DigLynden Tree Service Bellingham WA

Not only was this tree service for an alder near Bellingham WA ugly, DigLynden Tree Service 360-318-9795 had to get it to the ground in the pouring rain. 

The day was full of hard work.  The initial estimate, from Sally; whom we had done tree service for a couple weeks ago on South Bay Drive in Bellingham, was for chipping up a pile of branches.  DigLynden Tree Service will do that kind of work but it is really tough.  Home owners don’t know how to stack branches and prep a pile for chipping, so what happens is it gets all tangled.  On top of that, they usually will throw all sorts of stuff in the pile that can’t  be chipped.  We found root balls with with two foot pieces coming out of it, wood with nails, rebar, metal, tons of dirt was thrown on the pile; it’s a nightmare.  Takes so much energy to pull the chipable branches out and you have to use a chainsaw to do the work, trying not to hit something that will destroy your chain.  Not good, but we got it done and they were happy, that’s all that matters in tree service work.

Next we pulled over three 30′ trees. A hemlock, and a couple cedars.  They were right next to their home and were leaning toward it.  Climbed up 20′, put a rope in the trees  and just pulled them over.  The last one had grown up into the next project, an alder tree, and caused it to roll out of the alder and fall off course but the margin for hitting the home was enough that it didn’t matter.  

Now the dangerous tree removal of the day.  This alder had broken off all of it’s top and was rotten in several places.  There were sheds on two sides.  Most of the tree had a favorable lean but I was concerned that the back branch may slap the roof.  Climbed up, removing the back branches as  I went, got to the top area of the tree and put a pull rope in it so we could come-a-long it to the desired lay.  Man, this tree did not want to cooperate.  The base was around 30″ and the lean looked like it was going my way.  Got the face cut of the alder tree set, and was hammering through the back cut and no movement.  Had set up a come-along on another tree 50′ away and went over to pull this bad boy down to the ground.  Pulled the come-a-long all the way in and still no tree on the ground.  Went to the truck to get a second come-a-long, ratcheted four full pulls, and still no tree on the ground. This is where it gets scary. 

The back cut of the alder tree was up three inches, too high to lift it over with a wedge but the silly thing just did not want to go toward the lay.  Barber chair to the max, very dangerous situation.  Went back to the tree with a Husky 385 with a 32″ bar to nip that

Dangerous Alder Tree Service Removal near Bellingham WA

back cut a little more.  That’s spooky stuff.  Nailed it just a bit and got out of there.  Still no movement when I left the base of the tree.  With some hard pulls, the alder tree finally gave up the fight and came crashing to the lay. 


We bucked all the wood up as a courtesy to the customer, and cleaned up the debris.  All in the pouring rain.  It rained from start to finish on this Bellingham tree removal.  

DigLynden Tree and Tractor Service offers a variety of services.  Please take a moment to see what else, besides tree service work, we can do for you.

Thanks, hope you’re having a great day!

Tim Bento – Owner of DigLynden Tree and Tractor Service
360-318-9795 or

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Stump Grinding North of Bellingham WA at the Lynden KOA

DigLynden Complete Tree Service - Bellingham WA and all Whatcom County

Had an easy day today stump grinding north of Bellingham in Lynden WA. One of our repeat customers, think this is the fourth time we have been back, asked DigLynden Tree Service to get a small lot in Lynden ready for grass for a volley-ball play area for the kids.

Yesterday we got it rototilled and today we finished off a stump that the home owner had started. The lot is ready to go. Pretty basic.

On the way home, we popped into the Lynden KOA to see if Marty might need any stumps removed. DigLynden Tree Service removed four birches last year and although he had been meaning to get to them, at least cutting them down to the ground, it hadn’t happened yet.

We have several choices to choose from when it comes to stump grinding and removal. A smaller unit for getting through fences and into backyards, a system that sits on a three point on our John Deere 790, and a Vermeer walk behind that can take on the big boys.
It’s always amazing how much debris is created in stump grinding. One of the extra values DigLynden Tree Service provides is the clean up and removal of all the debris. And there can be a pile. We filled a one ton with the debris many times.

There is a skill involved in stump grinding. The main thing is to be diligent. The debris has to be routinely raked back from the work area to make sure the entire stump is removed. We put tarps up to keep debris contained in the work area. And use a pitch fork to probe for remaining stump.

We’ve done stump grinding all over Bellingham and Whatcom County WA. Today in Lynden, tomorrow in Bellingham.

DigLynden Tree Service provides complete tree removal services. Check out the website to see what else we might be able to help you with this year. Thank you.

Tim Bento – Owner/Climber
p.s. threw in an estimate late in the afternoon and lined up another tree job, love it! 

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DigLynden Tree Removal Service 360-318-9795 Dangerous Cedar in Bellingham WA

Cedar needed to be removed for safety in Bellingham WA

DigLynden Tree Removal Service 360-318-9795 was at South Bay Drive, in Bellingham WA this week,  a beautiful location to do tree removal service. Even in a monsoon. It rained all day, from start to finish. Don’t remember being that soaked in my entire life.

I was hired to dismantle a 50’ cedar tree that had the potential of tumbling down over a retaining wall. The tree had a definite lean and needed to be removed for safety.
The original plan was to either chunk the tree down from the top or pull it back and drop it on the driveway. The driveway is rock so that wouldn’t have been a problem. There is a pole building in the way but enough room to bring the tree into the drop zone. One apple tree would have had to be moved and a lot of rigging to pull it back and over. And we still would have had to limb some of the large branches to insure not hitting the roof. As we were discussing which way to go with this tree removal, the neighbor’s wife came out into her carport and was watching. I yelled, “Taking down this tree today, care if we drop it on your property.” She said she would go get her husband.

Paul came out and we talked about where the tree would go and about the cleanup of the tree. With a green light we proceeded to bring the cedar tree down by felling it at the base. I hesitate to tell you how many trees Steve has felled but let’s just say it’s “a lot”. 13 years working for a commercial logging company, Steve, has thousands of knock downs.

"it's in the hole"

Our customer’s property sits 20’ about the location of where the tree would be for clean up. The contractors had put in a retaining wall made of huge boulders. When the tree came down, we were hoping that in would roll and or bounce to the ground, but it when the tip hit, the butt ended up staying on one of the boulders. This presented risk for getting the branches off. First we cleaned all the branches from under the tree. I wasn’t sure when the truck would come to haul the logs off and wanted to have that debris ready to chip in the meantime. We then took off all the branches. Because the tree was at an angle and getting under it to remove the branches would have been extremely dangerous, we used a gas powered pole saw to cut the branches off the bottom. With the last branch being cut off, the cedar tree rolled from its position and fell to the ground.

While we were chipping the branches, Paul, asked if we could drop two alders that were leaning over the house. Small trees, but because of where they were I had to climb them and cut them down from the top. Normally no problem but in the pouring rain it was a little more interesting. Got the alder trees on the ground and although I wasn’t asked to buck them up we did it as a friendly gesture. The use of Paul’s’ driveway was golden so it was appreciated with some extra service.

Your timber may be worth money, we can evaluate the value for you.

The removal of the trees to the mill was different on this job. A Couple of months ago I was working at Calvary Chapel Northwest on the Guide and needed some air in one of my tractor tires. Went down to Crazy Bob’s but guess he’s not crazy about air machines. Saw a guy working on a tow truck across the street and went over to ask him for some air for the tire. Mike is the owner of a towing company in Bellingham WA,

Advanced Towing of Bellingham WA diversifies into logging...

Advanced Towing of Bellingham WA diversifies into logging...



Advanced Towing. Nice guy, appreciated his help. Put a card of his in my wallet and plan to use him for my towing needs. Well, I have a constant desire to try to do things cheaper and more efficiently. The normal way to move logs is to use what is called a self loader. Runs $300 to $600 depending on where the logs are going. For two logs it is an expensive way to get them where you need them. Tow trucks run smaller engines and can get into places easier than the self loaders. Called Mike to see if he would be game to pull these cedar logs onto his deck and haul’em for me. He was, so with a 20,000 pound

Hauling cedar logs to the mill near Bellingham WA

Advanced Towing of Bellingham WA diversifies into logging...

capacity wench, Mike pulled the logs onto his truck. Beautiful! Cost me $100 and hopefully we got Mike another way to make some money with his trucks.

Advanced Towing of Bellingham is DigLynden’s towing company of choice. Put 360-255-3663 in your contacts under towing. 


We asked Paul if he wanted the chips and he did. Left him a huge pile of cedar chips for his weed defense. If you would like free woodchips, call us at DigLynden Tree Service and we will put you on a running list. When we are doing a job in your neighborhood, we’ll call to see if you still want them.

With the cedar tree all cleaned up, DigLynden Tree Removal Service pulled out, very wet, and headed for home base. 

We don’t always recommend you remove the tree in question but if it does need to come out, our estimates are free. We appreciate the call.

DigLynden Tree Removal Service 360-318-9795
Tim Bento

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