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  • Writer's pictureJulia Steele

Is Your Arborist Taking Enough Vacations?

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

From the She Trees Department of Recreation and Leisure.

Jon Ruff - hitting gnarly Bali waves

Your trees and property are important. When you are hiring an arborist or tree-lopper to maintain or remove your trees, questions worth asking your contractor asking may include:

Is your pricing competitive?

What are your qualifications and experience?

Are you insured?

Do you and your team have proper equipment and protective gear?

When is the last time you had a real vacation?

Okay, the first couple of considerations are straight forward; obviously Gold Coast home owners want the best price from a competent well-equipped and insured arborist. So why would vacation even come into the equation?

The tree maintenance industry is hard work! It requires equal parts intellect and physical effort. It takes knowledge and experience to provide clients with a proper prescription for the long term maintenance and health of their trees. Carrying out the work requires precise use of high powered saws and machinery. Finishing the job and cleaning up the clients yard is often just a physical grind. Day after day, week after week, month after month – doing good arborist work takes a mental and physical toll on any arborist, tree lopper, or grounds-worker. How can you expect to do your best if you’re running in the red for months on end without a real break? Furthermore, on a slightly philosophical note, how can a person expect to reach their full potential in life if all they do is work? I am currently working with Julia and undertaking my apprenticeship as an arborist, and I love doing arboriculture, but my priority is to find a balance between work and being a good husband and father. And surfing. What’s the point of all the godawful early mornings, sweat and stress, if I can’t have meaningful time with my family? How can I care about your trees if I never get to go surfing in Indonesia?

So I searched the interweb for “Sciencetific Reasons to Take a Vacation”, and can you believe it? Taking time off of work makes for a healthier more productive worker!

According to the American Psychological Association, vacations reduce stress by removing them from situations that they associate with stress and anxiety – such as being 30 meters in a tree with a chainsaw (where you will often find Julia). Further, a study from Vienna found that taking a vacation reduces stress-related physical complaints such as headaches, backaches, and heart irregularities.

Several studies have found that taking a vacation helps prevent heart disease. One study showed that men who skipped vacation for five consecutive years were 30% more likely to have a heart attack than those who took one week off each year. Studies found similar results with women: Women who took a vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop heart disease, have a heart attack, or die of a coronary-related cause than those who took at least two vacations a year.

Vacations improve productivity. In order to play the long game for success, workers need time off. In some cases, for every 10 hours of vacation time, workers are 8% more productive. Happy and healthy equals more productivity.

Taking a vacation can lead to better sleeping. Goodness knows that tree loppers need their sleep! By taking a vacation, sleep patterns get a reboot which leads to improved efficiency for time spent in bed. Better rest equals better work.

She Trees is currently on vacation – Julia and her partner are over in Europe to attend a wedding, and staying for a few weeks to poke around. I am in Bali where my wife and I are alternating between surfing, looking after bub and crushing Bin Tangs. It feels good to smell like the ocean instead of a two-stoke engine. We are enjoying a small glimpse of how other people make their way in the world, eating different food and spending time away from our normal (but very enjoyable) lives on the Gold Coast. When Julia and I get back from our respective vacations, we’ll be returning fresh as a couple of daisies and keen to push hard – I am confident that we’ll do even better work due to our time away. A happy arborist makes for a happy tree.

She Trees will be back in tree pruning & tree removing action on the 23rd of September.

Until Next Time,

Jon Ruff

Julia & Laura - sinking some of Berlin's finest brews

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