Show Me the Money

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CLC Tree Services was a finalist of the 2009 Business Integrity Award and winner of the 2010 Business Integrity award from the Better Business Bureau of Western Ontario

People sometimes wonder why the cost of tree services are so high. If you think about it, the price isn’t actually that extravagant. At CLC Tree Services, we try to set our prices fairly. We look at the cost of running the business, operating our machinery, keeping our certifications and licenses up to date, and paying our employees when we set our rates. You would be surprised how it adds up.

Work orders

Just some of the active work orders for clients

We have many clients. They all require an estimate before services are performed. Estimate are free, but they take time. At present we are booking estimates for tree assessment three weeks out. Once estimates are approved by the client for work to be performed, they are scheduled accordingly. Scheduling for tree services is running into November. That tells you how busy we are.

 

 

CLC work station

The work station where tools are kept, equipment is maintained, and the crew stores whatever else they need

Before the truck ever leaves the yard, tools need to be gathered, equipment needs to be cleaned and maintained, a schedule needs to be set in place to organize the timing of the work orders for the day, and of course the trucks need to be fuelled for a day spent driving around the city (have you seen the price of gas lately?). Some days there are 3-4 jobs scheduled and other days one big job fills an entire crew’s day.

Some days it depends upon the weather.

Christine hard at work

Christine Siemens answers your calls, schedules your estimates and tree work, and answers any questions you may have

 

When the weather is fine, the office manager Christine makes sure that the trucks are loaded and gone by 8 am. The crews are on the road til 5 pm. It is a long day, but they get their lunch break, as well as two 15 minute breaks during the day. It gets them their 40 hour work week, which makes them happy. We all need a pay cheque to make ends meet.

Not all days are filled with tree planting pruning, removal or fertilizing though. CLC Tree Services takes our business seriously. We are professional, from our first phone call, through our estimates and services performed. We work hard to ensure all of our equipment, large and small, is in working order. That goes for chainsaws, rakes, chippers, and trucks. Sometimes that equipment needs more maintenance than we can provide ourselves. That means that trucks or other large equipment has to go to the shop for repairs. Expensive, but part of the business.

CLC Tree Services takes Workplace Health & Safety seriously

Not only do CLC Tree Services employees have to have WHIMS certifications, they also need to keep on top of them. Manuals come in handy.

Our employees need a day in the shop sometimes too. That means re-certification, training days, and the occasional networking events for them as well. All employees have WHMIS training and workplace health and safety awareness certification. This past spring CLC Tree Services offered CPR training for all its staff members as well. Plus, our staff all come out to events like the LEA Craft Day, employee barbeques and the BBB Business Integrity Awards. We are all part of the team.

Calvin's Qualifications

Calvin McCallum is more than just a pretty face. He is a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture. He graduated from the Arboriculture program at Sir Sandford Fleming College. He even has a Supervisor Health & Safety Awareness certificate

Beyond regular certifications, there is further education and networking opportunities to fill the schedule. Calvin has more than a few qualifications to him. His Arboriculture Certification from the ISA needs to be updated every five years. The Arboriculture certificate he received from Sir Sandford Fleming College took two years and taught him many of the skills he now shares with new CLC employees. Being a Supervisor means a few more hours of training as well.

Add to that, Curt’s weekly networking functions at the London Executive Association, plus his membership in the Better Business Bureau where he sits on the Board of Directors. Anna Marie is no less active, with Christmas Decor conferences and webinars to attend regularly. Even Christine gets in on the action via her own networking groups.

Giving back to the community is a part of what CLC prides itself on

Giving back to the community is a part of what CLC prides itself on

If that wasn’t enough, CLC Tree Services also offers their time to worthy causes. They participate and sometimes organize the OCAA Day of Service every May. They helped out in Goderich after the tornado which struck in 2011. They were in Toronto cleaning up after the major ice storm last winter. Grand Bend had a tornado blow throw it this past summer that saw the crew in for another extended road trip to help clean up. Plus, closer to home they will be at the Veteran’s Memorial Parkway tree planting this October 4th, 2014 to help commemorate our veterans. Giving back to the community or those in need is just something that needs to be done. And CLC is proud to do it.

So why does CLC Tree Services charge what they do for their services? You should almost ask why they don’t charge more

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Ready for the Rake

Fallen leaves

Ready for the Rake

It’s that time of year again. The beautiful colours in the trees are slowly disappearing. The vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves are slipping from the trees they have called home and are drifting on the breeze.

Right onto your lawn.

Is your leaf blower gassed up? Better get at it. Its time to fire it up and start your yard cleanup.

Now leaf blowers aren’t an essential part of fall yard work. Some folks swear by their ability to blow fall leaves neatly into piles without getting their hands dirty. Other people appreciate the quiet rustle of a hand-powered rake that doesn’t pollute the environment with excess noise. Whichever camp you are in,  once those leaves are in piles you have to decide what to do with them.

Lucky for you, there are plenty of options.

What to Do With Fall Leaves

  • Stuff leaves, hedge trimmings, brush, and plants into paper yard waste bags or reusable containers and place them by the curb during your scheduled ‘Green Week’. Bundled branches are also collected. They must be less than 10 cm in diameter and cut into 1 meter lengths or less. The City of London notes the dates according to your zone in their Waste Reduction & Conservation Calendar, as well as on their website.
  • Alternately, you can drop off yard waste at one of London’s EnviroDepots locations. They accept grass clippings, branches, plants, brush and leaves. Don’t forget your pumpkins once Halloween is over! Check the website for pricing.

OR

  • Instead of thinking of those beautiful leaves as “waste”, why not use them for what Mother Nature intended them for – Compost! Fall leaves, mixed with grass clippings, plants, and other kitchen scraps, make for great material for your compost pile. They break down into a rich humus that can be added back to garden beds to enrich your soil next year.
  • Alternately, you can use those leaves as mulch around garden beds to insulate and protect your plants.
  • If you prefer to leave leaves where they fall, you should at least haul out your lawn mower and run over them to break them down. If they are left on your lawn, they can form thick mats that suffocate the grass underneath. Once shredded, they break down quickly, returning essential nutrients back into the soil.

The best part about these last options are that they are free. Better than that, they enrich your soil without costly fertilizers or pesticides. Never fear though. For those of you without leaf piles to be proud of, you can always head to one of London’s EnviroDepot’s or TryRecycling in the spring to buy some of the leaves that were collected this fall – in the form of Compost!

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Preparation for Changing Seasons

Autumn Oak Leaves

The red in those leaves is a sure sign that summer is gone

The changing colours of leaves is a sign. You might not want to accept it, but winter is on the way. And it is time to prepare for it.

Shorts are a memory. Gloves have been dug out of storage for little hands. Touques have even been added to fair-weather heads in need of protection. Rain boots are handy now, but winter footwear will be de rigueur before you know it. Are you ready?

firewood in the making

Time to cut up some firewood

For those with fireplaces, it is time to grab your chain saws and restock the wood pile. If you use that fireplace as a source of heat, you will want to make sure it lasts you through to spring. Who knows if we’ll see another cold winter like last year’s, with the polar vortex that put North America into an icy deep freeze.

If you are without chainsaw or tree lot to carve up, then better check for local firewood for sale pronto before it is gone. And please don’t fall for ads claiming that firewood is free – if you take it down yourself! Leave tree removal to the experts and pay the worthwhile fee for a pre-cut face cord. It’s worth it.

Christmas Wreaths

Cheery colours of Christmas Decor

With your firewood stacked, you can settle in for winter. Leave the fall cleanup of the garden to Mother Nature. The winter interest of sedums and grasses add a nice touch and those leaves make a perfect mulch at the base of trees.

As for pulling out the ladder to put up your Christmas lights, why bother? Leave the Christmas decorating to Christmas Decor London this year. We have fully trained staff to do the job safely and effectively for you. With durable, professional grade LED lights, a wide variety of outdoor decor items like wreaths, garlands and more, plus the knowledge that our staff will install, maintain and remove the decor for you, why wouldn’t you contact Christmas Decor London? We even carry liability insurance to protect your home or business in the unlikely event of injury or damage to your property. That is the best peace of mind during the stress that comes along with the holiday season.

Book your appointment today with Anna Marie to discuss your Christmas Decor needs. Only 10 weeks til Christmas!

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Time for Training

Christmas Decor Training

Time for Training!

Christmas Decor never sleeps!

You might be busy planning your Thanksgiving feast for this weekend, but Anna Marie had other activities on the go this week. This week she headed to Toronto for some training for Christmas Decor London.

Storage for Christmas Decor customers

Which box of Christmas Decor is yours?

Christmas Wreaths

These pretty wreaths are just waiting to be installed

There might be wreaths and boxes of lights in Christmas Decor London‘s storage facility, but there are plenty of new products available to add to customers displays. So Anna Marie hit the road to see in person what might interest her clients, new and returned.

Christmas Tree

Just add electricity and this festive tree will light up your world

Christmas Decor takes the business of design seriously. Not only do they have franchises across the United States, but they also have companies in British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Christmas Decor London is just one of those franchises.

All those businesses require training in how to install and sell Christmas products. Regional training helps to support them in that, plus adds the bonus of a boost in camaraderie between local franchises. Anna Marie made sure to book her spot far in advance.

Awaiting bulbs

Just add LED bulbs and let your Christmas Decor shine!

Anna Marie has returned to London with a little more pep in her step. She has seen the newest products and gotten the scoop on how to add them into design plans. It doesn’t hurt rubbing shoulders with other Christmas Decor franchises either. In person training provides that opportunity to  chat with others to see what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes it is those first-hand stories that make all the difference to your own business.

Now all Anna Marie has to do is talk to you! Call her today at (519) 685-0220 to set up an appointment to discuss your Christmas Decor plans. While installations begin after Thanksgiving, when you flip on the light show is up to you.  You can be sure that she’ll make your home or business a festive delight.

Decorating your home is easy with Christmas Decor London

Decorating your home is easy with Christmas Decor London

 

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Trees and Fungi: A Strong Relationship

Birch trees

Decaying birch trees

What creatures still use this dead tree stump?

What creatures still use this dead tree stump?

While the death of a tree can be a sad thing for its loss of shade, oxygen production and carbon dioxide consumption, it is not all bad. Not only do dead trees still make for good homes for insects and subsequent food sources for the birds and mammals that eat them, but they still provide perches for birds and homes for other mammals. If they are left to decay naturally, they also eventually break down and provide nutrients for other plant life.

One of the interesting helpers in that process is the humble fungi. Not all mushrooms grow on dead wood and many mushrooms can only be found near specific kinds of trees. Most of them have some kind of association with trees though.

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These look like tiny common puffballs to me

Fungi are broken down into categories based on how they feed; saprophytes, parasites, mycorrhizals. Saprophytes are the decomposers. They feed on leaves and dead trees. Examples are morels, oysters, maitake, and giant puffballs. Parasites attack living tissues and often spell death for the host plant. Honey fungus and Lion’s mane are a few types of parasitic fungi. Mycorrhizals also grow on living hosts, but have a mutually beneficial relationship with them. They help the plant to absorb water and nutrients, while taking their own nutrients from the plant. Interestingly, farmers and horticulturists often use mycorrhizal fungi to benefit their crops. Chanterelles, porcinis and truffles all fall into this category and are all edible.

Mushroom

Could this possibly be a hen in the woods?

With 10,000 different species of mushrooms classified and potentially many more as yet undiscovered by mycologists, it is hard to fully appreciate this kingdom. There are edible mushrooms and poisonous. Some are used in the medical field, while others can take you on a psychedelic trip to another world! There are subtle differences between many mushrooms, so whether you want to eat, avoid or just plain identify a fungi, it is best to have a guide handy.

At CLC Tree Services we know our trees. Mushrooms on the other hand are a little trickier. We have seen plenty though. Could you help us identify some of these fungi found right here in London, Ontario? Give us a hand Mycologists and budding mushroomers! What are these marvellous mushrooms called?

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Absolutely awesome and unique. No idea though. Help!

Looks kind of like a bolete to my uncertain eye

Looks kind of like a bolete of some sort to my uncertain eye

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Appears to be a type of Cup fungus

The caps have distinct edges and you can clearly see gills underneath. I'd guess not edible, but not at the type of fungi here

The caps have distinct edges, bulbous stems, and you can clearly see gills underneath. I’d guess not edible, but not at the type of fungi here. Do you know?


Note that CLC Tree Services are not professional mycologists. We recommend that you positively identify any mushrooms you come across before ever eating them. Many are delicious and edible, but some can be deadly. If in doubt, don’t eat it!

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