January 5, 2008


Welcome to the New Year and more rain… It is wintertime and we usually find ourselves trapped indoors and only making it out to the garden to assess storm, rain, wind and frost damage. This week we repeat some stories on trees and winter tips, but we also check out a great winter plant and we tour a local chainsaw museum.

This week we feature...

Chainsaw Museum

We traveled to Amboy, Wash. to visit the private chainsaw museum of Wayne Sutton. Wayne is the representative of Stihl tools and began collecting chainsaws years ago. He now has one of the biggest collections in the country. He took us on a private tour of his collection and showed us the evolution of the chainsaw and how it has changed over the years. Of course, one of the first chainsaws was a Stihl and they are still the leader after all these years. If you would like to see Wayne’s collection or learn more about it, drop him an e-mail at

Plant Pick – Pyracanth

Our plant pick this week is a great plant in any season. The pyracantha is an evergreen shrub that is grown for its foliage and its fruit. During the winter months it is a great natural food source for the local bird population. It has plentiful orange or red fruit. It is also a great plant for culturing, because it can easily be pruned to any shape or espaliered. The 2 varieties we featured were from Drake's 7 Dees (503-256-2223). They were Red Elf and Graber’s pyracantha. One word of caution, it is also known as ‘firethorn’ because of its needlelike thorns. Remember to wear your gloves!

Winter Tool Safety Tips

The storms have passed, for now, and it is time to head out into your garden to clean-up the damage. Before you head out we have some tips from Wayne Sutton of Stihl Tools to help you get ready. Wayne talked about the safety issues involved in using power equipment to get the job done. Always use some form of ear, eye and body protection. Using a power tool also means that you should be aware of your surroundings. Keep all the spectators, kids and pets away from your work area, even if you have protection they can be injured by flying pieces of debris. If you encounter any type of power line that has fallen, or you are working on a weak tree near a power line, call the power company. They are experts in dealing with those situations. Finally, if you encounter any job that seems to be too hard to handle, contact a certified arborist. You can find names at your local garden center or call your local Stihl dealer.

Winter Tree Care

The wind, rain and possible snow of the coming winter can mean trouble for your large landscape trees. How can you tell is your trees are healthy enough for all that mother natural has to offer? We sought out our favorite ‘Certified Arborist’ Terrill Collier from Collier Arbor Care (503-72ARBOR) and asked him for some signs we can look for. Terrill took us to a park in Vancouver Washington to show us a multiple trunked tree that had lost one of its trunks due to rot and decay at its base. That is just one of the 8 signs that you should look for in a dangerous tree. Other signs included weakly attached branches, cracks in the branches of the trunk, pealing bark and signs of decay or rot. These are the most obvious signs, but if you are unsure of the safety of your trees you can contact Collier Arbor care or a certified arborist. Collier’s even has a brochure that can tell you what else to look for. Terrill emphasizes that you insist on a certified arborist. They are trained to look for the damaged spots and are trained (insured and bonded) to remove the weak tree safely.

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