Tree Whispering is a hidden diagnostic tool in Arboriculture. Talking to trees is not so much the art of speaking as it is the art of listening.
For years our evaluation and diagnosis of tree health has begun as an intuitive process. Before thinking tree history, profile or health the Des Moines Arborist at Olson Tree Care use his senses.
Unfortunately it is an area seldom taught or respected in Arboriculture.
Evaluating a trees presence and connecting with the tree should be a requirement of Arborists in Des Moines. Too often Arboriculturists look at numbers, testing results, Tree Cracks and other visual data first and it becomes our understanding of a specific tree. A tree is not a number.
How do you Tree Whisper?
1. Slow down.
2. Look at the tree in whole as you walk up to it.
3. Be quiet.
4. Do not think... feel.
5. Get close to the tree.
6. Touch the tree.
7. Smell the tree.
8. Listen to the tree and its surroundings.
Other tools and assessment should be used only after this step. The presence of the tree and surrounding environment is often a great indicator, reducing the likelihood of diagnosing a symptom as cause, which is common.
After sharing the above with a peer group, Olson Tree Care found that leaders in the field use some form of this in their evaluations. Some called it using all of their senses and others defined themselves as “professional noticers”. Either way, talking to trees is here to stay.