Head Arborist/Director and Owner Nathan ‘Tree’ Walker is fully qualified!!

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Possum Guards for Trees

One of the long term tree maintenance jobs that we have at the moment is a tree that has been greatly effected by possum traffic. We received a phone call from a repeat client, a lady who was extremely distressed over the health of her tree. Our customer loves her tree and wanted to save it and Nathan was just the person to help. thPHFS06F6A lot of Australians share their homes and gardens with possums because, like people, possums are very well suited to live in the suburbs. In Australia there are many species of possums and all are a protected by law. We have to learn to live with the possum and manage their behaviour in order to live with them peacefully. If a tree is showing signs of excess damage from possum grazing, the tree should be inspected by an accredited arborist and an action plan made to reduce further damage. Nathan installed possum guards around the base of the tree. This was a difficult situation as the lower limbs needed to remain in order for the tree to photosynthesise correctly and to maintain full canopy shape and structure. Two guards were then installed around the two lowest limbs to prevent the ‘possum highway’. thL249GZ64

Tree Walkers then proceeded to prune the tree back from any structures that may also act as a ‘possum highway’ along with any surrounding trees. More guards were installed on higher larger branches nearest the carport to prevent possums accessing the tree.

Our client was very happy with the plan of action and even more happy with the immediate results.

Tree Walkers are very flexible when it comes to tree work in the Melbourne area. We offer a wide range services in all aspects of tree and stump removal. You can call us today on 0404709595 to organise your free quote, whether it be tree removal or a possum installation. No job is too big or too small!!

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Rebate of $40 available toward compost purchases

Tree Walkers Pty Ltd are servicing the area of Knox and whilst doing a bit of research found that Knox City Council are encouraging residents to recycle food waste by giving away money!!
The Council are providing a rebate of up to $40 for the purchase of items for home composting. I found this most interesting as I wasn’t aware of the rebate and I have always been interested in composting to put on my backyard vege garden. I know I’ll be downloading my application form!!
Their website claims that 40% of the contents of Knox household rubbish bins consist of food waste. Composting reduces this waste while turning it into a valuable fertiliser and soil conditioner for your garden.

Eligible items include;
* Compost bins – on ground, enclosed & rotating varieties
* Worm farms & composting worms
* Bokashi bins
* Green cones
* Compost & worm farm blankets
* Compost mate aerators


Tree Walkers are experience in all aspects of tree work and maintenance and are happy to assist you with your application for a rebate or any information you may need.
Follow this link for further details: http://www.knox.vic.gov.au/Page/Page.aspx?Page_Id=3961
And please remember we are servicing the area of Knox at the moment so are available every day to provide a free quote from a qualified arborist.
Until next time,
Joni Walker

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Media Accounts

If there has been one thing I have learnt about being in business it is that is to go with the times in order to satisfy our customers relevant needs. We have taken it upon ourselves to create new media accounts in order for our customers to gain a better personal perspective of what it is we actually do.

We have set up a YouTube account that currently has 3 videos of time-lapse of our crew at work. They are of tree removal in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It is a great way to see how efficient and safely our team work over the day. Please have a look, they are not only a good source to try before you buy but they are pretty cool as well!!! Check it out… https://www.youtube.com/user/treeandstumpremoval.

Now we know that a lot of people out there have a Facebook account and now Tree Walkers is proud to announce that we also have our own page. Its so much easier to get online and send a short message to us to call you back and organise your free quote. If you are ever in need of any emergency tree work we are always available by phone, email or FB account as they are checked regularly. You can like us by clicking the link on the bottom left corner of the Home Page of our website or alternatively use this link https://www.facebook.com/treewalkers. We hope to see you on Facebook ;)

So to sum it all up, if you are ever in need of any tree work, whether it is tree removal, tree pruning, stump removal, emergency tree work, hedging, onsite milling, mulch & firewood sales, arborist reports, disease advice & treatments in all Melbourne areas, then Tree Walkers Pty Ltd are the ones to call. Call Nathan on 040 470 9595 or the office on 9723 5787 to organise a no obligation free quote today!

Joni Walker

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Why are Trees Important?

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New Service – Onsite Milling

Welcome to Tree Walkers Pty Ltd first ever blog!! This week has been a busy week with Tree Walkers introducing a new service to the company.  We have resourced a portable milling machine and a crane truck in order to provide onsite milling.

We provide onsite milling to all areas of Melbourne and are based in the Eastern suburbs including council areas; Yarra, Monash, Manningham, Greater Dandenong, Maroondah, Knox and Yarra Ranges.

The Sawmill process

A sawmill’s basic operation is much like those of hundreds of years ago; a log enters on one end and a dimensional lumber exits on the other end.

  • After trees are selected for harvest, the next step in logging is felling the trees, and bucking them to length.
  • Branches are cut off the trunk. This is known as limbing.
  • Logs are taken by logging truck, rail or a log drive to the sawmill.
  • Logs are scaled either on the way to the mill or upon arrival at the mill.
  • Debarking removes bark from the logs.
  • Decking is the process for sorting the logs by species, size and end use (lumber, plywood, chips).
  • A sawyer uses a head saw, head rig or primary saw to break the log into cants (unfinished logs to be further processed) and flitches (unfinished planks).
  • Depending upon the species and quality of the log, the cants will either be further broken down by a resaw or a gang edger into multiple flitches and/or boards
  • Edging will take the flitch and trim off all irregular edges leaving four-sided lumber.
  • Trimming squares the ends at typical lumber lengths.
  • Drying removes naturally occurring moisture from the lumber. This can be done with kilns or air-dried.
  • Planing smooths the surface of the lumber leaving a uniform width and thickness.
  • Shipping transports the finished lumber to market.

Early history

Scheme of the water-driven Roman sawmill at Hierapolis, Asia Minor. The 3rd century mill is the earliest known machine to incorporate a crank and connecting rod mechanism.

Illustration of a human-powered sawmill with a gang-saw published in 1582.

De Salamander” a wind driven sawmill in Leidschendam, The Netherlands. Built in 1792, it was used until 1953, when it fell into disrepair. It was fully restored in 1989.

A sawmill in the interior of Australia, circa 1900

Modern reconstruction Sutter’s mill in California, where gold was first found in 1848.

The Hierapolis sawmill, a Roman water-powered stone saw mill at Hierapolis, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) dating to the second half of the 3rd century AD is the earliest known sawmill. It is also the earliest known machine to incorporate a crank and connecting rod mechanism. Water-powered stone sawmills working with cranks and connecting rods, but without gear train, are archaeologically attested for the 6th century AD at the Eastern Roman cities Gerasa and Ephesus. The earliest literary reference to a working sawmill comes from a Roman poet, Ausonius who wrote an epic poem about the river Moselle in Germany in the late 4th century AD. At one point in the poem he describes the shrieking sound of a watermill cutting marble. Marble sawmills also seem to be indicated by the Christian saint Gregory of Nyssa from Anatolia around 370/390 AD, demonstrating a diversified use of water-power in many parts of the Roman Empire. Sawmills became widespread in medieval Europe again, as one was sketched by Villard de Honnecourt in c. 1250. They are claimed to have been introduced to Madeira following its discovery in c. 1420 and spread widely in Europe in the 16th century. By the 11th century, hydropowered sawmills were in widespread use in the medieval Islamic world, from Islamic Spain and North Africa in the west to Central Asia in the east. Prior to the invention of the sawmill, boards were rived and planed, or more often sawn by two men with a whipsaw, using saddleblocks to hold the log, and a saw pit for the pitman who worked below. Sawing was slow, and required strong and hearty men. The topsawer had to be the stronger of the two because the saw was pulled in turn by each man, and the lower had the advantage of gravity. The topsawyer also had to guide the saw so that the board was of even thickness. This was often done by following a chalkline. Early sawmills simply adapted the whipsaw to mechanical power, generally driven by a water wheel to speed up the process. The circular motion of the wheel was changed to back-and-forth motion of the saw blade by a connecting rod known as a pitman arm (thus introducing a term used in many mechanical applications). Generally, only the saw was powered, and the logs had to be loaded and moved by hand. An early improvement was the development of a movable carriage, also water powered, to move the log steadily through the saw blade. A type of sawmill without a crank is known from Germany called “knock and drop” or simply “drop” -mills. In these drop sawmills, the frame carrying the saw blade is knocked upwards by cams as the shaft turns. These cams are let into the shaft on which the waterwheel sits. When the frame carrying the saw blade is in the topmost position it drops by its own weight, making a loud knocking noise, and in so doing it cuts the trunk.”  A small mill such as this would be the center of many rural communities in wood-exporting regions such as the Baltic countries and Canada. The output of such mills would be quite low, perhaps only 500 boards per day. They would also generally only operate during the winter, the peak logging season. In the United States, the sawmill was introduced soon after the colonisation of Virginia by recruiting skilled men from Hamburg. Later the metal parts were obtained from the Netherlands, where the technology was far ahead of that in England, where the sawmill remained largely unknown until the late 18th century. The arrival of a sawmill was a large and stimulative step in the growth of a frontier community.

Industrial revolution

Early mills had been taken to the forest, where a temporary shelter was built, and the logs were skidded to the nearby mill by horse or ox teams, often when there was some snow to provide lubrication. As mills grew larger, they were usually established in more permanent facilities on a river, and the logs were floated down to them by log drivers. Sawmills built on navigable rivers, lakes, or estuaries were called cargo mills because of the availability of ships transporting cargoes of logs to the sawmill and cargoes of lumber from the sawmill. The next improvement was the use of circular saw blades, perhaps invented in England in the late 18th century, but perhaps in 17th century Holland, the Netherlands. Soon thereafter, millers used gangsaws, which added additional blades so that a log would be reduced to boards in one quick step. Circular saw blades were extremely expensive and highly subject to damage by overheating or dirty logs. A new kind of technician arose, the sawfiler. Sawfilers were highly skilled in metalworking. Their main job was to set and sharpen teeth. The craft also involved learning how to hammer a saw, whereby a saw is deformed with a hammer and anvil to counteract the forces of heat and cutting. The Modern circular saw blades have replaceable teeth, but still need to be hammered. The introduction of steam power in the 19th century created many new possibilities for mills. Availability of railroad transportation for logs and lumber encouraged building of rail mills away from navigable water. Steam powered sawmills could be far more mechanized. Scrap lumber from the mill provided a ready fuel source for firing the boiler. Efficiency was increased, but the capital cost of a new mill increased dramatically as well. In addition, the use of steam or gasoline-powered traction engines also allowed the entire sawmill to be mobile. By 1900, the largest sawmill in the world was operated by the Atlantic Lumber Company in Georgetown, South Carolina, using logs floated down the Pee Dee River from as far as the edge of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina. A restoration project for Sturgeon’s Mill in Northern California is underway, restoring one of the last steam-powered lumber mills still using its original equipment.

Current trends

Oregon Mill using energy efficient ponding to move logs

In the twentieth century the introduction of electricity and high technology furthered this process, and now most sawmills are massive and expensive facilities in which most aspects of the work is computerized. The cost of a new facility with 2 mmfbm/day capacity is up to CAN$120,000,000. A modern operation will produce between 100 mmfbm and 700 mmfbm annually. Small gasoline-powered sawmills run by local entrepreneurs served many communities in the early twentieth century, and specialty markets still today. A trend is the small portable sawmill for personal or even professional use. Many different models have emerged with different designs and functions. They are especially suitable for producing limited volumes of boards, or specialty milling such as oversized timber. Technology has changed sawmill operations significantly in recent years, emphasizing increasing profits through waste minimization and increased energy efficiency as well as improving operator safety. The once-ubiquitous rusty, steel conical sawdust burners have for the most part vanished, as the sawdust and other mill waste is now processed into particleboard and related products, or used to heat wood-drying kilns. Co-generation facilities will produce power for the operation and may also feed superfluous energy onto the grid. While the bark may be ground for landscaping barkdust, it may also be burned for heat. Sawdust may make particle board or be pressed into wood pellets for pellet stoves. The larger pieces of wood that won’t make lumber are chipped into wood chips and provide a source of supply for paper mills. Wood by-products of the mills will also make oriented strand board (OSB) paneling for building construction, a cheaper alternative to plywood for paneling. Some automatic mills can process 800 small logs into bark chips, wood chips, sawdust and sorted, stacked, and bound planks, in an hour.

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