Cochrane is known for extreme weather changes and heavy wind. For homeowners, it can be tricky to make sure your trees are strong and healthy. 

Kurt Stenberg, Owner of Cochrane Tree Care says that the most common tree concerns he sees are wind-related. “I know we do get a lot of crazy winds here. People are often calling concerned with that and it is impossible to really tell even for me, at some point, whether a tree could break because we can't put a rating on the tree. So there's always a bit of a risk. But if the tree is in good health and was planted well and all those preventative measures were taken you have less of a risk.”

While wind-related issues are harder to spot, he says other issues are easier to identify.

“Looking healthy or unhealthy obvious signs are a lot of deadwood, which doesn't produce any more buds or leaves and the bark starts to fall off.”

“If you're looking for a disease, you would see different signs. Such an unusual colouring. It's really important that the top of the tree is still growing because the trees grow from the tops. If the top of the tree is dead, then that's constantly a sign that the tree is going into failure”

Stenberg is a trained arborist and he sees common mistakes that can cause damage to trees, property, and even people.

“People get concerned with their trees being too tall, and growing too big so they want to cut the top off of the tree. You never want to do that, that's called topping. Cutting any major branch at random is topping. It's really important not to do that and people aren't aware of that usually.”

“Climbing yourself is pretty dangerous, even for me because little accidents can happen so quickly. We are tied into places, a saw can cut your arm very quickly.”

When it comes to picking trees that will thrive in Cochrane, he says you need to look into trees that you would see naturally grow here.

“I would look for a nursery that sells bare root trees. So, if you think anything that's going to be native and more natural for a tree from the very beginning, that's the best-case scenario”

“Don't put them in burlap sacks or wire cages, those are also bad for trees. I understand that people have to transport them that way but when you do get a tree from a nursery, you want to remove the wire cage and the burlap sack, no matter what the nursery does."