Hello, my name is Stuart Niven and I started PanorArbor in 2015, as I wanted to create a unique tree pruning and planting service with a completely holistic and environmentally responsible approach to tree care in Seattle and the surrounding Puget Sound region. I moved to Seattle from Scotland in 2009 with my wife Fiona, following a life changing vacation one year earlier, during which we felt an overwhelming connection with the amazing landscape of the Pacific Northwest and knew that we had to move here as soon as we could. Within nine months of returning to Scotland, we had booked one way tickets to Seattle!
Having worked as a 'woodsman' for a large medieval castle estate during which time I also studied traditional green wood-crafting skills, an overwhelming respect and passion for the care of trees and the environment around them soon evolved. I studied the physical and scientific elements of arboriculture at college then started work as a climbing arborist before moving to the Northwest to continue my education and practical experience of arboriculture.
Over six years, I worked for local tree companies, both large and small and became a Certified Tree Worker – Climber Specialist, Certified Arborist and Tree Risk Assessor through the ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) along the way. Over this time, I experienced the good, the bad and the ugly within the industry and despite many companies using names that include the words ‘tree care’, ‘experts’ and ‘preservation’ to describe themselves, I felt that too many healthy trees were being removed and not enough new trees were being planted to replace them. I was also aware that too much bad and unnecessary pruning was happening, resulting in trees with weakened structures and poor health. Much of this poor standard of arboriculture stemmed (excuse the pun!) was due to recommendations being put together by 'sales reps' who are not educated and experienced arborists and business owners who have experience and knowledge of tree care but who were more focused on a high production rate and profit margins rather than providing objective tree care.
Some larger, rapidly expanding companies that have offices all over North America and in Europe, claim to use ‘scientific’ techniques to keep trees healthy which basically means they work with agro-chemical companies to develop polluting chemical applications to deal with naturally occurring phenomena; a trend that started almost 100 years ago with chemical fertilizers and has led to the destruction of ‘organic’ and small scale agriculture and has pushed numerous insects and crops to the edge of extinction, including beneficial and essential pollinators like bees and butterflies. You may have seen these companies on people’s properties, spraying a variety of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides which mist in the air and drift over neighbouring properties and silently affect the health of our gardens and the life that inhabits them, including our children and pets.
Based on natural simplicity and conscientious honesty and objectivity, my mission with PanorArbor is to provide a tree care and educational service that not only looks at trees on a property, but also takes into consideration the fragile ecology around the trees to better evaluate and assess the whole environment, so that all life can be considered, protected and nurtured, which in turn will leave trees and their people happier, healthier and more energized. With no desire to be a rapidly expanding and large company, with large noisy machines and crews of workers to keep busy, I can focus on spending time with clients explaining why their trees may or may not require pruning.
Unlike almost all other tree care services currently in operation, I do not use a truck and chipper combination, nor run noisy and polluting gas powered to process the branch material removed from the trees I am pruning. Even with large mature trees, pruning cuts should be few and small enough to make without the use of even a chainsaw, so the work I do rarely requires using a chainsaw, but if I do, I use a battery powered professional saw and use a trailer which I tow with my fully electric, abttery powered Toyota Rav4 EV. It is because of these factors, that I do not need to be creating work constantly to cover high overheads and monthly payments for employees, which for many companies has caused a distorted view of tree care and thus objectivity has been lost and selling high volumes of any work, regardless of whether it is needed, has become the focus. The result is that trees are disappearing faster than we can replace them, and trees are being over pruned and pruned badly; every day of the year.
Truth in arboriculture is something severely lacking in an industry that is full of misleading information and misunderstood science, but I hope to reverse this trend and start a revolution of truly environmentally focused arboriculture where the fragile ecosystems in which we live, can be protected and can evolve to thrive and grow.
Trees are not commodities to be used and abused for the pursuit of wealth. They are essential for the survival of all life on planet Earth and must be treated with the respect they deserve. The philosophy of PanorArbor is to consider the whole environment around every tree and to think about how whatever is done to the tree will affect the fragile eco-system around the tree. With this in mind, I will never recommend work that is not necessary and will do everything possible to save the trees of Seattle from being removed or pruned without good reason.
I am looking forward to helping you with your trees so please feel free to contact me at anytime.
Thank you so much,
“A tree is for life, not just for Christmas.”