Are tree services essential in Ontario?
Partway through yet another lockdown in Ontario and the Toronto area, you may have started thinking about tidying up your yard and property for summer. But with service restrictions in place, can arborists work during lockdown in Ontario?
The answer is yes — tree care in Ontario is considered an essential service. Why is this?
Essential Work in Arboriculture
Tree work can’t always be put off. While the GTA has moved in and out of lockdowns since March 2020, trees have continued to break in thunderstorms, wind, and ice storms, grow, break, or die. Hazards continue to need clearing for the safety of everyone. Arborists work to ensure yards, houses, sidewalks, parks, and pathways are safe for residents.
However, all our regular services are able to operate under the current restrictions. This includes tree pruning, stump grinding, tree removal, shrub pruning, cabling, planting, arborist reports, and plant healthcare services.
Hazards and Pest Control
Early in the pandemic in March 2020, the Ontario chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, our industry licensing association, ensured that tree cutting would be deemed an essential service during the pandemic. Work around infrastructure, like power and utility lines, roads, signage and other critical urban services, needed to continue even in the strictest lockdown phases.
Pest control is also essential. Many services need to be performed at specific times of year due to tree or insect growth cycles, or weather. Preventative treatments for ticks, mosquitoes, emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and other invasive species prevent pests from destroying trees, trees from becoming hazards, and pests from spreading more widely, benefitting everyone.
We’ve been hearing for a long time how much safer we are outdoors, and the track records of the arboriculture industry back that up.
To date, no outbreaks have taken place in any tree service shops in the GTA, and Toronto and Peel Public Health have not had to shut down any businesses in the tree care industry.
We attribute this in part to outdoor work, where the risk of infection transmission is much lower. Tree crews are usually small, from 2-4 people. Keeping arborists and groundworkers on consistent crews has helped many larger shops reduce the number of contacts their employees have. Most shops are well-ventilated spaces, with large garage doors that can be kept open to improve air circulation.
Keeping Us Both Safe
How can we keep each other safe while working on your property? Vista aborists will maintain a 2-metre distance from clients when working outdoors and will wear masks when speaking with clients or working in close proximity to others. We keep hand sanitizer in our trucks and use it before starting work at your property.
At Vista Tree Management, we take our safety, and yours, seriously. Our goal is to keep you and your family safe and healthy, and to go home safe and healthy to our own families at night.
We can also offer you contactless service for estimates, arborist reports, and tree work. Ensure access to your space is open to us at the time we’ve scheduled. We can assess your trees or plants while confirming any questions with you by phone. There’s no need for us to enter your home or business.
We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express through our online, secure payment platform. Clients prepay a 10% deposit to secure work, and can pay the rest of their bill online immediately once the work is complete.
If you need tree care during COVID, rest assured our team is working hard to keep you, your family, and your trees safe! Contact Vista Tree Management today for your Toronto and GTA tree service needs