For the Love of Trees

Like the Lorax from Dr. Seuss’ famed fable of the same name, you could say that Caitlyn Snyder speaks for the trees. She not only loves trees, like the Lorax, but she also has a penchant for bright colours, which is evident from the very pink wood chipper that is attached to her new work truck.

Snyder was able to purchase the truck thanks to the business loan she received from Community Futures North Okanagan.

The truck is essential to the work Snyder does as an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Board Certified Master Arborist. The owner of Wise Wood Tree Care Ltd., Snyder performs tasks such as tree removal, pruning, stump grinding, and tree surgery. She also practices something she likes to call “tree-cycling.”

“We utilize all the material that we take from the landscape and recycle it to make mulch and even furniture,” says Snyder, who has a sawmill, firewood plant and lathe on her 12-acre property in Lumby, BC. “I really care about trees, and I always encourage proper tree care and maintenance. That’s why I believe people should always hire a properly trained and insured arborist.”

“I really care about trees, and I always encourage proper tree care and maintenance. That’s why I believe people should always hire a properly trained and insured arborist.”

Caitlyn Snyder

Surviving Mother Nature

Snyder’s love of trees has taken her all over the world. From Calgary originally, she started landscaping when she was 18 years old. Her love of adventure and warmer climates eventually took her to Australia and New Zealand, where she lived for two years and worked as a tree consultant, silviculturist, and tree surgeon.

With her visa expiring, Snyder decided to return home to Alberta, where she finished her diploma in environmental horticulture at Olds College, majoring in arboriculture. She then moved to Vancouver, where she worked for a tree company, before moving to Vernon.

“I had just moved here when I was offered a job as parks technician with the forestry department up in Wood Buffalo near Fort McMurray. I was up there for a year and a half and worked on a huge transplant project in downtown Fort Mac before all the trees perished in the 2016 wildfire.”

It was around then that Snyder decided to seek greener pastures.

A Hand Up

Snyder started Wise Wood Tree Care four years ago after securing her property in Lumby. Named the best home-based business in 2016 and in 2018 at the Lumby District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, Snyder has seen her business grow from the ground up.

However, she recently had to seek help when her first work truck started giving her mechanical trouble.

Referred to Community Futures, which offers loans to new and existing businesses, Snyder met with loans advisor Scot McNair and filled out a loan application.

“With the type of equipment I run, I need a truck that is outfitted with a boom and bucket as well as a dump box, so that we can carry all the wood waste from the tree removals and prunings,” explains Snyder. “This was an amazing opportunity to be able to get a new truck from the help of Community Futures.”

Climbing her Way Up

Snyder not only runs a successful business but she also competes as a tree climber, and has been a judge for the Pacific Northwest and the Prairie chapters of the ISA.

She is about to demonstrate her tree-climbing prowess to the rest of Canada when she makes her TV debut on the CBC-TV comedy show, Still Standing.

A TV crew, along with the show’s host Jonny Harris, recently visited Snyder’s property when the show was filmed in Lumby.

“I taught Jonny how to climb a tree,” laughs Snyder.

The episode is expected to air during Season 5 of the series.

In the meantime, you can find Snyder doing what she loves best — caring for trees and driving her new truck with the distinctive pink wood chipper.

 Are you looking to expand or add to your business? Community Futures Business Services is available to those who want to start a new business or take an existing business to the next level. CFNO also offers business loans for most business-related purposes, including start-ups, seasonal requirements, working capital, and expansions. To learn more, contact our Lumby office at 250-547-6483 or in Vernon, call 250-545-2215.

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