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The Arborist of 2029

Summary: This one is pretty out there and I don’t see lasers actually doing much for the tree trimming and tree services world BUT what’s a prediction if we aren’t wrong. I found myself laughing at myself but enjoy it! 1/09/2019

Lasers are a parallel technology that could affect the way a tree service trims and shapes trees and bushes. Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is being developed for pain management and other medical applications.

Specifically, my wife works in a hair replacement clinic in Denver and they use lasers to both remove and grow hair. She speculated that lasers would be more efficient in the trimming of trees than robots.

That made sense since it would use fewer moving parts thus being more reliable and cheaper to make.

Taking it one step further, if LLLT can be used to grow hair why couldn’t it grow branches and foliage to shape trees in a desirable way? In 2029, “designer trees” will be all the rage.

Bioengineering might beat LLLT to the punch. Biotech is a more developed technology than robotics or lasers. By the end of this decade,  systemic programmable DNA in tree cells could create varietals that are programmed to grow perfectly, self-prune, and leaf out in extravagant or fashionable colors.

Laser applications in the removal or stimulation of hair alter the cellular structure of hair follicles. Basically, the follicles are re-programmed to grow or recede depending on the desired result of the client.

So how does this apply to tree trimming? When the arborist cuts a branch, the cellular structure is being changed on a macro level.  That is why a flush trimming cut will not heal properly. The angle of the cut and the sharpness of the saw teaches the branch cells to develop differently.

All lasers and bio-engineering do is allow the arborist to prune on the nano level.

Imagine the same basic idea in my first post in which cameras are raised into the canopy and take snapshots of the branch structure. This is fed into a computer that develops a pruning plan for the arborist to follow.

However, instead of a robotic arm, you have three programmable LLLT devices, one for branch removal, one for stimulating branch growth, and one for optional color correction and enhancement.

This would be done for cosmetic reasons and would open up a variety of color-changing features and bark textures.

In terms of promoting good cultural practices, an LLLT device could stimulate root growth and zap fungus or pests.

So in 2029, if the crown of your tree thinning, give it a toupee!

Read Part One of Arborist of the Future: Future Truck

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