Professional Evaluation of your Tree Care Needs


How can you be sure you’re getting the right work done for your trees? How do you know you’re getting a fair price? VTE will tell you what work needs to be done and what doesn’t. In most instances we don’t actually do the remedial work such as pruning, fertilizing, removal, pest treatment and planting. We do recommend a short list of highly qualified and reliable professionally licensed arborists that can do these jobs; so you can be sure you’ll get a fair, independent appraisal from us.



Michael is a consulting urban forester and certified ISA Prairie Arborist who owns and operates his own business, Viburnum Tree Experts based in Winnipeg. His projects take him from southern Ontario to northern Saskatchewan. He has a B.Sc.F in Forestry and an M.Sc.F. in urban and environmental forestry from the University of Toronto, plus two university diplomas in business administration and public administration.

Michael is also a registered professional forester in Ontario. For over 36 years Michael has been an urban and environmental forester, environmental planner and arborist in Canada and overseas. For 14 years he was the city forester for the City of Winnipeg until his retirement in late 2002. He is a Manitoba director on the Board of the ISA Prairie Chapter for 4 years. Michael is past president of the Manitoba Forestry Association, and had been on their board for 14 years.

He writes a regular column on Tree Care in the Winnipeg Free Press; regular articles on trees and woody shrubs in the Manitoba Gardener magazine, Canadian Trees magazine, and several other newsletter and magazine publications; and, appears regularly on call-in radio gardening shows providing advice on trees and woody shrubs. Michael is a tireless supporter of ISA arborists and uses every opportunity he can find to make the public aware of the superior tree service value that ISA arborists perform over other workers in the tree service industry.

Home and Business Services

Michael Allen will come to your home or business property and assess the health problems with your trees and woody shrubs. The assessment includes diagnosing pest, disease and structural hazard issues your trees are having. He will show you precisely what problems exist on your trees and shrubs and identify the key features of the problem. You will receive a prepared description of the nature of the problems plus remedies for treatment. He provides a treatment schedule based on calendar months for at least the current year and next year. For large evergreen trees such as spruce he will give you a four year treatment schedule. The treatment schedule priorizes the treatments starting from the time he sees the problems.

Michael does not actually do the work regarding tree pruning, fertilizing, removal, or spray treatments for pests and diseases. He will give you a short list of highly qualified arborists who can do specific tree related treatment activities. On occasion he is asked if he would show people how to properly prune ornamental woody shrubs, small trees and fruit trees. He does provide this service by carefully showing how to make pruning cuts and coaching the tree owner as they make similar pruning cuts. He has found this approach to be a great way to instill tree care and pruning techniques confidence in the tree owner. It would be helpful to the property owner to have first taken an appropriate pruning course for the trees and/or shrubs for which he or she would like ‘how to do’ demonstrations. Please see the courses section for further information.

Legal Assistance

Expert Witness Preparation and Testimony

He can assist you and your lawyer with legal issues centering on trees. He has appeared many times as an expert witness before courts and legal tribunals. In most instances the issues are settled out of court. Some of the common situations he is asked to prepare evidence for relate to the following: assessment of herbicide spray damage to trees and shrubs, a neighbour cutting down your tree either on purpose or by accident; a tree service firm cutting down the wrong tree, or excessively pruning too many branches so as to disfigure a tree, or a municipality or utility mistakenly removing a piece of your woodland. In all cases, he is asked to appraise the value of the tree or trees that have been removed or seriously impaired. As a certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) he is qualified to utilize a tree appraisal guide produced by the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers published by the ISA. This appraisal methodology is used world wide and throughout Canada. He establishes the value of the tree before and after the damage or removal to determine the net loss in value to the owner.

Municipal Urban Forestry

As the former City Forester for the City of Winnipeg between 1988 and 2002 Michael Allen had years of practical experience in planning and managing municipal forestry operations. He has a Masters of Science degree in urban and environmental forestry. As a consultant he has been involved with the urban forestry programs of numerous towns and cities in southern Ontario, north-western Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta since 1973. As a judge in the Canadian and European Communities in Bloom programs, and in the America in Bloom program he has advised many dozens of municipalities on how to improve their urban forestry and tree care practices. For an example of a recent municipal urban forestry plan please contact him for information.

Workshops and Presentations

Michael gives dozens of tree care and how to properly prune workshops each year mostly in Winnipeg. Occasionally he is asked to present these workshops in other municipalities in Manitoba and Ontario. All presentations are given using Power Point images with a state of the art LCD projection system. Michael uses his own equipment. Please see the courses section for the current upcoming list and descriptions of workshop courses that will be presented by Michael.

Workshops are normally organized through such organizations as the City of Winnipeg (see current Leisure Guide), various school divisions such as River East Transcona, Winnipeg 1, and Louis Riel; and, through Lee Valley Tools (Winnipeg only)


Michael has been writing articles on trees, shrubs and relevant landscape issues an on going basis since 1998 for the Winnipeg Free Press (Sunday Homes Section), Canadian Trees magazine, and for Manitoba Gardener magazine.

For more information on the articles Michael has written, please visit the articles section of the website. Please note: All published articles are protected by copyright.