Dr Olaf Riberio is a world renowned arborist and a doctor of plant pathology. I first met Olaf at a conference back in 2011 where he was giving a lecture. From the moment he began talking, you could tell this guy had a true passion and expertise in his work. I later found out Olaf had an interesting back story as well. Born and raised in Kenya, he comes from a lineage of doctors. His grandfather was even often found making house calls to patients riding a zebra!
I had the chance to get Olaf involved in our app, which was very exciting. Having experts in their field being involved in any project always gives that little extra punch. He generously gave his time to a short doc video about trees and treehouses, as well as help with written information. Sharing his knowledge on how to pick the right tree, how to keep it healthy, and other nature related facts, was very useful.
An interesting fact that I hadn't known before all of this, was that he is one of the few people in the world that can bring trees back to life. Olaf is often called upon throughout the world to help save trees of bygone ages; ancient trees that have been around for centuries. He takes the samples to his island laboratory...where he will figure out the right concoction needed to bring back the tree to its full potential. I had the good fortune of visiting this place and it was just as cool as you'd imagine.
While working with Dr Olaf, we ventured out to a few old growth areas where the trees were unbelievably massive. One of the areas was Mt. Rainier National Park, at an area called "The Grove of the Patriarchs." Filming and taking photos of these giants was no easy task. National Geographic has a great and complex behind the scenes video of one of their expeditions to the giant sequoias trees which involved several months of planning and a huge crew here.
Besides our expeditions, we also had a live demo of some of the ways he tests the trees health. It's always interesting to see an expert at work. Olaf shared how he often gathers soil and root samples to test in conjunction with the machine pictured below. The instrument has a tiny drill and reads very similar to a seismograph to give you an accurate assessment of the trees density.
Olaf is a real character and I can't wait to get another chance to work with him.
Olaf's Section out of Treehouses of the Pacific Northwest iPad App