About Arborvitae Tree Works:

Arborvitae Tree Works will provide four seasons’ tree care in any setting. Trees in the forest tend to do well enough on their own but the urban milieu presents them with many challenges. Our ultimate goal will be to ensure trees and humans can coexist safely and beautifully. Trees enhance the urban setting in a way that everyone feels, but do not always acknowledge. Winnipeg hosts an urban forest of eight million trees, many of which are in need of care.

Arborvitae Tree Works stands out among the rest, with attention to aesthetic subtlety and practical stewardship of trees. They find grace in the intense labour-of-love that is Arboriculture, using a blend of the latest techniques and age-old stalwarts from the days of sail. You will be amazed at how they can safely remove hazards and limbs from the tightest of places, with finesse.

Arborvitae Tree Works was formed by Matthew Sawatsky in the spring of 2010. Matthew developed his skills on such prestigious sites as the Winnipeg Zoo, Assiniboine Park and the city’s boulevards, working as a professional arborist since 2007.

Arborvitae Tree Works also subcontracts services to other companies and has worked in conjunction with several local companies including: Treewise,  Alliance Tree Care and Perennial Trees Inc. They are also the unofficial ‘house arborists’ at the Frank Skinner Memorial Arboretum with Christopher Barkman.

Climbing Tours:

Have you ever dreamed of accessing the canopy of a tree in your yard, or perhaps a giant park tree? Now you can do it safely, with all the necessary equipment. We can escort one or two persons at a time. A certain level of physical fitness is required. Contact Matthew for details and pricing.


Arborvitae Tree Works is:

Matthew Sawatsky,
Certified Arborist, songster, poet, yogi. Matthew is the creative force behind the business. He is polite, courteous and engaging. The skills he has developed and his quest for knowledge serve him well and keeps the customers coming back. He passionately informs his clients, leaving them with a greater appreciation for the work they request.



“Science is knowing. Art is doing. Art implies skill. Helping trees is art as well as science. Art is doing the many tasks that are necessary to to help trees grow and to help trees when they are in trouble. Art takes practice.

Art and science still leave the subject incomplete. There is still more. The remaining ingredient is common sense, the rarest ingredient in the world today.

Common sense is the innate ability to know what is best, or what is right, or how to do a task the best way, or to make the best decision. Common sense grows from experience and attention given to a subject or any living or non-living thing. Common sense is a built in survival system. Common sense grows in a person as they send signals out, receive them back-feedback mechanism- and then rapidly made any correction or adjustment that is needed. Some people do this so fast that is appears as if the feedback and correction process never happened; but it did.

Helping trees depends greatly on common sense. The only way to get common sense about trees is to give them your attention, touch them, and watch them grow, wane, and die. And, watch them do better after you have done something for them.

Common sense is also similar to what I call constructive philosophy; thinking in a way that results in a worthwhile answer or practical application and solution to a question or problem. Constructive philosophy can result in doing something that will help rather than hurt a person, an animal, or a tree. Common sense and constructive philosophy are entwined.

Why all this discussion on science, art, and common sense? Because the person who works with trees must have some of all of these ingredients.”

-excerpt from “A New Tree Biology” Alex L. Shigo, the father of modern arboriculture.



Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

-A. E. Housman

  • Services Include:

    • Pruning
    • Removal
    • Climbing Tours
    • Long-term planning
    • General maintenance
    • Consultation
    • Holistic tree health
    • Emergency services