Wood are Marjut Laakkonen, more familiar to Marelle, the salt of life.
“The trees have their own magical feel. They would have a lot of stories if they could just tell them. ”
Laakkonen is a credit worker, or caretaker, of many manor gardens and private gardens in the Helsinki metropolitan area. He listens to and cares for trees several hundred years old and knows how to deal with them.
“The lawnmowers are cursed. Big trees are often in poor condition because they have been hit. The trees have been damaged and the decayers have gained access to the trunk. ”
Because of this, Laakkonen likes to drive lawns himself, because he knows not to collide with trees and their roots.
Laakkonen lives in his protected 100-year-old house in Lohja, but often also stays in the gardener’s house of Hämeenkylä Manor. It is his “second home”.
He climbs a maple in the yard of his second home to check the condition of the tree. It’s part of an arborist’s job.
“That is the tree of the future, ”he sighs and points to the tree that grows on the edges of the courtyard area of Hämeenkylä Manor.
Kunkkupuu is a word used by Laakkonen for trees that have the potential to grow into large and old manor trees. Such trees are usually consciously given more growth space.
The more than 500-year-old manor area of Hämeenkylä is a particularly important place for Laakkonen. He has been managing the manor garden since the early 2000s. Every tree is accurately remembered. He also remembers moments when some of the trees could no longer withstand.
In 2012, the largest and oldest oak in the yard fell, and it was a hard piece for Laakkonen to bite.
He got the idea that the stump and trunk of a fallen tree would be kept in place in the middle of the manor yard as if in memory of future generations. This was done, and now they increase biodiversity by providing a home for many insects.
“It was a great tree. On top of that it would never have thought it was in such bad shape. But I knew it because I had studied it with the device before, ”Laakkonen recalls a more than 200-year-old tree in the middle of the manor’s yard.
Only three years earlier, Laakkonen himself fell in the yard of the manor and was close to four limb paralysis. It was a turning point for him.
“I fell because the ground had not been sanded in front of the barn. No matter what happened, considering what I do for my job. ”
He hurt his neck as well as his elbow badly. Two interstitial bulges occurred in the neck and a nerve contusion was left in the elbow. They still bother him to this day.
“This job is an escape from pain, my means of coping. Another option would be to eat strong painkillers that affect the central nervous system. ”
Especially the cold and humid weather makes Laakkonen’s elbow, according to his own words, to boot. She keeps an extra sleeve to protect her joint, which warms her hand. Pain pushes through everything, it gives Laakkonen the strength to survive.
“I’ve lived with it, I’m running in pain to run away. Friends helped me because I couldn’t stay put. I didn’t even get up myself then, but I had to be lifted. ”
Due to the accident, many of Laakkonen’s hobbies were left behind. He practiced field riding, but the horse had to be stopped. At the same time, the snowboarding hobby ended.
In addition to horseback riding and snowboarding, motorcycling has been important to Laakkonen. That, too, was nearing an end altogether, but the woman reveals that she is being ventilated at least once a summer, despite her neck pain.
Before, however, the motorcycle was strongly associated with Laakkonen’s real passion, ie nature. He could ride a two-wheeler before going fishing, mushrooming or berry picking anywhere. Today, the spacious car is a great go-to game.
“I invest in this work that I love. It is important to me that I can climb trees. ”
Laakkonen takes his work seriously and therefore demands a lot from himself and others. However, he does all the chores in a well-positioned and often with a smile on his face.
Laakkonen has worked as an arborist for over 20 years. This year, he expanded his territory from tree care to the restoration of objects, furniture and buildings. Laakkonen graduated in June as a restoration master.
The restoration became of interest to Laakko because his father was a skilled gilder.
“Dad dared the frames. gold-plating Raimo Snellman took me under his wings when my father slept away four years ago. ”
Snellman is Finland’s most famous goldsmith. He has gilded, among other things Mauno Koiviston the monument and the double-headed Kotka on top of Keisarinnankivi in Helsinki’s market square. In addition, he has renovated the furniture of the Presidential Hall in the Government Palace.
Laakkonen enrolled in Snellman’s gilding course, where he learned different styles of gilding. Then his father died, and Laakkonen thought that going to the course could be too much for him.
“I would have just rolled in there. Raimo called and held me a place on the course despite everything. I went there, and it was really good that I went. ”
Laakkonen inherited wonderful old tools and ornaments from his father, which he now visibly takes good care of.
A whole new world has opened up for Laakkonen from restoration. He is delighted to talk about his home in Lohja, which has previously served as a commercial building.
Laakkonen shows pictures of the house with special details, such as old decorative wallpapers. He decided to keep them on the walls.
“They are allowed to stay to tell a story from that time.”
Laakkonen says arborists always work with a working couple. Trees can happen and happen, and then it’s important not to be alone in the situation.
A woman climbs a tree many times a week and thins down rotten branches in the upper air with a chainsaw and sometimes even fells trees.
Over the years, chain sawing has become an important hobby for Laakkonen, in which he is also exceptionally skilled.
He has a big pile of old trees in the manor parking lot where he practices sawing. Straight discs fall from the frames in the blink of an eye as Laakkonen jerks his chainsaw up and running.
The woman is able to change the chain of her chainsaw and turn the machine flange in about ten seconds. He has dozens of different chainsaws that are suitable for a wide variety of applications.
Although the saw often and well swings in Laakkonen’s hand, he only uses it for surviving trees when he has to.
“The best way to take care of wood is to keep it to a minimum.”
Wood have guided Laakkonen’s life from an early age. He was born in Helsinki and lived in Katajanokka and Eira during his childhood. Although the area is urban and close to the heart of Helsinki, he has always roamed the forests and, in his own words, been very lively.
“I’m happy about the little things.”
Laakkonen’s childhood home was in Helsinki because the sea was important to his father. In addition to restoration, the connection to nature has also been passed down from generation to generation, as trees are important to Mare.
“Dad said that if the sea isn’t close, you can’t breathe.”
Trees help breathe from Mare Laakko.