Don’t Choose a Tree Service Before Reading This

Whether you inherited your trees from a previous owner or have selected trees to add to your landscape, trees are a significant investment of time and money,but they bring a wide range of financial, health and emotional benefits.

Strategic planning when you add trees to your landscape can lower your energy bills and improve air quality. Planting deciduous trees with a large crown on the southern side will provide shade all day for windows and roofs.  Trees with lower crowns block the afternoon sun on the west side.  Small evergreens protect your property by acting as a wind breaker on the north and western sides of the property.

Did You Know…

  • The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12%. Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research
  • A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000. Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers
  • In one study, 83% of realtors believe that mature trees have a ‘strong or moderate impact’ on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98%. Arbor National Mortgage & American Forests
  • Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent. Management Information Services/ICMA
  • One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people. U.S. Department of Agriculture

Trees not only add to a property’s aesthetic value, they also provide visual and sound barriers to increase your privacy.  Fruit, beautiful foliage, flowers, and
shade are other reasons homeowners choose to add trees and shrubs to their landscape.

When selecting the proper trees and ornamentals (shrubs) for your situation, you will need to consider the growth patterns of the tree, how hardy the tree is in different temperatures, its fall colors, and its watering requirements.  You can check out the blog at to find more information.

Although many people maintain their own trees and ornamentals with proper fertilizing, pruning and watering.  There are times hiring a tree professional makes sense.  Removing large limbs, treating a tree that is not doing well, removing dead trees and remaining stumps are all jobs that are best completed by someone well versed in tree service.  The equipment and expertise needed makes completing these jobs successfully as a DIY project impractical.

Once you have determined that you need a tree service, how do you select the best company.  Companies reach the top of search engines because they have Internet knowledge, which does not always equal tree knowledge.

What questions should I ask a tree service…

  1.  Are they licensed to do business in your state?  Do they have all proper certifications?

2.  Do they have a certified arborist on their staff?  An arborist voluntarily takes a national certification test that focuses on the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining individual trees.

3.  Is the company properly insured?  If there is damage to your property, utility power lines, or a neighbor’s fence, you could be liable, if they are not insured.

4.  Can they give you a recent reference?

5.  Make sure the estimate includes the exact services that will be provided, the time frame, and the cost.  Just a note though, estimates do not allow for the unexpected, so if additional problems are found, the document may have to be adjusted.

6.  Do they use spikes to climb living trees that are not going to be removed?  Spikes can damage your trees and should not be used in pruning.

7. Do they advertise “topping” your tree as a service?  This term can have different meanings in the industry.  It can mean crown thinning, which removes limbs that are crossing or that are blocking light from the other branches. It can also mean removing live sections from the top of the tree, which should only be done in extreme circumstances as it diminishes the health and beauty of the tree.  This is often done to accommodate power lines and other structures.  Chosing a company with a certified arborist will ensure your tree is pruned properly.

8.  Who cleans up the debris?  Often crews will take the larger branches and leave the owner with a mess of smaller branches, leaves, and twigs.

9.  Will the crew be using hardhats and other personal protective equipment while on your property?  Attention to safety reflects the overall practices of the company.

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