Who are you hiring to trim your trees?
October 6, 2014
by Scott Dahlberg, Preservation Tree ISA Certified Arborist, Texas Oak Wilt Certified
How often do you get home to find a multitude of business cards on your porch for “tree trimmers” in your area? It might seem like a good idea to call one since you know it’s important to keep trees trimmed for overall health. However, we highly recommend you go ahead and compost those cards! It is not wise to hire a tree company who has left a flyer on your door without doing significant research. They are leaving the flyer because they are in need of your business because not enough people are using them. They simply aren't qualified to care for one of the most valuable and beautiful assets of your property: Your trees. If they need business that badly, they’ve probably butchered trees so badly, that they are not receiving call-backs for further work.
This is not how your trees should look after pruning.
Reputable tree service companies will have ISA Certified Arborists on staff and will typically run a backlog of 2 to 5 weeks. Why? Because people in the know realize how valuable their trees are and are willing to wait for qualified professionals to care for them. You may save a few hundred dollars using a “guy with a truck and a chainsaw” on the front end, but you will absolutely cost yourself more money in the long run by having to eventually remove a butchered and unhealthy tree. Unqualified tree companies often over-prune your trees resulting in what we call "Lionstailing" or "Broccoli pruning". All of the inner branches are stripped out and limb weight left at the tips. This leads to excessive outer canopy weight, excessive production of epicormic sprouts, depletion of stored "energy" in producing those sprouts, excessive breakage during storms, and compartmentalization of limbs resulting in deadwood. All of which can lead to the stress and decline of your tree and additional expenses in treatment or the need to remove your tree because it has broken apart. Trees pruned in this manner are especially susceptible to storm damage.
Unqualified tree companies will certainly be making improper cuts while pruning your tree which can result in decay setting in and working its way through your trunk to your tree's base. Once its structural integrity is compromised, you’re left with a liability instead of a beautiful asset.
Another sign of an unqualified tree company? They leave the trimmings on your easement. Not only are the large piles of debris on your parkway an eyesore, but we all have to pay taxes for the city to come pick up. The material then goes into a landfill instead of being recycled. Reputable companies will clean up and haul away the debris generated from your project. Most will even deliver it to another company that recycles the debris into mulch and compost (or compost it themselves) rather than dumping it into our landfills.
Whether you hire us or another company, please only use an ISA Certified Arborist to help you care for your trees. You will save yourself money over the course of time and your trees will be much healthier, more structurally sound and beautiful for years to come.