We are proud members of the following associations:
Tree Care Tips / Helping homeowners care for their trees and landscapes.
TCIA / The Tree Care Industry Association. Advancing tree care businesses since 1938.
CSLB / Contractors State License Board
Western Chapter ISA / International Society of Arboriculture
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Tree Care Service
When it comes to tree care, some jobs are too big and too dangerous, or just need professional expertise to keep the tree healthy. Working at height requires proper training and protection due to a number of risky variables such as electrical wires, nearby fences, buildings or homes. To get your money’s worth and protect your interests, you need to ask your tree care professional these important questions and make sure you understand and agree with their answers
Are they State Licensed and can they provide an up-to-date certificate of insurance: This should be your first and most important question. You want to ensure they are properly insured and state licensed to provide tree work in the state of California. Otherwise you could be liable for damage, accidents or injuries.
What are their credentials? Try to hire a Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Accredited Business or one employing a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional (CTSP).
Can they provide a list of references? Any quality company will be happy to share a list of satisfied customers. Ask for customers that they have done work for in the past month or so; you don’t want ancient history.
Will they give you a detailed estimate? Get written estimates from three equal companies to compare prices and understand the scope of the job.
How will the job be approached and what equipment will they use? If they are going across your lawn, make sure they know the locations of sprinkler heads or other objects that may be damaged. What is their policy if they damage something and is it acceptable to you? Make sure you understand how they will clean up during and after the job.
Does the company appear professional? What does their company truck look like, is it well taken care of? Is the truck clean and in good shape? If they don’t take care of their equipment, do you think they will take care of your tree and property? Do they have a website? Design and content can give you a sense of their professionalism, as can the appearance of the vehicles they use on jobs. That can give you an idea of how they run their business.
Will the crew be using hardhats and other personal protective equipment while on your property? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that personal protective equipment be used for any tree care operation. A reputable tree care service will require their workers to be protected.
It’s important to protect yourself and your property by hiring a tree care professional for all tree jobs. It’s equally important to protect yourself and your “tree investment” by asking these important questions. For more information, including resources to help you find a tree care service, visit www.treesaregood.org or www.treecaretips.org.
Here is some information we think may be helpful concerning tree service:
Leave Storm-Related Tree Work to Professionals
“What’s this? Another tree/branch/large shrub in my yard that wasn’t there before the storm? I better gas up my brother’s old chain saw and go cut it up.”
Stop! Just don’t.
Yet another storm has brought distress into your yard in the form of large branches and even entire trees that have broken and fallen into your world view. Before you dig out your brother’s old chain saw, the first question should be, “Am I capable of removing this large tree/limb myself or should I seek professional help?” Major tree-damage cleanup will undoubtedly require the use of a chain saw and climbing equipment. Unless you are experienced in the use of such equipment and comfortable working off the ground, it would be best to have the work performed by a competent professional.
Wind places loads on trees, including trunks, branches and roots, leading to higher stress. The varying lengths and sizes of tree branches tend to dampen the overall effects of wind; however, as wind speeds increase, the loads placed on stress points within the tree increase exponentially. When the loads exceed trunk, branch or root strength, various types of failures occur.
But my brother’s chain saw is right here – it wouldn’t take me long at all!
It might be tempting to get out there with your brother’s old chain saw and do the work yourself. And this is where so many homeowners get into trouble. Run an Internet search for videos of “Tree Cutting Gone Wrong” to see just what can happen.
“I’ve used a chain saw before to cut up an old fence. What could possibly go wrong if I cut up this giant tree branch in my yard?”
Professionally trained tree workers have to know what to look out for. Do you?
There could be overhead and/or nearby electrical wires that create potential hazards and limit the options for tree cutting. Torn, hanging limbs overhead could make it extremely dangerous to cut downed limbs underneath them.
Most chain saw work on large limbs or trees requires the experience of a trained operator to prevent injuries. Wood under tension (one or both ends of the fallen tree or branch pinned under other branches or debris) can have different types of binds at different places. Releasing that tension with chain saw cuts is extremely dangerous and can seriously, or fatally, harm the chain saw operator.
Uprooted root plates or root balls are unpredictable. Cutting the trunk of a fallen tree from an uprooted plate releases the pressure holding the root plate. The roots are still anchored and may have enough tension that they will pull the stump and root ball back into the hole. It could suddenly sit back into the root hole, trapping anything nearby underneath it.
Slope and uneven footing surfaces are dangerous while operating a chain saw.
Watch that bar tip! Cutting branches on the ground can cause you to bury the saw bar in the dirt or hit hidden obstacles, causing chain saw kickback.
Many homeowners injured doing their own tree work were working alone at the time, significantly lengthening emergency response time and hospital stays. Always have at least one other person work with you. In case you get trapped or injured, there’s someone to call for help.
Removing large, fallen trees should always be done by an experienced professional.
Find a Professional State Licensed Company Here: http://www.treecaretips.org/?page_id=146
Topping is for Ice Cream, Not Trees
Tree Topping Fiction vs. Facts
Definition: Tree Topping – the removal of main tree branches to stubs in either a straight-across hedge fashion or a complete de-limbing of the tree, leaving only the main trunk or trunks of a tree.
Fiction: “Topping rejuvenates the tree.”
Fact: Tree topping usually removes so much of the tree’s crown that it can unbalance an older tree’s root-to-shoot ratio and temporarily cut off its ability to make food. When trees are topped, they will typically respond by readily growing new shoots. From that point forward they become high-maintenance. Most must be pruned regularly in an attempt to restore normal structure and growth. Pruning a tree annually is not environmentally sustainable or cost-effective. Your tree will also be more susceptible to disease and insect problems.
Fiction: “The tree is too big and casts too much shade, and needs to be reduced by topping.”
Fact: By their very nature, trees create shade, which means you really can’t plant anything underneath and expect full success. But in some instances, proper selective pruning, NOT topping, can reduce the bulk of a tree, letting in more light and allowing wind to pass through the tree. Proper pruning does not stimulate re growth, and the tree will not respond as drastically as when topped or over-thinned. A qualified arborist is trained to understand which kinds of cuts to make (thinning cuts, not heading or topping cuts); he/ she also knows when to stop.
If problems caused by a tree cannot be solved through acceptable management practices, the tree should be removed and replaced with another species, or other plant material more appropriate for the site.
Fiction: “Topping a tree is cheaper than having it pruned.”
Fact: Initially, it might seem cheaper to cut the tree in half to get the result you are looking for. But over time the tree will require more frequent maintenance, and become a danger.
Drastic topping cuts create opportunities for epitomic shoots on the remaining trunk to grow quickly into large, poorly attached branches, if the tree doesn’t just die outright. The potential for them to break off and cause a hazard to property or people is very high. From a legal standpoint, the owner or owners of such a tree may be responsible for damages if it can be proved they were negligent. Incorrect pruning can cause trees to become hazardous, and therefore is negligence.
Fiction: Topping is a time-tested way to prune a tree.
Fact: Topping is not a standard practice, and in fact is “outlawed” by national tree care standards. Topping has always been controversial. If someone tells you they have always done it that way, it’s a good bet they aren’t up to speed with the latest, scientific tree care methods.
Fiction: A banana split with all the toppings is considered a serving of fruit.
Fact: We may not know diets, but we do know trees. Topping is for ice cream, not trees.
So how can you reduce a tree’s growth without the injurious effects of the “toppings?” Consult with a professional arborist who is bound by an industry code of ethics to provide proper pruning according to the profession’s tree care standards.
Find a Professional State Licensed Company Here http://www.treecaretips.org/?page_id=146