Certified Arborist
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Frequently Asked Questions

Selecting a tree service should be considered carefully. Trees and shrubs add beauty and value to your property and deserve proper care. When you look for a tree service there should be a ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, a ISA Certified Arborist and a ISA Certified Tree Risk Assessor on staff to ensure your trees future health.

Start your search by doing a online search for ISA Board Certified Master Arborists in your area.

If you are getting comparison bids, you may find they will vary considerably. One bid might include careful pruning according to National Arborist Association Standards and performed by a trained ISA Certified Arborists, reputable and insured company. A bid of much less on the same job might be a quick butcher job by an uninsured, and/or unlicensed person, that has no or little knowledge of the trees biology and how trees will respond. Be aware that bids of nearly the same amount may not represent the equivalent quality, the amount of work or the experience and eduction.

The important thing about gathering comparative bids is that each company estimates the same work, and that you understand the quality of work provided. You want to shop Value over price. This means all the companies you choose to receive bids from have the same credentials, education, insurance and equipment. it is important to have these companies put in writing what they are going to do in detail.

Topping, refers to the removal of major portions of a tree's crown by cutting branches indiscriminately or whole tops from trees. Topping severely injures and sometimes kills them outright. So why would people ask to have a tree topped? There seems to be a few main reasons:

  • Concern for safety
    Possibility of blow down in storms etc.
  • Scenic views
    People wanting a better view of rivers, lakes, mountains, etc.
  • Misguided intent to save money
    Correctly pruned trees are not often apparent to the untrained eye, whereas a "topped" tree is very apparent. The examples of quality tree care frequently go unnoticed while the mutilated victims of topping serve as a standard no-no for tree care. Topping destroys the natural form of trees. It stimulates excessive, undesirable growth, and quickly defeats the original purpose of pruning your trees. Restorative pruning over time, can slowly bring back a natural shape after the tree has been topped. A tree's life is reduced by topping and the resultant decay weakens the limbs and trunk. Topping a tree can become the most expensive method of trimming when considering the loss of tree value and the increasing maintenance costs required to preserve an unnatural form. Topping cannot and will not make a tree safe, it causes more problems. Those people that ignore proper tree care, and top trees ensure long loss to everyone, especially the tree.

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