Let’s face it, tree work is a tough job. If you’re planning on tackling your own trees you’ll need to swallow your fear of heights, purchase some razor sharp implements, call 14 friends to help move branches, find some kind of rope, borrow spurs from the lineman down the road, dust off your ladder, hit Youtube for some tips, rent some kind of truck and start praying hard to God for some amazing luck. An alternative option I’ll throw out there would be to call a tree service expert that works with trees every day. Ugh. Big? Yup. Scary? You know it. Expensive? Probably. Who do you call? How do you know which tree expert to hire?
A professional arborist will leave you smarter, safer and even better looking. Seriously. The math to help determine if you have the right tree service looks like this: what + why + how + when = who (to hire). What the heck does this mean? The right arborists will share their knowledge and understanding of tree pruning to ensure you get the results you want. They’ll help identify aerial hazards you may not see. And, no matter what, they’ll leave you and your property even better looking.
How do you know when you’ve hired the right tree specialist, or arborist?
+ the “WHAT?” Right Tree, Right Place
A professional arborist will help review your landscape to make sure you’re getting the benefits from having the right trees in the right places. The first question to ask is, “What purpose does this tree serve here?” Does the tree block your neighbour’s so you can’t see him suntanning naked in his backyard? Does the tree block your place so he can’t see you suntanning naked in your backyard? These are important questions to ask and a well-trained tree professional will be able to help you and implement a plan to make sure you continue to get what you want out of your trees.
+ the “WHY?” Right Tree, Right Reason
Another question a precise arborist will ask is, “Why are we going to work on this tree?” Sometimes it’s super obvious – like taking out that broken branch hanging over your newborn daughter sleeping in the stroller on your driveway next to your Ferrari. Maybe that dead fir tree next to the house needs to be removed before the top snaps off and adds a skylight to your upstairs living room. Let’s get it straight – most of the time you know why you need tree work done. Which leads us to the next question….
+ the “HOW?” Right Tree, Right Techniques
You’ve decided it’s time to do something with your trees. You’ve had enough. You call a “tree guy” who advertises “professional tree services” and has a bunch of pictures of angry looking men with chainsaws on his website. He shows up and you tell him what you want done.
“Let’s top all these maple trees, cut them in half, so we get more light and less leaves here,” you tell him.
“Ok, no problem. That’ll be $4,000.00,” he says.
WRONG ANSWER, CHARLES.
When you go to the dentist, you tell her your tooth hurts. You don’t tell her how to fix it. So, when you hire a professional arborist, you tell him you need more light and less leaves in your backyard. Do you know the best way to achieve that goal? Did you know that topping trees will actually result in more leaves and less light in your yard? Did you know that topping trees will cost you more money down the road? Look, hiring that angry chainsaw guy to top your trees is great for his business because he knows he’ll be back in 5 years to “help” you again – by removing a bunch of hazardous trees. But, is that what YOU really want?
+ the “WHEN?” Right Tree, Right Time
Like that time when you bumped into your future spouse on that train platform, timing counts. When you hire true tree service professionals, they make sure your work is done at the right time. Most pruning can be done year round but seasonal factors play a factor and should be considered. Does your declining cedar hedge need to be reshaped? Better not do it in the heat of summer. Let’s talk about mulching it and watering it before cutting anything and stressing it out more. How about the massive maple tree leaning over your house? Maybe we should take it down while there are still leaves on it so you don’t have to rake up all the leaves *again* this fall. The right arborist will make sure your tree work is done at the right time so your trees stay healthy and to get you the best value for your dollars.
= The “WHO?”
By now the answer to “who” to hire to do your tree work should be less of a guess. If you don’t feel like you’ve been given the answers to the “what + why + how + when” tree problem you have then I suggest the math “≠ who” to hire and you should call another arborist to make that a real equals sign.
Obligatory marketing material
OK, now for the mandatory plug. I own and operate Precision Tree Services Ltd, where our goal is – literally – to make you smarter, safer and even better looking. Seriously. It’s why I wrote this article. Do you feel smarter? Do you feel safer? Did that smile make you a bit better looking? Damn right it did. If you still doubt, don’t take my word for it. Contact us to see what else we can do for you.
If this whole thing comes off too much like a bad episode of Mad Men then call another tree expert. I recommend calling Grow Tree Care because I call Grow myself when I need tree care advice from people who really care about trees. They freaking rock and are a great resource for a second (or first) opinion.
Remember, you can always fire up the Youtube machine and grab that ladder. One last tip: make sure to have one of those 14 friends standing back waiting with “911” typed in his cell phone and his finger on the SEND button.