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What does an Arborist do?

An arborist provides services such as pruning, emergency tree care, removal, planting, cabling/bracing, aeration, preventive maintenance.

An arborist can diagnose ill trees and maintain or improve the health, appearance and safety of trees.  This is accomplished by properly removing limbs that interfere with wires, gutters, windows, chimneys and roofs.  Removing damaged, weak or decayed limbs can prevent a hazardous situation.  Removing select branches can improve wind resistance, prevent storm damage, increase light penetration and enhance the shape of the tree.  Special pruning can also assist in training young trees.  Storm damage can be a real problem due to trees or limbs falling on homes, cars, fences, wires or other trees.  An arborist can fix these problems safely and reducing the chance of further property damage. Tree removal is usually a last resort. An arborist’s goal is to save a tree while reducing risk of damage or injury.  Removal is necessary if a tree is dead or dying, hazardous, obstructive or crowding other trees.  Other services that can be provided include cabling/bracing, health care, fertilization, aeration and planting new trees.  An arborist can recommend the proper species for the particular location.  The improper location can lead to poor growth, insects, disease and limited space. Preventive health maintenance can help the tree protect itself against insects, disease and location problems.  Bracing can give added support to branches that are weak and save or prolong the life of trees.  Aeration can improve root growth.

How do I find an Arborist?

The yellow pages can be a good place to start as well as asking friends or neighbors. An arborist that is a member of professional organizations such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) demonstrates a willingness to enhance their knowledge and techniques involved in tree care.  A reputable arborist carries adequate insurance that includes property and personal protection.  A homeowner could be held liable for damages and injuries that occur on their property.  Get references from clients where previous work was performed so you can feel satisfied with the quality of services.  Tree care is a significant long term investment.  Remember to get an estimate in writing about the work to be performed.  Make sure that you have all the information such as when the work will be started and completed, which trees or branches are to be removed, who will do the clean up, and the total price (tax). Beware of poor practices such as tree topping, excess removal of live wood, climbing spikes on trees that will remain and disfigurement/removal without just cause.  Do not always go for the lowest bid.  Look for the best combination of price, company credentials, written specifications and professionalism.  Remember, protect your investment!