If your home or business has trees within its property boundary, chances are that at some point you will require tree maintenance or removal services. Dead or diseased trees can become an eyesore, and some trees may leave your building vulnerable to pests or foundation damage. An experienced arborist can help you resolve these issues quickly and efficiently.
Before hiring professional tree services for a consultation or project, there are some questions you should ask yourself; here we explore the things you need to know prior to engaging arborists for your property:
What is your Ideal Outcome?
In order to communicate your goals effectively, you must first understand what your ideal outcome is. If you’re looking to update your landscaping, you should plot out which trees are in the way of your planned result, or which need maintenance to improve the overall look of your yard.
Consider whether there’s an opportunity to include existing trees in your new landscaping plans, as trees may be home to local wildlife as well as be providing much-needed shade for your family.
If you’re aiming for total removal of trees, identify why you’re worried about a tree’s current placement. While a tree may look as though it’s too close to your home or driveway, an expert opinion may be able to put your concerns to rest.
There are many common reasons a tree may need to be removed, including:
- It’s leaning toward property or play areas and may pose a threat of falling.
- It has been damaged by a storm or impact and cannot be rehabilitated.
- The tree has a disease or infestation that could pose a fatal threat to itself or other trees. (1)
A reputable tree service will be able to provide a consultation in the event that you’re not sure if a tree needs to be removed or not. Helping your arborist understand your goals and concerns will assist them in achieving your ideal outcome.
Is your greenery protected?
A tree being on your property does not automatically give you the right to cut it down. Different local governments have varying laws and regulations dictating under which circumstances a tree may be removed.
Take the example of the city of Melbourne in Australia.
Melbourne and the state of Victoria do not have a specific legal framework to regulate disputes between neighbours over trees; if a neighbour’s tree is encroaching on your property in Melbourne, your local nuisance regulations should be consulted for a remedy. (2)
Some individual trees or vegetation may also be protected by environmental and heritage laws, even if they are located on private property. Some indigenous plants and trees are protected with the goal of conserving biodiversity; this is more common in rural areas, but may apply to some metro communities as well. (3)
Some jurisdictions also have laws protecting “significant” or “heritage” trees which may not be indigenous. If you suspect you have a protected tree or vegetation at your property, make sure to check with local authorities to confirm what regulations exist, and which permits or permissions may be required. (2) (3)
This is good advice no matter where you’re located.
Are you considering DIY?
DIY ways to remove a tree are available, but most professional arborists would advise against this. Tree felling can be a dangerous business; between 1992 and 2007, tree care contractors in the United States experienced an average of 80 industry fatalities each year; 44% of these fatalities occurred at private residences. (4)
If you’re considering any DIY tree removal or trimming, carefully review any applicable safety procedures and ensure you have emergency procedures in place. If you’re cutting down a tree, be sure to accurately predict which way it will fall and act accordingly. As this video shows, tree felling is quite a sight to behold, but it can be disastrous if the proper safety precautions are not considered.
What services do you need?
There are many services a reputable arborist can provide for your commercial or residential property, knowing what is available can help you make an informed decision about your needs.
- Tree cutting is primarily focused on aesthetics. This service typically involves you and an arborist discussing how you’d like a tree to look, and working to provide an appearance and maintenance plan that you’re happy with.
- Tree pruning also involves cutting and trimming leaves and branches, but is more focused on maintaining the overall health of your tree. Pruning may involve removing dangerous or dead limbs, helping trees grow straighter, or clearing portions of a tree as needed. (5)
- Tree removal may be required when a tree is dead, diseased, or damaged. A tree may also be removed in order to improve the overall impact of landscaping.
- Stump removal is often required if you’ve felled a tree yourself, but have been unable to safely remove the stump. As tree roots can grow quite deep into the earth, stubborn stumps can be an ordeal to remove. A tree service will be able to eliminate the tree remnants quickly and efficiently.
An experienced tree service contractor will be able to discuss your options in detail to help you choose the most appropriate course of action for your property.
Is the tree service experienced?
In some countries, such as Australia, arborists do not need a specific license, however it’s recommended that you vet potential contractors to ensure they are reputable. Good signs of a capable tree service firm are: (6)
- They hold workers compensation insurance to protect their team in the event of an accident.
- They hold public liability insurance to protect you, your family, and your property in the event damage is caused during the project.
- They have relevant certificates in Horticulture to show that they’ve undergone formal training. (6)
Before trusting someone to remove a tree on your property, ensure that their previous customers have been happy with the provided service. If online reviews show that the firm is reliable, responds quickly in an emergency, and has reasonable payment or invoice terms, it’s likely that they are safe to do business with.
When it comes to tree maintenance or removal, consulting the experts can prevent you from making potentially costly or damaging DIY mistakes. It can take many years to learn how to properly care for trees, and experienced tree care experts have the added benefit of being covered by insurance for any mishaps.
Whatever your tree-related needs, a team of arborists from a credible tree service can help you achieve your goals.
- “15 Reasons To Remove A Tree”, Source: https://gradeatree.com/15-reasons-to-remove-a-tree/
- “Planning Law And Regulation Affecting Trees On Private Land”, Source: http://lawreform.vic.gov.au/content/introduction-34
- “Tree Protection Laws In Australian States And Territories”, Source: https://treenet.org/resources/tree-protection-laws-in-australian-states-and-territories/
- “Work-Related Fatalities Associated With Tree Care Operations”, Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5815a2.htm
- “Tree Cutting Service | Reiners Tree Services”, Source: https://www.reinerstreeservices.com.au/services/tree-cutting-service/
- “Licensed Arborists – Find Local Arborists”, Source: https://www.licensedtrades.com.au/licensed/arborists#:~:text=You%20can%20do%20this%20by%20checking%20that%20they,a%20Certificate%20II%20or%20III%20in%20Horticulture%20%28Arboriculture%29