Why should you hire an arborist
Hire arborists, stump grinding services
Hire certified arborists for arboriculture, arboriculture
The consumer's need to hire arborists or tree shippers covers the whole spectrum from the urgent need to the desired choice. If you have a large tree limb hanging over your house, you may have no choice but to hire a tree service to safely remove it. At the other end of the spectrum, to add or protect the value of your property, it can make sense to hire professionals who use their artistic flair and scientific knowledge in pruning your precious trees.
Or maybe an old stump is consuming valuable space on your property. You can choose to have it removed by a professional (not an arborist, just someone who does this type of work for a living) through a process known as "stub grinding". A machine called a "stump grinder" is used to grind stumps. Elsewhere, I give do-it-yourself tips on stump removal without resorting to stump grinding. I also offer an overview of stump-out for those interested in chemical removal agents.
What kind of work do arborists do?
Hiring an arborist is a must for the most difficult jobs involved in tree care, such as pruning a valuable species of plant. But homeowners are calling on arborists for many types of tree-related jobs, from properly locating specimens in the landscape to tackling tree care issues that may arise during the life of a specimen (straightening, dealing with diseases and pests, etc.)
Arborists must have a thorough knowledge of arboriculture to be certified. Arboriculture is the art, science, technology and the business of arboriculture.
Understand exactly what you need before contacting a professional
Before hiring an arborist or arborist, you must first clearly define what your specific needs are.
Your selection criteria will vary as needed. For the sake of simplicity, we will divide the needs of the potential consumer into four major work areas:
- Routine work
- Dangerous work
- Pruning trees
With Grunt work I mean work that requires strenuous labor (or equipment that reduces strenuous labor) but minimal expertise. Brush chopping and stub grinding are examples. For such utilitarian work, price will likely be the deciding factor in choosing who to hire. Note that stump sanding work is messy: you will have wood chips all over your property afterwards. A picture of the machine used in the butt grinding can be found in the photo above.
Dangerous work involves removing diseased or partially broken limbs (a procedure called "limbing") that are threatening to fall on a house, be it your own or your neighbor's. Of course, removing trees or branches that are near a house poses such a threat, regardless of whether the tree is healthy or not. So if you remove a perfectly healthy tree to let more sun into a house, you risk just as much as removing a dead tree that looks like it is about to fall. With so much to lose, should the surgery go wrong, you wouldn't want to take the bargain basement route.
Selecting a tree service that has a solid reputation and good insurance is of the utmost importance here.
Pruning trees requires the touch of an artist and the mind of a scientist. Ask for local references so you can see examples of pruning work before hiring. More than any other category of work, here seeing is believing, and it's pretty easy to make a decision simply by looking at the work that has been done for references. It's best to hire a certified arborist for your tree pruning.
Arboriculture refers to all aspects of achieving the maximum health of your trees, including proper fertilization, pest and disease control. As with tree pruning work, we are again certified arborists. Talk to prospects as if you were consulting a doctor: Just as you would expect a doctor to know about the human body and be sensitive to its needs, judge arborists based on their knowledge of trees and their love for them.
Be suspicious of someone who suggests covering a tree or rashly suggesting that a loved one cannot be saved and must be removed immediately.
Now that you've better defined your needs, we'll see on page 2 how to find information to help you locate a certified arborist or reputable tree service for stump grinding and other work ....
Okay, now you have defined your specific tree care needs. But how do you find the certified arborist or the reputable tree service that can adequately meet these needs? Doing a little research at this point will save you a lot of time, money, and hassle in the long run. If you need tree or tree maintenance work, see the information below on the National Arborist Association related to hiring certified arborists.
For tree care needs, such as delimbing trees near a house, refer to renting a tree service instead.
Note:The National Arborist Association recently changed its name to the Tree Industry Industry Association (TCIA).
When shopping for a certified arborist, take advantage of the professional arborist standards created for the benefit of consumers. The NAA (National Arborist Association) preaches to its members the importance of voluntarily adhering to standards to differentiate yourself from charlatans in the eyes of consumers. The standards come from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Tree Care ANSI standards fall into two categories. The ANSI A300 standard sets out recognized practices for pruning, wiring / brushing, and manuring. ANSI Z133 is part of safe work practices. The web will be your best research tool here. Visit the Tree Care Industry Association website and do a zip code search for qualified members in your area.
Another membership that gives credibility to an arborist's claims is the International Arboriculture Society. Visit the ISA website to learn how their members are certified.
The Yellow Pages are likely to be less effective than the web at finding certified arborists. The Yellow Pages for my area don't have an arborist listing. Instead there is only one heading for "Tree Service". However, the content of the advertisements under this heading provides a helpful indication of the particular expertise of the advertisers.
Some ads focus on Tree Care, Fertilizing, Pest / Disease Control, and Fine Pruning. In other ads, brush chipping, lot clearing, firewood, stump grinding, etc., while both types of ads fall under the tree service heading, appear to be two very different types of services to point out.
When you need to prune a tree expertly, then you want to hire someone who is a pruning wizard. A chainsaw assistant cannot cut the mustard for your needs. Make sure you have made an educated decision before you start cutting!
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