Greater Tree Health

Hello to all our previous customers out there!

We would like to stay in touch with you on a periodic basis even if it is just to spread some insight into greater tree health.

Although many criticize us when taking a tree down that we are harming the environment, the opposite is actually true. When certain conditions exist in a tree, such as irreparable fungus or insect infestation, the tree left standing becomes a threat to all the other trees around it.

Fungus spreads rapidly through the wind. It is not unusual to find the same fungus in many trees co-existing in the same area because one tree was not properly treated to begin with. Whether the owner was just unaware or didn’t want to spend a few bucks, the end result can be catastrophic for other trees also. In the worst case scenario, all the trees need to be removed costing the owner far more then he originally was hesitant to spend on treatment of the fungus or infestation.

To be more aware of these problems, you should occasionally check the base of the tree and lower branches for tiny insect holes, wood powder, or other obvious signs of insects.

In the case of fungus, you should look for light green or white growth on the bark surface. Although sometimes this is just a lichen, which is harmless, many other times it is wilt fungus or a combination of other fungi, which will deteriorate the bark and destroy the tree if unchecked.

Fungus can usually grow on a tree for a year or so before harming the tree’s health. Into the second year, you are approaching the danger zone and need some of the major leading branches taken out, which will radically alter the tree’s appearance. Into the third year, you are looking at a dead tree with no hope.

If you suspect any of these conditions by some of the warning signals previously mentioned, but are not sure you should call a professional and get a free estimate, just remember, as with any type of maintenance, prevention is always the least expensive.

When it comes to pruning, unfortunately, many people wait until the tree is a major hazard before getting anything done. This often results in extreme measures which spell certain death for the tree.

The best policy is to have your trees trimmed about every three to five years depending on the variety. If your trees are so thick that sun and wind can barely get through, you have probably reached the seven to ten year point. These are the conditions where insects and fungus thrive best in the intense moisture and darkness.

In a sense, trees are like any other living organism, even humans. They need proper amounts of light and ventilation (breathing room) to thrive. When the tree is thriving in a healthy manner it is much less likely to pick up fungi or insect infestations.

A healthy tree has a stronger immunity to diseases and outside agents in the same way a healthy human being does. So the best way to prevent unwanted removal of trees is to have them trimmed every 3 to 5 years and have them treated for fungus and insects whenever these foreign agents become recognized.

When would the removal or maintenance of a tree be a threat to the environment? When people remove trees for reasons like unwanted leaf raking or fear of the tree falling on the property even though the tree is perfectly healthy, removing the tree under those circumstances can actually be a detriment to the environment. These reasons, along with other personal peculiar interests of individuals should make anyone in the tree care industry hesitate before cutting and at least try to talk to the owner about alternative solutions.

Personal notes: We are expanding to commercial as well as residential work in the community and have increased our equipment to meet all your tree needs in the last several years.  As a certified arborist and owner of this company, if there is any way we can be of service, please let us know.

See you soon!

Wisdom of Joe

Here are a few tips and suggestions as you hire someone to help with your tree care needs.

#1)  There are a lot of wrong procedures being performed on trees today for the sole purpose of making a buck. Procedures such as topping may have immediate short term benefits, but over the long term, they are destructive to the tree and guarantee rot and decay, insect infestation, an unnatural appearance, and are certain to end the tree’s life. If you question this, I can prove it from a number of unquestionable sources in the arborist community and training. A Certified Arborist would never top your trees. We understand proper trimming techniques for the health of the tree. However, I still see topped trees here in Lancaster as well as other communities.

If you doubt what I am saying, take a drive through the city of Lebanon in the winter sometime; when the false appearance of surface growth from water sprouts is not masking the real condition of the trees. Look at the stubs where the cuts were made. They are all rotted out at least a foot down from the cuts. This is a perfect example of what happened to a community where these type of so-called tree surgeons were allowed to operate. The trees are all In decay and they look like a bunch of sick unnatural looking stubs!

#2)   Along with "topping," there are other damaging procedures to avoid that are still sometimes used in our area. They are "spiking," "flush cutting," and "tarring."

Spikes should not be used unless the tree is being removed. Spikes put holes in the trees and open them up to infestation.

Flush cuts or straight cuts that are not made at an angle do not allow the cambium (the tree’s natural band aid) to form over the cut and thus protect the tree from rot and decay. When hasty procedures are made to save time and money on the part of the tree surgeon, these cuts are often flush, thus destroying the cambium’s ability to form and protect the tree. Again, the tree’s life and health will be affected dramatically by this. The tree becomes like a human being with a bunch of open sores that never get a chance to heal. Just as the human being becomes open to infection in this situation, so the tree becomes infected with rot and disease.

In the old days, they used tree tar to try to thwart decay and disease. But now, we know that the tree is its own best healer and will form its own natural band aid, the cambium, if the cut is made properly. Tar will only impede this natural process.

#3)  It is important to care for the tree’s needs first and foremost. This may sound like a strange thing for someone to say, who is interested in your tree business, but just think what would happen if M.D.’s and surgeons did everything patients wanted instead of what the patients needed. Chaos would result. Patients obviously can’t just override a helpful care plan if they are to achieve what is best for their bodies. I hate to say it, but I am more interested in making sure that your tree is healthy when I complete my job than I am in just coming along and racing through a procedure and doing it all wrong just because it would improve my bottom line. I love my business, am here to stay, and want people to know I will continue to do a top notch job.

You might be able to get a rock bottom price from a fly-by-night who says they can trim your tree, however, if their prices are significantly lower they might be new to the business or not know what they are doing. My prices are competitive with the other knowledgeable, professional, fully insured companies in the area. As a Certified Arborist, I care about the health of your trees and will advise you accordingly to save money in the long run. I can also assess your trees' overall health and advise you if they could be hazardous to your property. We trim trees over houses all the time to reduce hazards with no damage because we understand expert rigging techniques.

I look forward to working with you for the health of your trees for many years to come.