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.