Why Hire a Tree Service Company?
Having trees on your property is a generally huge plus for any homeowner. Many trees not only provide a colorful reminder of the changing seasons but are also an eye-pleasing change of terrain. They can also provide practical uses such as shade or a windbreak, shielding your home and helping ease some of your energy costs.
However, maintaining healthy trees that do not occasionally present a physical threat to your property also requires vigilance and a willingness do something about it should the tree become damaged or ill.
For instance, what happens should a large branch die and become a fall threat? Or what happens if you notice an insect infestation or blight? If you’ve ever wondered, why hire a tree service company, then continue reading, and we’ll try to help you determine what problems you can handle on your own, and which require professional assistance.
The good news is that many tree issues can be handled easily by any willing homeowner. So, if you spot a potential issue on a tree on your property, take some time and inspect it closer using some of these guidelines. And if you still have questions, perhaps it is time to engage a professional tree service company.
Before we get too far into the things you can handle, perhaps it’s best to look at what should ALWAYS be left to professionals. Here’s some hard and fast rules that will stop you taking unnecessary risks and putting your health – or property – in danger.
Call a tree service company if/when:
- You notice any compromised limbs that are too high for you to reach while standing on the ground. Working in the air requires equipment and knowledge you likely do not have.
- You notice any limbs touching or located above any sort of power/cable/telephone lines. Sure, you might be able to cut them and get lucky, but do you really want to risk knocking out service to the rest of the neighborhood?
- You notice any tree leaning/looking like a fall danger. Unless it is very small, you could hurt yourself or your property if it does come crashing down.
- You need a tree of any real size felled. Anything with any size or girth will require an experienced professional to bring down. A good rule of thumb is that if the tree is small enough to remove without having to climb a ladder (in order to first cut off the top section of the tree) then you may attempt it on your own – otherwise, call the pros.
- A tree has fallen on and is still touching any part of your home or car. Obviously, you can use your judgement to an extent here. If a small branch is touching your possessions, that’s one thing. But if you have a large trunk of a tree across your roof or car, call someone who can remove it without causing further damage to your property or yourself. If you cut even a down tree in the wrong way, it could whiplash or fall in an unexpected direction and cause further damage.
- You want to brace large branches against potential storm/wind damage. Again, this requires heavy-duty equipment and knowledge.
OK, now that we’ve established what you should call a pro for, here are some tree service aspects you can easily handle on your own.
- Trimming branches – There is a method to this. Be careful not to immediately cut longer branches off at the trunk. This can lead to breaking or tearing, which could put the health of the tree at risk. Instead, cut off a section of the branch and then proceed to cut the remainder off at the trunk junction.
- Warding off insect colonies – There are plenty of pesticides and insecticides that can be purchased at your local hardware store. Keep an eye on the leaves and branches of the trees in your yard, as these will indicate whether is something attacking/eating the tree and putting its health at risk.
- Fertilizing – This is not just for flowers, vegetable patches and your lawn. Fertilizing a tree is always a good idea to maintain proper health. The best time to fertilize is late April or early May – or late fall (once plants go dormant). Tree fertilizer may be purchased at your local hardware or garden store. The nitrogen content of the fertilizer should be 12-30 percent, with phosphorus and potassium at 3-12 percent. The amount of actual nitrogen applied should be 3 pounds per 1,000 square feet. DO NOT use fertilizer containing herbicides, such as those used on lawns.
- Watering – Just as you would with your lawn or flower beds, you should water your trees when Mother Nature is not providing plenty of her own water. In northeast Georgia, that usually means watering in summer when heat and drought conditions often persist. The best time to water is during the morning or evening, when it is less likely to evaporate. How much? The rule of thumb for established trees is 10 gallons of water for each inch of the trunk diameter. (NOTE: Newly planted trees require much more water than established trees.) Watering trees is also not like watering lawns in that you want to get the water deep into the root system. That means watering for longer periods in a concentrated method. However, you also do not need to water trees as frequently as your lawn – so long as your watering penetrates deep enough into the soil.
Certainly, there are tree service companies that will happily maintain all aspects of your tree health. But there is plenty you can do on your own to maintain healthy trees on your property year-round.
However, if you do require the services of a professional tree company make sure you vet them. Ask a few questions such as:
- How do you minimize potential damage? Protecting your property is one of the most important aspects of a professional tree service. That includes making sure that the equipment that they bring in to complete the job does not do damage to your lawn or driveway.
- Are you insured? You want to make sure that you do not end up with some sort of liability should a tree service professional sustain an injury on your property. Make sure they are insured – in fact, it should be stated in your contract. A professional tree service company should be happy to explain their insurance procedures.
- What are your credentials? A professional tree company should have both experience and knowledge of the business – and trees they are likely to encounter in your region. Check their website or call them in order to see what credentials and services they offer.
Follow these procedures and you are certain to not only enjoy the trees on your property, but avoid potentially dangerous and self-inflicted tree service damage.