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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default What to ask an arborist/landscaper- article?

    I could have sworn I recently read an article in TOH giving advice on what to ask before you hire an arborist, or a landscaper, or something along those lines. We need to hire someone to remove a couple diseased trees and clear brush from around the perimeter of the property, and I want to know what I should find out about them before we engage one.

    Can anyone point me to the article? I'm having no luck searching the site or my back issues. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: What to ask an arborist/landscaper- article?

    Hey Dave,

    As an arborist, here are a few things you need to find out, and that I answer on a regular basis -

    Are they insured? - Don't accept their word for it - Ask that a certificate of insurance be sent to you directly from their insurance company. How many claims have they had?

    How long have they been in business/ how much experience do they have?

    Are they a certified arborist? You can check the status of their certification at www.isa-arbor.com

    Do they use spikes when pruning trees? This is not an acceptable practice, and is a good sign they are "hacks." Spikes should only be used on removals, as they damage living tissue.

    Do they top trees? Topping is another unacceptable practice - A very good sign of a "hack."

    Will they listen to you and your needs, or do they have their own agenda? (ex. You have a tree that has some dead limbs and you would like it to be elevated off your roof by 6 feet. They tell you that the tree needs to be removed. )

    References - Can you talk to any past clients or see any of their work? If they don't provide any, how are you supposed to know what you are getting?

    You can find certified arborists in your are at www.treesaregood.com and members of the Tree Care Industry Association at www.tcia.org. I'm a member of both organizations, and it's a sign of a reputable company.

    If you are seeking advice, it may be wise to employ the services of an unbiased arborist who will not be doing the work. That way, they can give you their unbiased opinion, and you know they are not trying to sell you any unneeded services.

    From your post, if you already know that you want the trees removed, at least make sure they are insured, and that they will provide the service that you want (cleanup, debris removal, etc.)

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    76

    Arrow Re: What to ask an arborist/landscaper- article?

    This article is in regards to tree roots, what to know before you cut.

    So you want to install a new concrete driveway because you are tired of looking at your “bumpy” asphalt. You have noticed that over time, your asphalt keeps breaking up and your tree keeps growing bigger roots that are cracking the driveway. You think, “I will dig up the asphalt, cut the tree roots to get them out of the way, and then install a concrete driveway that will be more resistant to any future root problems.” Before you go this route, read on.

    Tree roots, which are mostly under the soil, actually comprise a large portion of a tree's mass and are essential to tree health and safety. The roots act like anchors for the trees providing it stability. The roots will absorb water and nutrients which provides the essential elements for the tree to grow and survive. The roots also act as a storage place for the tree’s food supply.
    Cutting a root is like cutting a main artery in your own body and by doing this you risk killing or at least doing serious harm to the tree. By removing that large root that lifts up your asphalt, you are eliminating over 25 percent of the tree's total root system. This damage can be seen immediately with effects such as leaves dropping off the limb, the limbs dying, or the tree begins to lean. Oftentimes, the damage may not be seen for 3 or more years, but can result in premature death of the tree as a whole.

    This is not to say you cannot cut any root that may be in your way. It means that you have to understand the tree’s root system, how it grows, and how to properly cut the bothersome root. By knowing this, you can significantly reduce the harm to the tree, and possibly to you and your property.
    If, after your research, you feel that you can cut the root safely, then first, make your cut as far from the trunk as possible. To see how close to the tree base you can cut the root, measure the diameter of the trunk at a point 4.5 foot above the ground. Take this number and multiply it by 6. That result will tell you how far from the tree base that you will need to make the cut.

    Be aware that by cutting this one root, that the tree will react by producing a large number of smaller roots, which may cause future issues.

    The best way to make sure you and your tree are safe, is to call your local arborist or your forestry department.

    More of these kind of articles are found at http://www.novapros.com/blog

    Hope this helps,
    Allison

  4. #4

    Default Re: What to ask an arborist/landscaper- article?

    Here is the article you are looking for:

    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/arti...224962,00.html

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