Need a Tree Guy? 20 Secrets Your Arborist Won’t Tell You
Read these before you let anyone touch your trees.
Always get a second opinion
Always get a second opinion if someone tells you a healthy-looking tree needs to come down, especially if he wants to charge several thousand dollars.
Be careful of people who knock on your door and offer to trim your tree
Good arborists don’t need to canvas neighborhoods looking for customers. A lot of you hire so-called tree experts who are really just a guy with a chainsaw and a pickup truck. You think you got a great deal, but the work is atrocious and you won’t even realize it until the tree has already started to decay.
Here’s one thing we hate:
When we make a tree really beautiful and you comment on what a good job we did cleaning up. That’s like telling the barber how well he cleaned the hair up off the floor.
Don’t pile mulch up against your tree trunk
If you pile mulch up against the trunk of the tree (we call that a mulch volcano), the moisture can’t escape, and the trunk and root can rot more easily. Make sure there’s a mulch-free doughnut shape around the base.
Wonder why I’m rescheduling?
If I call you and say, “Mrs. Jones, I’m really sorry, but can we reschedule? We’ve had an emergency, and we’re taking a tree off a roof,” that may be true. Or I might have just snagged a job for that day that pays a lot more.
Yes, you do need to water your trees
People think they have these giant root systems that go way down to the water table, but most roots are in the top 12 to 18 inches of soil. Trees need about an inch of water a week during dry periods.
I don’t like your pets
I’ve been bitten by plenty of “happy and friendly” dogs. So if I ask you to leave your dog inside, please respect that.
Real arborists never talk about ‘feeding’ your trees
Trees make their own food, arborists manage a tree’s soil.
Sources: Jud Scott, a consulting arborist in Carmel, Indiana; Dennis Panu, a consulting arborist in Thompson, Connecticut; Ed Milhous, a consulting arborist in Haymarket, Virginia; and Aaron Dickinson, a master arborist in Glastonbury, Connecticut.