Professional Tree Service???

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by Dixie, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. Dixie

    Dixie Active Member

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    Has anyone ever witnessed a "Professional" tree service "pruning" with a reciprocating saw???!!! I have. In an upscale neighborhood in my town, there is a tree service "pruning" on two 50-60 foot tall red oaks. Sadly, they have removed 1/3-1/2 of the tree. Do you all have this problem up where you are located, or is this just common place down here? It is quite appalling knowing that this is allowed. Sorry, accidentally put in the wrong forum.
     
  2. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I believe you can use some of the forum tools to move the post to the location you wanted it. But no I have not seen that done around here but I know it happens and it is typical to see large volumes of tree canopies removed without regard to tree health. I suppose that can be the difference between a "tree service" and an aborist or a tree service supervised by a well-taught arborist.

    We recently moved to a new larger property and it was densely overplanted with ceadar and evergreens that obscured the house and posed a threat to the structures on the property. I went to some lenght to interview a few arborists as one of the jobs entailed climbing an 80ft or taller American Elm to clean it up. While I was somewhat satisfied with his work, it was still under par from what I would have liked. No ladder and bucket trucks or reciprocating saws, just an adequately sized chainsaw, handsaw, pole saw, branch hooks and climbing gear-and of course a big chipper. We reduced the price by having him agree to let me help so I could supervise and learn.
     
  3. Dixie

    Dixie Active Member

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    that is a good idea. i am supervising a pruning job on some post oaks and a pecan at a historical site this coming monday. they have a really good reputation, but i am having him mark with chalk where he will be making the pruning cuts. too picky you think??
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    There is a green laser pointer that can be had, it is visible in the canopy and would allow discussion with examples as part of the pre pruning process. Generally if a homeowner offers to 'help' me do my job I would not allow it. WCB and my insurance do not allow for help other than employees and I would have serious safety concerns with untrained personel in my work area, depending on the work of course. I would not allow anyone except employees to; Feed a chipper, drag brush from inside my drop zone, 'tell' me on where to make pruning cuts (after the discussion of what the client needs and what I intend to provide the client of course) but I dont mind the odd query or suggestion, climb a tree with me, make pruning cuts (if they have hired me and I am being paid to do the work based on my equipment, experience and knowledge, why would they want to?), so that basically leaves raking up. :) Clients are welcome to watch if they like but it must be from a safe distance so that I dont need to worry about them entering / leaving my drop zone.

    In regards to hiring, I strongly suggest you interview your tree people, or any trade you bring in to your property, its only fair and they should expect it. I certainly dont get every job I go to estimate and its not just price that is the deciding factor. I as an industry professional have mere moments to inform the customer of my knowledge, abilities, experience and attitude. After that is a discussion of tools, methodology etc. Next time you are looking for a landscaper or tree person try asking them the last 3 horticulture books they have read. If its an arborist, ask them what the last two or three pruning books they read. and when. It may help seperate the wheat from the chaff.
     
  5. Dixie

    Dixie Active Member

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    Sadly, there is only ONE certified arborist in my area (population of 86,000). He actually works for a company that when we see them on our campus we cringe (they do utility line clearing) and do not do a good job. They cut down what ever is in there way. I am creating a tree ordinance for our city and am hoping to really emphasize the use of directional pruning on utility lines. It is really hard to find someone who understands what the branch collar is, why you don't leaves stubs, etc. I am going to take the ISA exam this July for my own resume and to have the certification. This tree service we are hiring is the most reputable, but they still offer those services (topping) that I am strongly against. So I am going to make sure they are doing EXACTLY what I have requested. The owner didn't have a problem with me being there. He seemed knowledgeable, but that doesn't mean he has conveyed his knowledge to his crew. Unfortunately, our city doesn't require any sort of certification or evidence that a tree service has any credibility. Hopefully, with this new ordinance tree services will have to attend a training seminar or be ISA certified which will exempt them from the training. I am probably going to be hated among the local "Tree Services", but what these people are allowed to do to our trees to make a quick buck is vulgar. Where I used to live, not just anyone could provide these services and it was reflected in the beauty of the town. I could go on and on and on.... Anyway, cool idea with the green laser pointer. Where is Burnaby? Are you available for hire? Just kidding.
     
  6. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    talk to the ISA and TCIA, they can probably give you advice and possibly help. Plant Amnesty is also a good reference. If you are drawing up bylaws and such there are a few in my areae that are fairly comprehensive. http://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/bylaw_801412506.pdf

    Burnaby is a suburb of Vancouver, in Birtish Columbia. If you are looking for specific arborist information and/or internet forum interaction PM me and I can give you a couple of sites that I frequent, when I am not poking around here! :)
     
  7. Dixie

    Dixie Active Member

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    thank you
     
  8. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Jimmyq--

    I think wise advice on your part not to have homeowners in the way, and I certainly would have respected the aborists request to keep me out of his drop zone. While he was up in the Elm, I mostly busied myself gathering shrub debris I had created and other plant debris from around the yard which I was allowed to pile near the chipper and debris his crew fed to the chipper for me. I will say that I did drag some downed arborvitae and some limbs as we had a defined plan of what was to be pruned and he gave me a price for a days work--my labor included.

    I guess he felt comfortable as we have a large plant collection here, a small home orchard, and what is soon to be a specialty nursery. My basic knowledge of plants and enthusiasm for discussion probably lulled him into a false sense of security, as I am sure I don't belong near is chainsaw or under the elm he is climbing. But heck, if he was willing to take the risk, who am I to pass up a great opportunity--trees pruned and cleared and the chance at observation. Under the umbrealla of what you have said, it woudl have been safer to stand asise.

    I will say, my primary reason for being there was to make sure the work I wanted done got done and that is the price I paid for making a crazy deal like $X for a day of work--we'll do a much as we can. It was a compromise in that we had a new home with way too many trees and a pocketbook still aching from the purchse price of the land. I wanted special attention paid to two very common White oaks at the top of the driveway and the Elm in the back--to get that and my price, I had to help out with the easy stuff like arborvitae and branch dragging.

    I like the idea of a laser pointer and the idea of clear and concise discussion about what will be pruned and the objective of that task. For example, the Elm tree required the removal or some dead wood and debris and the Oaks needed removal of mistletoe with some structuring. If we had gotten to the ash trees (which we didn't) they need to be opened up on the inside and to have some structural work done on some narrow crotch angles. Those are the things that need to be identified, but after the goal is set forth, I feel that the arborist should be left alone to do what they do--that's what they are paid for.
     
  9. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    MJH, I dont have any fight with what you say. :)
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Don't go overboard with that opening up crowns and correcting narrow crotch angles, structural pruning (training) is really for young specimens. Once the tree is mature the dye is cast. If a tree definitely looks like it's going to split, of course, something should be tried--but maybe cabling rather than cutting. I think I remember Dr. Shigo even going so far as to state in his book MODERN ARBORICULTURE that if you prune a branch from a mature tree and it sprouts a replacement afterward that branch should not have been pruned. In other words, deadwooding only.
     
  11. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Jimmyq,

    I know you didn't really have a fight, but sometimes I just like hearing myself type??:)

    Ron, good point. I never really thought about it like that as the traditional knowledge says that we should correct these "faults" with the tree. I don't know if I would classify my two Raywood Ash trees as young, and it is apparant that the gowth habit of that variety of tree is to have narrow crotch angles and have a narrow dense canopy. I guess this is the feeling I had about the trees and thereby it didn't bother me too much that we did not get to pruning them. Now, who knows they may never get pruned. I would bet the pruning they would have gotten would have resulted in some replacement growth--probably not anymore desireable than the growth that was removed, the whole process have a neutral and unnecessarily traumatizing effect.

    As you sate, deadwooding the Elm and the oaks was much more a priorty as the dead wood is just a beacon for pests and disease.

    Best regards to all!
     
  12. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    MJ, regarding no fight, I was just saying that I dont disagree with what you had to say.
    :) all is good.
     
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Popular 'Flame' ash street tree planting(s) in Seattle has unfortunately proven prone to severe breakage. Jacobson, NORTH AMERICAN LANDSCAPE TREES says

    "Many observers cannot believe it is different from F. angustifolia 'Raywood'--but it is a bit darker green in summer. For all practical purposes the two are identical..."
     

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