Well-cared for trees are
attractive and add considerable value to your property.
Tree Service Professionals provide a variety of services
to help maintain your valuable investments.
How to Hire a Tree Service Professional, we
summarize the important issues to consider when hiring a
Tree Service Professional. Often times, seniors citizens
are scammed by "Fly By Nighters" or "Door Knockers" and
are too embarrassed, ashamed or afraid to report this type
of incident or scam.
suggestions to consider as you make your hiring decision:
• The Tree
Service should have a local address and telephone
number, and how long in business. Are estimates free and
is work guaranteed?
• Ask of
referrals of the contractor’s most current jobs. Take a
look at the completed work and if possible talk to the
if the tree professional or arborist is a member of any
professional associations, such as the International
Society of Arboriculture.
service professionals will rarely recommend topping a
tree. Tree topping is only necessary in extreme
circumstances, such as physical damage.
action to beware of is removal of a living tree. A good
arborist only recommends this action as a last resort.
• Always get
written estimates for cost of tree removal, trimming,
stump removal or whatever the tree work.
• Obtain two
or three bids on the job and base your decision on the
merits and qualifications of the Professional Tree
Service -- not just because of the price.
FAQ’s for Tree
To help you
better understand the tree service industry, we’ve
answered some of the most commonly asked questions. When
you speak with a tree service professional or arborist you
will know the industries jargon and will be able to ask
specific questions concerning your trees.
What is the
best time of the year to have my trees trimmed?
in the Texas Hill Country, for Live Oaks, the absolute
best time is from mid-June to early October; in winter,
December to mid-February in the cooler weather; but
never from mid-March to mid-June. Professional Tree
Services will always take precautions throughout the
year to paint wounds and to sterilize equipment to
protect your trees the year around.
is the best time of year to identify tree health
summer give the best opportunity to identify heath
problems. However, you should continue to observe your
valuable trees throughout the year. Prompt detection and
treatment can be critical.
is a tree estimate?
generally call arborists to investigate tree problems
and get recommendations, such as the removal of dead
branches, loss of foliage, or insect problems. Some
estimates are free; however, most professionals charge a
fee for estimates based on the distance traveled to the
job site and the time to examine the tree’s problems.
is a tree consultation?
If you want
to know where to build your house, add on a patio, or
need to know how to save as many trees as possible, then
you need to hire a tree consultant. Consultants can save
you money by preserving trees rather that removing and
having to replace others later. Professionals generally
charge for a consultation fee.
is a tree inspection?
The request is common among
homeowners who know their tree has a problem, but need a
Professional to recommend a solution. An Arborist, who
is carefully trained, makes a visual inspection around
the tree area, probes the ground for root conditions or
up into the tree for broken limbs or signs of weakness.
is a tree appraisal?
An assessment of damage and
property loss due to storms or
whatever reason a tree has been injured or what kind of
care is required to keep a tree in good vigor. Some
insurance providers consider this loss as casualty
loss. An Arborist can calculate
the value of your tree loss for insurance purposes.
diseases can threaten a tree’s health and vigor. It is
important for you to identify the existence of a problem
and then contact a professional arborist who will
recommend a treatment or action to hopefully save a tree.
- There are two broad categories of diseases --
those caused by infectious agents and noninfectious
agents. Infectious agents include fungi, viruses and
bacteria. Non-infectious diseases can be caused by
nutrient deficiencies, environmental stress, such as
temperature, drought, excessive rain, pollutants and
vandalism. All these problems can cause a variety of
symptoms and it is essential for a tree professional to
distinguish between the two in order to prescribe proper
- It is
important to remember that most insects are beneficial
rather than destructive. However, some insects like
caterpillars, beetles, aphids and wood borers can cause
serious injury and damage. Tree Professionals will
prescribe treatment without harming the trees or
health can be affected by environmental conditions such
as drought, moisture, light, temperature and nutrient
deficiencies. Too much or too little or any of these
environmental conditions can cause serious stress
problems and an arborist can identify and prescribe
Gives you an
average cost for estimates and specialty work on your
trees. As far as the actual service, work is usually
priced as a single price per tree, daily or hourly rate
plus materials. The total price can vary according to:
• The size
and location of tree or trees -- big or small, near or
over a building
• The type
and condition of the trees -- Oak, Hack Berry, Box
diameter of the tree or trees for the prescribed
treatment and medication
and equipment used -- trucks, chippers, aerial lifts,
stump cutters and chain saws
difficulty of the job, insurance risk and the number of
workers needed to provide the tree service. Job
location, equipment, gasoline and materials all will be
factored into the cost of the project.
grouped together for reason to avoid redundancy. Tree
services gives you a detailed list of the tree services
available and a brief description of what the service
The Glossary details some of the confusing vocabulary
associated with the tree industry.
Specialist in the care of individual trees. They are
knowledgeable about the needs of trees, and are trained
and equipped to provide proper care.
NB. A Certified Arborist has to
receive proper training and accreditation from the
International Society of Arborculture inorder to become
"A CERTIFIED ARBORIST".
- Cabling adds support to branched with weak
attachments. A younger tree may need wire cables for
support and stability.
- Crown reduction is removal of the trees highest
branches to clear them from service wires or to reduce
the overall height of the tree controlled.
- This service involves removal of the trees
inner branches to allow more light through and to reduce
the amount of weight that a tree has to support.
- Is the removal of lower limbs and branches to
raise the overhead clearance, either over a building or
the ground area,
- This is the removal of dead or damaged branches
to reduce limbs falling on buildings, vehicles and the
- This tree service is a inspection and
assessment of pest problems or disease of the tree.
Tree inspection should be completed as a preventive
measure once a year. During the inspection, the
professional will examine the tree vigor. A
diagnosis can be performed by a visual inspection
, around the ground and up into the tree for weak or
broken branches, and a root collar exam .
- A method of removing a dead, damaged , or
decaying stump below the ground surface level.
- Fertilizing trees regularly will keep them well
supplied with basic nutritional needs. This will allow
your trees to grow stronger and more vigorous. Plus,
your trees will be better equipped to defend against
disease and insects.
- This process clears a lot completely of
unwanted trees, under growth, shrubs. This can be done
either with tree removal equipment or with a dozer.
- Mulch is spread around the base of the tree to
provide the tree with stable root environment that is
cooler and contains more moisture than surrounding soil.
Mulching prevents damage from lawn equipment that can
damage the tree’s base.
- Preventative maintenance is used to keep your
trees in good health.
- Some tree professionals make recommendations of
what type of trees are appropriate for your location and
what is best suited for your landscape and needs.
- The pruning
process removes old dead wood from the healthy remaining
portion of the tree. Pruning effectively promotes tree
growth along its natural lines, while encouraging fuller
and bushier foliage. Pruning consist of removal of
rubbing limbs weak or dead limbs, diseased or
insect-infested limbs, improves shaping and proper
- Trees are usually removed
to avoid property damage or to eliminate danger to the
- The root collar exam involves an action where
the arborists gently pulling the dirt away to look at
the root condition.
- Tree shaping involves improving the shape or
silhouette of the tree.
- Tree spraying is used to control ball moss, foliar
fertilizing and feeding, and control for certain
diseases and insects. Sprays are formulated in order to
improve vigor and to ward damaging insects without
harming the tree.
- It is important to
sterilize pruning equipment, using Lysol or 409
disinfectant sprays which contain Consan, a triple
action microbial disinfectant or a 10% Clorox solution,
and failing all else use WD40. Also spray inexpensive
spray paint to seal the wound only on Live oak Trees.
- High winds and heavy rains can destroy some of
the branches on your tree. Tree professionals remove
heavy debris to avoid further damage or disease.
- Is cutting off the entire top of the tree. This
is often discouraged for the health of the tree.
• Tree Vigor
- Tree vigor is the sign of a healthy, growing
tree. tree vigor is evident in new leaves or buds, leaf
size and twig growth.
- Trimming is periodic
reshaping of a tree’s branches or foliage. Trimming is
not usually as extensive as pruning.
• Read your
contract carefully and remember you have seven days to
legally cancel. If you are not sure, don't sign -- and
call someone else. Don’t hesitate to discuss the
contract with a son, daughter, friend or neighbor.
Ask for references of recent jobs preformed in the
area. Name of client, address, telephone number and
if possible talk to the former client.
sure you know who you are dealing with.
"Door Knockers" -- always turn them away.
around and compare prices, services and integrity.
• Never -
make any advance payment.
Your money is gone -- you can’t afford financial waste.
action -- forget it. Your money is gone, just like the
• Pay only
when job is completed and all is satisfactory.
hesitate to call your tree service back to make things
right and to your full satisfaction. If they are
reputable they will come back and make things right.
• If you
feel you have been scammed by a "Door Knocker", make a
County Sheriff 1-830-896-1216
Kerrville Police Department 1-830-257-8181
T.R.I.A.D. - Robert Beltrone 1-830-895-3107
Senior Choices - Margie Jetton 1-830-895-4477
Kerrville Chamber of Commerce 1-830-896-1155
Better Business Bureau Inc., Austin
, TX. 1-512-445-4748,
The BAD and the UGLY
Up-Date Oct 15-2006
It has recently been brought to my attention,
regarding two tree services, here in the Kerrville area,
their activities and methods of operation, leave a lot
to be desired……….
I consider them as Shysters, Scam
Artist and just down right totally un-ethical. They use
incorrect information to convince prospective tree
customers to do very un-necessary work and if it is not
done, they explain that, your trees are in serious
jeopardy. The danger could cause mortality to your trees
or that trimming should help promote and stimulate
growth and make your trees healthy.
has the practice of quoting you, first a super high
price and then lowering his price if you don’t bite
immediately. And, at the same time with every convincing
argument that, the worked is most urgent for the health
of your trees, but always at the detriment of your
pocket book. His crew is very un-experienced in
Arboriculture and with very little knowledge as to why
they are on the job in the first place. They usually
work unsupervised and with little or no direction.
Watching this crew reminds of watching sketches of Larry
Curly and Mo. Yes, “The Stooges“.
( See article;
( See article;
The other operator
is a self claimed expert, a Certified Arborist with no
affiliation or accreditation from the International
Society of Arboriculture, who governs, trains and
certifies, a Certified Arborist. You can only use the
Title “Certified Arborist” if you have completed ISA
training and accreditation. His business cards are a
photo copy or computer printout showing only a cell
phone number. He is against bonified University Research
on any subject. As far as I can determine. He is not
licensed to perform application of chemicals or
fertilizers. Since he is not legally licensed, his
expertise of knowledge is very limited. He claims his
own formulations for his various applications which are
a serious off label use of the product. His pricing is
less that desirable and I can not vouch for his
( See article;
( See article;
( See article;
You may contact me for further
clarification regarding these two operators. And will
gladly recommend reputable tree services. My cell
I have been in the tree business in the
Kerrville area for almost 30 years , I am not a
Certified Arborist. However, I research all tree
problems to ensure that customers get correct and proper
information, not what someone thinks you would like to
Take your time …. Enjoy my web site …..
It is designed as a center for information regarding the
Texas Hill Country on any tree topic, and if it is not
there, ….. I will research and find the information for