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Poor Tree Care Costs

Poor Tree Maintenance: What Does it Really Cost You?

When selecting tree care services, many individuals base their decision solely on price. However, the truth is that you often receive what you pay for when it comes to providing tree service; lower cost may lead to inferior quality and a lesser outcome for your trees in the end. In this article, we discuss how inadequate tree care will affect your safety, wallet and of course – your trees!

If you’re familiar with statements such as “It’s just a tree”, “The cost is too high” or even “Trees in nature don’t require pruning,” then you’ve probably heard somebody justifying the hiring of an inexpensive tree service provider. However, it is essential to remember that trees are living organisms whose health and safety should not be taken lightly; thus, opting for the lowest-cost option may have lasting negative impacts on your trees’ well being.

Trees are often overlooked as a solid investment, but they should not be underestimated. Trees can actually add immense value to your property if cared for properly and have the power to reduce heating expenses, shield against storms, cleanse air pollution, and even lower stress levels! All of these benefits make utilizing quality tree care services an incredibly advantageous expenditure with substantial returns.

Practicing Poor Tree Care? Here Are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid!

Despite the fact that tree care experts have denounced it, unfortunately some outdated and hazardous practices are still being used today. We’re typically called in to repair what has gone wrong due to these deficient actions; below is a list of common problems we come across.

Tree Topping

Topping trees is a misguided technique that many untrained and unskilled “tree guys” still offer, though it causes irreparable damage to the tree and ultimately kills it. A legitimate arborist would never do this – they understand how detrimental topping can be for the future of any tree.

Poor Pruning

Pruning is much more than just randomly cutting off limbs! To begin with, it involves the elimination of broken, dead or weakened branches to better maintain tree health and protect against any falling branches. However, advanced pruning methods can take your trees’ well-being to a higher level by focusing on its structure and longterm robustness.

The American National Standards Institute A300 standard for tree pruning is essential to ensure your trees remain healthy and secure. Adhering to this standard requires specific methods, tools, and cutting techniques that will guarantee the best results. Professional tree care crews take ANSI A300 seriously in order to deliver outstanding outcomes; those who don’t follow these standards are easily identifiable by their sub-par workmanship.

Improper pruning can lead to a multitude of issues, such as lion tailing, stub cuts, flush cuts, heading back large branches and more! Additionally, tearing bark or pruning too much at once should be avoided. Furthermore, it’s important to recognize the optimal season for trimming your plants in order to ensure their health. Finally – never attempt to cover up any pruned areas with paint or other materials; doing so could prove detrimental for your plant’s wellbeing!

Apart from the visual issue (badly pruned trees are unattractive!), a substandard pruning job can put the life and robustness of your tree at risk. Here’s what could come as an outcome of poor pruning:

  • Whenever a tree is pruned, it results in an open wound that can be easily infected by fungi, bacteria and insects. Such risks are even greater when the process occurs during peak season as larger wounds tend to entice more pests.
  • When a tree is distressed, it responds by emitting watersprouts and suckers. These thin stems are weakly connected and will break off in windy weather. They also sprout into unappealing clusters that don’t match the rest of the tree’s look. Unless you prune them out annually, they can become overgrown or even dangerous which would cost more money than just having proper pruning done right away.
  • Bear in mind that when you prune a branch, it’s gone for good – and cannot be “stuck back on.” Pruning too much or incorrectly can cause permanent damage to the tree, causing an imbalance which could even put your safety at risk.
  • When pruning is done incorrectly, the tree may suffer; leaves will wither and die, leaving dead branches and stubs scattered throughout its canopy.

Painting Over Pruning Cuts

Trees are often still daubed with a glaring white paint to cover pruning cuts, or sometimes, the wounds may be sealed off with a tar-like substance.

Painting pruning cuts does nothing beneficial for the tree, but instead creates an ideal environment for fungi and bacteria to begin damaging the wood beneath. We have witnessed this first-hand when we peeled away paint only to find totally rotted areas underneath. The only exception is branches cut during growing season in regions where oak wilt has been observed; however, our locale hasn’t experienced any instances of oak wilt yet—thus it’s best to wait until oaks enter their dormant period prior to pruning them.

Filling in Empty Trees

For many years, arborists have filled hollow trees with cement for stabilization – a practice that has continued to this day. However, modern tree care professionals no longer fill cavities in the same way as their predecessors did.

Recent studies have discovered that using cavity fill to mend a hollow tree or cavity is actually detrimental for the tree. The cement inside does not move, whereas a tree moves constantly leading to ongoing internal damage and leaving it open to wood decay fungi invasion of its remaining healthy tissue. Instead of saving the tree, this approach accelerates its decline and adds more cost in terms of removal due to the cement within it.

Cavity filling does not contribute to the health of a tree, nor does it provide structural support. If extra support is necessary for a hollow tree, professionals suggest alternatives such as cabling, bracing, propping, or guying before opting to remove the entire structure. Cavity filling should only be used when aesthetic reasons dictate its use.

Piling Mulch Around Trees

tree mulch pics 1

For years, Extension educators, arborists and horticulturists have been warning about the harm of “mulch volcanoes”. The startling truth is that piling mulch too high around a tree’s base could be fatal in many cases. Therefore, it is essential to take precaution when applying mulch.

The humid and warm mulch that is heaped around trees’ trunks and root flares provides the perfect breeding ground for fungal pathogens. The consequences are dire: if you don’t replace the dangerous ring of mulch, your tree will become irreparably damaged in a few years, leading to an expensive removal job. Unfortunately, this detrimental practice endures far too often as we observe tall piles of reddish mulch encircling trees across neighborhoods everywhere.

Tree specialists understand the importance of using mulch correctly and never suggest creating a ‘mulch volcano’ around trees. While there may be landscapers or ‘tree guys’ that do this, it doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for your tree’s care needs!

Wearing Climbing Spikes When Pruning

Sharp steel spikes, affixed to a climber’s leg by padded supports and leather straps make tree-climbing easier for newcomers. Tree workers should only utilize these climbing spikes on trees that are being removed from the landscape.

Using climbing spikes on living trees can be incredibly detrimental – and often times, fatal. Every single puncture from a spike kills off tree tissue, varying in severity depending on the species of tree. Generally speaking, isolated wounds will heal over time but when multiple holes are present near each other due to repeated use of spikes for pruning activities it can substantially reduce the chance for recovery and even lead to death if left untreated.

Professional tree care companies are aware of the dangers associated with spikes, so they generally only use them for removal purposes or when there is no other reasonable option. To ascend the tree safely and securely, these skilled professionals utilize appropriate equipment such as ropes and harnesses along with their expertise to ensure that it can remain healthy in years to come.

Other Mistakes Hinting at Poor Tree Care

“Cheap” Tree Removal

The gap between a low-cost quote for tree removal and an equitable one is massive.

We understand that tree removal can be a costly expense and some people may feel as though they are capable of tackling this project on their own. However, many homeowners have ultimately come to realize the potential dangers associated with attempting DIY or low-cost tree removal services after witnessing disastrous results firsthand. It’s simply not worth risking your home, automobile, or even yourself by choosing an inferior service option in order to save money!

When you request a tree removal quote, the cost may appear to be high. What is not factored into this price tag are the hours of extensive safety training for each crew member, years of accumulated experience in dealing with different varieties and volumes of trees in diverse settings, quality-assured equipment which can be costly (e.g. cranes and bucket trucks) used during removals, insurance premiums that protect both workers and clients alike (considering tree work is considered one of the most dangerous jobs on earth), licenses fees plus business registration expenses – just to name a few elements!

From a job well done to an unfortunate tree landing on your home, the difference lies in quality of service and attention to detail. We have seen it all—unfortunately even having to lift trees off houses after DIY or poor removal gone wrong!

Not Using PPE

During the COVID-19 pandemic, personal protective equipment (PPE) has become a widely recognized term. Yet, it is equally important for tree workers to remain cognizant of PPE as well.

Whenever workers come into contact with trees, specifically when heavy equipment or cutting tools are utilized, it is imperative that the proper protective gear be worn. As a minimum requirement, individuals should wear:

  • a hard hat to guard their heads;
  • safety glasses or face shield for eye protection;
  • ear muffs if using loud machinery;
  • and chaps while operating chainsaws.

By adhering to these simple regulations they can guarantee a safe working environment – both for themselves and their colleagues.

Not only might you be financially burdened if someone has a major injury on your property, but witnessing such tragedy can also leave an emotional scar. You certainly don’t want to see someone being permanently crippled or worse – let’s do our best to prevent this from happening.

Need Awesome Tree Care?

Cutting corners with poor tree care practices may seem like the cost-effective option, but they will inevitably harm your trees and end up costing you more in the long run. If you want to ensure that your trees stay healthy, secure and attractive for years to come, then invest in experienced arborists who are knowledgeable about proper tree care – it may require a little extra investment now but it is always worth it!

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