Tree Inspections for the Life of Your Tree

tree inspections

Tree inspections are not something we think about annually like we do fertilizing our shrubs, but it should be a part of your annual maintenance. To keep trees healthy and growing vigorously we recommend tree inspections of the root zone, trunk, tree crown, and after storms. Make an inspection before planting a tree, to prevent health issues later.

Before Planting

Locate where your septic systems, drain fields, and underground drainage pipes are at. Plant far enough away to not hamper or destroy the underground systems. Look at the height of electrical lines before placing a tree under one or close by. Consider the mature height of your tree and allow the circumference width. Placing your tree close to clothes lines, play areas, bird feeders, satellite dishes and antennas or specialty lighting before it has reached mature height may warrant a removal or transplanting later. Allow for growth and plant accordingly. Lastly, be aware of your property lines and ensure that the mature growth will not encroach on the neighbor’s property.


Tree Inspections: After a Storm

High winds or heavy, wet snow will accumulate on the branches and wreak havoc on your tree branches. Branches and limbs can bend and break under heavy pressure or hang suspending by a few cross branches. These lodged limbs can be a hazard to a tree climber as well as the homeowner if not taken down properly. These tree inspections will ensure the falling limbs do not damage other parts of the tree. A tree climber can inspect for conditions that can’t be seen from the ground up. From the ground, a binocular inspection can help but up close can render more information.tree inspections


Tree Inspections: Tree Crowns

True ‘crown reduction’ techniques ensure the health of the tree is not endangered and that the budding limbs remain intact to bring in the sunlight. Many inexperienced contractors that have not had adequate training call it ‘round over’ which is a crude work term that causes more damage. When hiring contractors, make sure they abide by ANI A300 Pruning Standards. A tree climber will look for loose or dislodged, dead, damaged and diseased limbs and remove properly with correct pruning techniques as outlined in the ANI A300 Pruning Standards. We look for cracks and splits along stems and branches and at the cross sections where the branches are attached to the main trunk for pressure points. Burrowed animals within the trunks of the trees or cavities can indicate damage, disease, and rot. Close up inspections can reveal wood-boring insects eating away at the bark and the internal cavity.


Tree Inspections: Trunk

Some indications of rotting on the trunk of the tree will be noticeable with mushrooms present at the base. Remove invasive vine growth each year to give your tree breathing room and not competing for nutrients at the base of the tree. Loose bark can indicate a dying tree and the presence of bark beetles. Fungus on a trunk is also a sign of dying and decaying.


Tree Inspections: The Root Zone and Base

A proper anchoring of the roots will keep the tree healthy and vigorous. If absorption of nutrients through the root system is not available and other factors are present as indicated previously, the tree will suffer. Observe and inspect the root zone around the base. The root flare should be full and uninhibited by soil. Compaction around the base of a tree can happen over many years of time, rainfall, traffic, and tree roots-root flareequipment. Ensuring the root base is free of obstacles will need to be observed. Removing water sprouts and suckers will be pruned from the interior and base of the tree to prevent them turning into larger limbs. These will suck the health away from the tree. This regular grooming to the main central trunk system is imperative.


These are procedures that we put into our tree inspections to keep the life of your tree healthy and keeping you ‘in the shade’ for years to come. Give us a call for a consultation if you haven’t had a tree inspection in a while.

Tree Services: A Tree’s Condition & Health

“How do I keep my tree healthy?” Once you have invested in a tree for your property, investing in tree services is a sure way of keeping your tree growing and thriving. When we inspect for tree health and do annual maintenance, there are factors we will access to determine the integrity of the tree and to prolong longevity.

Tree Services: Determining Tree Interior Core Health

The ‘backbone’ of the tree is the trunk, and that’s where we start. A healthy interior core of sound wood can be determined with a resistograph machine if necessary. Before we would go to this expense, though, we would observe other features of the tree and access. If you are in doubt though to an older tree’s safety, we can use this method to determine if there is any break in structural integrity from decay.

The crown of a tree must be maintained and pruned each year to keep air flow and eliminate dead, damaged or diseased limbs. If not, these limbs can deflect from the growth of the crown. Making these pruning cuts once a year as the tree grows will keep the crown in good shape.

 Tree Services: Promoting Strong Limb Growth

Maintaining the shape of the tree will also keep the limbs strong. Too many limbs that are compromised by tree services-tree health-incorrect pruning, damage, diseased or unnatural growth can result in weakened limbs. With the tree service report, these limbs can be inspected for leaf growth or tagged for removal.

A measurement can be taken on an annual basis to determine the growth and if it’s in line with average growth in the area. Some years may be more than other years depending on the weather and light factors. Construction projects close by can also play a part in the growth of the tree.

 Tree Services: The Root Zone and Tree Health

To protect the health of your tree, keep the root zone protected and undisturbed throughout the life of the tree. The root zone is the nutrient and oxygen center for the tree and where it gains its strength and anchoring. If there is a sudden shift in the soil, the tree might respond negatively. Caution has to be taken and observed. Consider the soil compaction and nutrient levels of the tree zone surface. Fertilization regiments should be maintained as well each year along with proper and consistent irrigation.

Regular tree services and maintenance on your trees will help keep the plants around your property safe and save you money on the cost of tree removal. If you are in need of tree services, please contact us for a consultation. During a consultation, we will go over all the factors in keeping your tree healthy for years to come.


Tree Removal Services

tree removal services 

“How much will it cost to take down my tree?” Many factors go into determining an estimate for tree removal services.


Five Cost Factors for Tree Removal Services

  1. “What are the dangers in felling?” We take a look at the area around the tree and if there is property or structures that are in the way when bringing the tree down. Will it need to be cut in smaller pieces or dropped to protect neighboring trees or property in the vicinity? Most taller trees have to be reached by a tree climber and there is considerable risk involved. A tree climber has to measure their steps and consider the integrity of the tree trunk and its branches as they climb. These considerations are a part of the estimated cost. tree-service-tree trimming
  2. “How is the ingress and egress of the property for removal?” Removing the tree will take room to cut the branches of the tree and haul it with a winch and drag loader to the chipper machine. A mini-excavator might be used to pick up the massive logs after being cut into truck size lengths to be hauled away. A chipper could be used to chip up the branches to be hauled or used as mulch on other parts of the property. Bucket trucks are often used for a climber to go up and cut off sections of branches and limbs or the main trunk. Cables will have to be harnessed around the tree and branches and brought down piece by piece. Bucket trucks are in the neighborhood of $80-120K, plus the risk associated with using them. This machinery will need a place for access and parking.
  3. “Is the tree close to a structure that has to be dismantled?” For instance, if the fence blocks access to the tree or where the tree will be taken out, will the fence need removing for a period. That can be labor intensive and add to the cost of the tree removal services.
  4. “What is the tree’s diameter and the age of the tree?” The diameter and height of the tree will also determine how high the tree climber will climb or what kind of lift could be involved to reach the top portions of the tree safely. The diameter will also determine cables to use and lowering secured portions down to the ground.
  5. “What is the structural integrity of the tree?” Is the tree branches or trunk rotted or sturdy? We look for several factors on the tree to determine this. A resistograph machine
    tree removal services

    Two leaders are not better than one. This main trunk is separated with two leaders, which lessens the structural integrity.

    can also be used to check the central cavity and give a report indicating any decay on the interior and at what depth. This reading provides an idea of the safety and health of the tree. Risk factors are part of the consideration for a tree climber which all go into determining the overall costs for tree removal services.

  6. “What will my yard look like after the tree removal?” If the tree is in a wooded area, there is not much of a problem with cleanup. If a tree is going to be taken down in a landscaped yard, there is a restoration process afterward. The removal of wood chips (for ground stumps), restoration of the lawn area because of heavy equipment and traffic can scare up and rut the lawn in areas. Aerating, sowing grass seed or laying new sod might be a possibility in the cost. If any landscape plant material is transplanted or removed before the tree removal, then those plants will be put back into their original spots or new plantings introduced. All of this cleanup will add to the cost of the total tree removal services.

If you are at the point that you need tree removal services or wondering how healthy your tree is, give us a call for a consultation. We will work with you on each of these factors and explain the ‘how and why’ behind our costs.

6 Symptoms of an Unhealthy Tree

Before winter sets in and snow is on the ground, it’s a good idea to check for dead, damaged and diseased limbs and branches in your trees. Snow and strong winds can loosen already unstable limbs and branches and create a hazard for your property. We follow ANSI A300 PRUNING STANDARDS in order for your trees to receive the utmost care and remain healthy. Older trees can harbor defects and decay. Visible signs that a tree is in stress or failing is:

Dead branches and limbs

Any branch lodged in a tree of sufficient size or larger than 4 inches in diameter should be brought down methodically to prevent being blown down and hitting personal property or causing injury to people.


split bark-tree health-arborist

Bark splitting


Splits through the bark and into the wood can cause further injury to the tree and make it susceptible to malady and bacteria. Frost cracks can occur in extreme cold snaps followed by rapid thawing. Other factors like late growth in the fall, high humidity, and nitrogen levels can increase the probability.

Weak branch unions

Unions can occur when two similar in size branches are growing together. In this union the bark is growing between the unions, therefore the union is much weaker and can easily split apart. If these are associated with cracks or decay, removing these branches before they cause injury to humans or property is vital.

Dead and decay

If soft or crumbly wood is evident, the tree or branch is decaying. Often times mushrooms, conks, and brackets on the tree is a warning of advanced rotting. Getting a professional to look at the tree is prudent to its survival and safety to others.mushroom-tree-decay-fungus-tree health


Cankers can weaken the stem or branch of a tree where the bark is missing. A wounding or disease can cause cankers. If it encompasses more than half of the circumference of the trunk or branch it could be considered hazardous.

Root Problems

The root system is largely the stability factor of the tree. Root problems can occur if the root system has been disturbed by the change in soil levels around the tree, including paving over the roots or parking under the tree. The compacted soil from heavy vehicles would deprive it of sufficient amounts of oxygen. Symptoms might include branch dieback, dead wood in the crown or a variance in leaf size and color.

These problems and symptoms give an overview of what we look out for when doing a tree evaluation. If you suspect your trees are not in good health, let us examine and give you a proposal to ensure you can keep these living and vital assets as healthy as possible. Call today at 828.774.1590 for your tree health evaluation.