A person that takes care of trees for a living is often referred to as an arborist. An arborist that takes the care of trees seriously often becomes a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture.
A local tree service that desires to stay informed and provide quality tree care will sometimes join local or national arboriculture related organizations such as the Tree Care Industry Association. When a homeowner needs an arborist to provide tree care some of the questions that they should ask are:
Is the arborist inspecting my trees an ISA Certified Arborist?
Is the local tree service the arborist works for a member of the Tree Care Industry Association or other arboriculture related organizations?
How many years of experience does the arborist, or tree service, have in the care of trees?
Does the arborist have a college or university degree in an arboriculture related field?
Does the tree service the arborist represents follow tree care industry safety procedures and carry the proper insurance coverages?
Providing correct tree care for your trees may involve tree pruning, tree spraying, or tree fertilization. A local tree service may offer one, or more, of these basic tree care services. A tree service that offers tree pruning will usually also do tree removal and stump grinding as well.
An arborist usually starts a tree service or works for a tree service to save trees, not remove trees. Nonetheless, trees have a lifespan and tree removal will eventually be necessary. Tree removal, especially removal of large trees, is best handled by an arborist that is experienced and carries the proper liability insurance.
There are many reasons to have tree pruning done to your trees. It may be necessary to cut trees away from a house, clear trees from signs, remove lower tree branches, or cut trees back from driveways. If the canopy, or crown of the tree, has excessive branches an arborist can remove tree branches from the interior of the tree canopy. Tree thinning allows the wind to blow through the tree canopy and can reduce the chance that the tree will be damaged in a storm.
After a tree service completes a tree removal all that remains is the tree stump. In the past it was thought that grinding a tree stump was optional. If the tree stump was in a remote location in your landscape, it could be left to decay naturally. More recent research, however, indicates that grinding out tree stumps may help protect other trees in your landscape. Decay fungi that might attack your other trees could become established on stumps left in the landscape after a tree removal. These fungi use existing stumps as a food source and then become established in your landscape. If one of your other trees is wounded in the future the decay fungi then has the opportunity to colonize the wounded tree.
If you contract stump removal with your local tree service they may grind a tree stump the same day as the tree removal or their arborist may return later to do the stump grinding.
The tree species is often the determining factor as to whether tree spraying is necessary. Some tree species, like Maple trees, are rarely in need of tree spraying. Other tree species, like certain Crabapple tree varieties, may require tree spraying every year to control insect pests or tree diseases. A local arborist will usually know what tree species is susceptible to insect pest or tree diseases in your area.
An often overlooked tree care service is tree fertilization. Many homeowners don’t realize the need to have tree fertilization done because trees in the forest seem to grow without tree fertilization. However, an arborist can explain that there are significant differences in the growing environment between forest trees and landscape trees. There are several tree fertilization techniques available to an arborist to make sure your trees remain as healthy as possible.