Tree care is more than you think

Jeff Meagher teaches you about quality care for your trees

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Should I remove my tree?

Tree removal is often a tough decision for property owners to make.  Trees are often big and beautiful, and take a long time to grow, so the choice to remove one often comes with much remorse for those making said decision.  As an arborist I have seen a big change in myself from when I entered into the business, to now.  Where I once was a happy go lucky tree killer, whose solution for every problem was a horizontal pruning cut, (Thats a joke.  Think about it for a second and you’ll get it), I am now a much more conservative tree cutter, who often times feels a little remorse myself to have to cut one down.  That being said, tree removal is a necessary thing, especially in urban areas where we must find a balance of tree health and human life.

There are many reasons, to remove a tree.  The obvious ones are because it is dead, ugly, or is a possible danger.  However, there are also many not so obvious reasons, like it is causing or is going to cause property damage; it is harming the health of other trees, or simply because it is ugly.  Over the next few weeks I will go into detail about each one of these things, and the other options you have, but until then I am going to keep things fairly general.

When we are consulting with clients about tree removal, unless they are sure they want a tree removed, in which case we will certainly oblige to remove the tree (And we a are VERY good at it I might add), we try to offer them every option there is so that they don’t have to cut it down, but the reality is, sometimes trees must be removed; plain and simple.

Something that I often see on a day to day basis is trees that are currently fine, but in the very near future they will become a problem, and will inevitably have to be removed.  I try and stress to our customers that in arboriculture it is important to think long term, and that if they remove the tree today, instead of a few days, months or even years down the road, then plant another tree, it gives their new tree that much more time to grow and be health.

Thanks for tuning in today, and check back soon as we will be looking into some of these reasons for tree removal in more depth in the days to come.



There is a large branch stuck in my tree, what should I do?

Well the wind storm has passed and either your tree made it through damage free, or it did not.  Most of you will be in the first category, however a few of you may have walked outside, looked up into your tree, only to find a large branch that broke out and is now stuck in your tree.  For most people this is a very scary realization, and it should be.  These kinds of situations are very dangerous and can be very overwhelming for most homeowners to deal with, especially if they feel their family and/or property is in danger.

If you find yourself in a situation like this the first thing you should do is make sure that you don’t enter underneath your tree, and make sure to keep all others including pets clear as well.  Next you should call a professional.  In most cases, such as in my other blogs I would say that professional simply should be an ISA certified arborist, however in this case they need to be an ISA certified arborist trained for hazard situations as well.

Large limbs commonly refereed to as hangers or widow makers (yes it is as it sounds, they are that dangerous) are something that not all ISA certified arborists are qualified and/or equipped to handle.  Hangers pose a serious threat and often require advance rigging techniques involving many ropes, pulleys , and cuts to safely remove the hanger from the tree.  In these situations it is also important to understand the strength and health of the tree, which is why once again you should contract with a certified arborist for the job, no just someone with the equipment who claims they know what they are doing.

When consulting with a potential arborist to contract the job to be sure that they are experience/equipped to handle the situation, as well as that they are licensed, bonded, and insured.  These situations are very risky and there is a lot that is not in the arborists control so you want to make sure that if something does go wrong you have a professional who has the proper coverage so you and your property will be covered.

Lastly, be sure not to attempt to remove the hanger yourself.  As I stated earlier these situations are very dangerous and highly unpredictable.  They require lots of knowledge and experience to know how to handle them safely, as well as a vast array of equipment and personnel.  As tempting as it may be to pull out your chainsaw, and climb up on a ladder, DO NOT DO IT!  I hear about someone doing this for tasks much more simple than removing a hanger, almost weekly and it always ends the same, they had to go to the hospital.  No matter what an certified Arborist charges to remove the hanger it will most certainly be cheaper than a hospital bill for chainsaw lacerations and broken bones.  On top of that you will have the peace of mind knowing that the job will be done safely and effectively.

So if you ever find yourself in this unfortunate circumstance, don’t view it as such a bad thing, be happy that you get to see in my neon yellow helmet at your doorstep ready to safely mitigate the problem.

Until next time,


Photo Credit: Here, Here, Here

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