Here's some answers to a few recent client questions and concerns:
1. There is a treatment that can prevent fruit on trees. Many owners find a seasonal fruit dump more than they can handle. A licensed applicator can provide the service very reasonably, as well as other treatments.
2. No one should be paying a company for cable and post maintenance on established trees. Young trees from the bucket often require tying until they are able to support themselves but that's different from this foolishness.The scam goes like this: a tree gets planted and has cables unnecessarily installed on it. The company tells the owner not to touch the cables but to call them for adjustments, otherwise the tree will grow crooked. Unless a tree is left in strong constant wind (a coastal cliff, maybe) the tree is going to go straight toward the sun. Don't plant trees where they have to grow around the shadow of a building or other trees. Any certified arborist knows which trees need more direct sunlight and which ones don't. Please don't get taken in by shady tree-guys and their shakedown planting scams.
3. Some roots can removed and some can't. A lot depends on the type of tree. Generally speaking major roots need to be left alone. Smaller trees may send surface roots toward concrete but not have the "muscle" to cause any damage. Get a knowledgeable opinion. Remember, estimates should always be free.
4. There is a general reasoning behind determining whether your tree needs pruning. Again, it varies by type. You need some corrective pruning if you have dead limbs, limbs that touch, or limbs which are likely to interfere with the growth of other limbs. Also, if your tree is touching a structure or wire, some corrective action may be needed. Sometimes we want to thin a tree's canopy to allow more light to the interior growth, though most often that tends to be cosmetic, too. Before your trees leaf-out this year, go take a look at the limbs. A fat, rich canopy doesn't necessarily indicate overgrowth.
5. Stump grinding tends to greatly vary from one job to another for several reasons. The harder the wood, the tougher the grind which includes species as well as individual condition. Height and width matter and roots play a major part in determining cost. Above all, it matters whether the customer wants the grindings removed. Grindings are dirt mixed with wood (mulch). If the company has to dispose of the grindings the stump grinding will likely double in cost. If the stump costs $100 the removal will probably cost $100. Be advised that some stumps will leave an enormous pile of grindings while others will barely fill their own hole. If you want to save money keep the grinding for your flower bed but be prepared for anywhere from a shovel-full to a few wheelbarrows of dirt and wood. A good estimator can give you an educated guess.
This is a good time to prepare for corrective tree pruning and chemical applications. Its also a good time to find out whether you actually need any work during the coming year. Problems that are addressed early can save you thousands of dollars.
Stacy W. Barker
Stacy is the owner of Bud's