Worried that one of your trees might be on its last limb? Consider consulting an experienced, reputable tree doctor, also known as an arborist. Trees add beauty, shade and value to your property, but they don’t live forever. Sources of damage or death include age, storm damage, drought or other extreme weather, and environmental issues. Top-rated tree experts tell our team that trees, like other living creatures, need good nutrition, a healthy environment and periodic care, including, for some, pruning in late fall or winter when insects are dormant, and sap isn’t running.
If you’re worried that one of your trees might be on its last limb, consider consulting an experienced, reputable tree doctor. “Arborist” is actually the proper term for professionals who are trained in tree planting and care.
The following are signs that a tree should be examined by a pro:
- Leaves appearing later than usual
- Leaves falling off earlier than normal
- Discoloured leaves or leaves without veins or with odd nodules
- Bark that forms bumps or is split, cracked or peeling
- Dead branches near the top of the tree
- Fungus growing around the trunk, mushrooms forming around roots or twigs growing from the trunk
An arborist may conduct a variety of tests to determine the best course of action, including a soil analysis. For proper growth, trees need soil that contains a particular balance of 15 mineral elements. The arborist may also test soil acidity or alkalinity. Fertilizer or soil amendments may make the soil a healthier tree environment.
Sometimes, no treatment is enough to save a tree. Reasons for removing one include serious root or trunk problems or structural defects that could cause the tree to topple in a high wind.
If you’re thinking of hiring an arborist, contact well-reviewed local tree service companies and ask if they have an arborist on staff. Consider the individual’s level of education, certification and experience, as well as the company’s online reputation with other consumers.
5 Times You Should Definitely Call an Arborist
It’s hard to tell when your trees need some extra help, but below are five times you should call your Portland arborist to give you a hand and ensure that your trees grow to their fullest potential.
When You Decide You Want A Tree
Whether it’s for your home or for your business, having trees automatically adds value to your property. The trick is picking the correct ones. One of the first things an arborist considers is placement, where your tree will get what it needs to grow. Then consider the location and whether it has nutrient-rich soil, sunlight, and access to rainwater.
Then there’s choosing the tree itself. It’s important to choose a species that will grow successfully in an environment like Portland, and your local arborist can help you make the right choice. Arborists will take into consideration the growth of the tree itself, as well as the root system below, so it doesn’t run into any piping from your house or business. The key to a successful tree is the root system, so an arborist makes sure that your soil isn’t too wet or too dry. If it’s too wet, the roots may not get enough oxygen, but if it’s too dry, they may dry up.
Most people don’t consider calling an arborist until something goes wrong, but having an arborist there, in the beginning, can give your trees a head start they need to flourish.
When Your Trees Needs A Trim
Like haircuts, all trees need regular trimming and pruning. This not only helps to keep up the health of your trees but also ensures the aesthetic of your property or business.
Trimming is pretty straightforward. An arborist can safely trim down any renegade branches that are blocking sunlight or maybe starting to look a bit overgrown. While trimming is needed to keep a tree looking good, pruning is more involved with the tree’s health.
Pruning is important for any weight imbalance that may be happening with your tree. If that’s the case, an arborist can strengthen the tree’s structure through bracing, which helps correct the tree’s growth, as well as preventing environmental factors (such as high winds) from causing further damage.
Regular pruning also ensures that any dead or sickly branches are cut away to make sure the tree remains healthy. Regular pruning is especially essential for fruit trees in order for them to keep producing fruit every season. Whether it’s just for looks or for keeping your tree healthy, a Portland arborist can help make sure that your trees succeed in the local environment.
When Your Tree Gets Sick
Arborists are tree doctors, so when your tree is sick, the best chance of it getting better is by calling your local Portland arborist. There are several things to keep an eye out for when assessing if your tree may be sick. The first thing to check is the roots. Take a look around for any fungus, such as mushrooms or broken roots. These are signs you may be beginning to have internal damage to your tree.
Bark can crack due to shifting seasons, but it’s important to keep track of the cracks and see if they have any signs of decay. Up in the canopy, the two things to look for are the health of your branches and leaves. If the branches don’t have leaves growing on them, or if you have dead fallen branches, then it may be time to call the arborist to make sure the branches don’t impact the rest of the tree.
For the leaves themselves, if you see leaves with brown spots or if the leaves fall earlier, then it may be a sign your tree has a leaf disease. Besides disease, there are other factors that can harm your tree’s health. Harmful insects can go after the sap of the tree, the leaves, and the roots. Arborists can find the correct chemicals to rid your trees of pests or can help you combat insects with beneficial insects that help keep your local ecosystem running smoothly.
When Your Tree Needs to Go
Ideally, when trees are dead or dying, it’s best to handle the problem before a Portland storm comes in and decides to take care of the problem for you.
Once a tree begins to die, it becomes a hazard for your property. A Portland arborist can assess whether a tree needs to be taken down or if there’s a chance of saving the tree. If it does need to be removed, an arborist is trained to safely remove the tree without causing damage to your property.
Of course, it’s better if the problem can be discovered before the tree falls, but in the event of a storm or emergency, an arborist can also be there to make sure everything is removed. That also includes getting rid of the stump itself.
One of the hardest parts of removing a tree is the stump and the root system below. A trained tree specialist has the tools and expertise to remove it accurately. If the tree is coming down, the best way to do it is on your schedule and in a professional’s hands.
When You’re in Above Your Head
A lot of gardeners want to take care of their own plants, but when it comes to trees, it’s important to have the right expertise. While you may have some experience with a chainsaw, an arborist is trained and prepared with equipment to take care of your trees without any risk to you.
If the tree is sick, the limbs may also be weak, so having an arborist who knows where to climb and not to climb keeps you safe. The final safety precaution is for the height of the tree itself. The higher the tree, the more dangerous it can be for someone who is untrained. An arborist can safely get up into the tree to take care of any trimming needs. Rather than risk yourself, it’s better to call your Portland arborist to safely care for your trees.
The Costs of Hiring an Arborist
Whether you’ve got a dangerous tree on your property, a stump that needs removal or a canopy that could use a good prune, there are plenty of reasons to employ the services of a qualified arborist. Before you get started, though, it is a good idea to do a bit of research so that you’ve got an idea of the approximate price of tree services. The cost of tree removal, tree stump removal, lopping, pruning, and arborist reports can all vary widely between one arborist and the next. For this reason, it is difficult to provide a clear definitive answer to the simple question: ‘how much does an arborist cost?’
What Does An Arborist Do?
You may have heard of a tree surgeon, a tree lopper, a tree service professional, an arboriculturist, a tree doctor, tree care professional or some variation of these terms. The work of an arborist encompasses all of these roles. A professional arborist has a certificate III in arboriculture (AQF level 3). This arboriculture qualification teaches them to care for the health and safety of individual trees. As opposed to a forester or logger that manage trees on a macro scale, arborists are specialists in the careful management of private and individual trees, shrubs, stumps, vines and plants. Arborists will bristle at the label of ‘tree lopper’ because this description refers to only one narrow segment of their work. While lopping overweight branches and overgrown canopies may sometimes be the best course of action, an arborist has many tools and tactics at their disposal to manage the health and safety of trees.
Arborist cost per hour
Many customers will request to know arborist prices per hour. While this way may be standard for many industries, it is not an especially useful means of calculating the value of arborist services. The approach used by an arborist will vary depending on the specific circumstances. The price per hour is determined by the number of overhead costs for a job, such as the number of crew members required and the types of machinery necessary. The price is further influenced by the degree of difficulty and danger associated with the tree job. This can be impacted by the condition of the tree, the tree species, the location and access of the site, the type of terrain and external risks such as traffic and power lines.
As such, there can be a huge disparity in the price per hour of two seemingly similar jobs. For example, two different tree removal jobs for the same species of tree that are the same size and condition could have drastically different costs if one of them had restricted access to the site that required the use of a cherry picker. Similarly, different species of trees can have different prices per hour due to the differences in approach necessary for removing, wood chipping and transporting the green waste. This disparity is especially clear between hardwood trees and palm trees. While hardwood can be dangerous to remove due to the weight and density of the wood, a palm tree is expensive to remove and transport because its spiky exterior can’t be broken down in a wood chipper. As such, the hourly rate for removing each of these species of tree would be dramatically different. For this reason, we suggest that looking at the price per job rather than the cost per hour is a more accurate and helpful approach.
Arborist price per job
Tree removal costs based on hourly or daily rates can be misleading. They will often omit important fees that will only be added to the final fee at the end. Essential components like liability insurance, council approval, consulting arborist fees, green waste removal cost and stump grinding can all inflate the ultimate cost of the service. The best way to get an accurate idea of the cost of a professional arborist is to compare the quotes they provide per job with other available quotes for the same job. We offer all of our customers free quotes from our tree surgeons. This is so that our clients can assess the price range and cost guides for the specific job they require before making any commitments. These estimates will vary depending on the specific tree service, the job location, the size of the tree and a range of other factors that we will cover in the arborist price breakdown below.
Arborist Price Breakdown
Type of service
One of the most influential factors when it comes to the price of a tree arborist is the specific type of service required. Tree removal will cost more than tree pruning because of the amount of time, crew members, machinery and risk involved in the job. Tree removal jobs will also cost more because they often require stump removal, wood chipping and green waste disposal.
The size of the tree has a massive impact on the ultimate cost of the service. This is due to a number of factors. A large tree will require more time to prune, lop and remove. It will also demand more safety precautions, team members on-site, wood chipping power and transportation costs. A small tree, by contrast, could be done much faster and cheaper than a large tree if it does not require climbing or heavy machinery to break down.
The species of tree will determine the approach used by climbing arborists, the type of machinery that can be used and the amount of time to complete the service. When it comes to tree removal and stump grinding, the type of wood is very important. For example, softwood stump removal costs are generally cheaper than for hardwood stump because of the amount of time and effort needed to break down the wood and carry out the root removal.
The current condition of the tree is important when assessing the cost of tree service because it affects the amount of risk, the strategic approach and ultimately the amount of time required for the job. If you need a tree removed that is in a dangerous condition, it may require an extra tree inspection and safety assessment to determine how best to approach it. Furthermore, trees in poor condition can require extra machinery and manpower to carry out the removal safely.
Quotes incorporate factors beyond just the tree itself. In order to accurately determine the cost of a job, a consulting arborist must also consider the job location and level of access. For example, two identical tree removal or tree trimming jobs could have vastly different costs if one had open access and the other had restrictive access to the site. This is due to the amount of extra time and crew members required to transport the green waste and the potential for extra machinery required to remove the tree from the site.
The amount of time and cost required for tree removal, stump removal or tree pruning service is heavily impacted by the type of terrain on site. A steep slope or uneven ground can slow down the work and therefore cause the tree removal or stump removal cost to increase.
The time of year and weather conditions are also important to consider when assessing the cost of a job. Rain and wind can make a job difficult and dangerous, while hot summer days can require extra water breaks for the crew. While these factors won’t affect the price as much as the tree size and species, it is still an important element to keep in mind.