Things to Consider
Tree topping can cause damage.
Although tree topping, or cutting off the top of the tree, is a common
practice, tree experts do not recommend it. Topping can lead to decay
and structural problems that will shorten a tree’s life. Instead, tree
experts recommend crown reduction. Crown reduction involves removing
specific branches at or near the treetop. Crown reduction is far less
damaging. Experts recommend never removing more than a quarter of a
tree’s branches at one time.
Climbing spikes damage.
Climbing spikes, devices strapped on to a tree climber’s feet, allow the
climber to support his or her weight while climbing. The climber digs
the spikes into the tree bark/trunk. Because spikes damage the tree
bark, climbing spikes should never be used on any tree you are trying to
save. Climbing spikes may be used on a tree being removed.
Difficulty drives removal cost.
Experts often remove even difficult trees with little damage to other
trees, plants, landscaping, and lawns. Doing so can be a difficult and
expensive task. Companies offering to simply cut down a tree and allow
it to fall freely are not providing protection for other yard
components. When comparing quotes, make sure to compare apples to
Adding fill soil can kill a tree.
According to the experts, tree roots need oxygen to survive. Adding six
inches of soil on top of a tree’s root system can suffocate it.
Withhold payment until work is finished.
Some homeowners who pay for tree services before the work and cleanup
are complete find that cleanup promises are quickly forgotten.
Withholding payment until cleanup is complete gives the tree service a
financial incentive to finish the job.
Liability is significant.
According to industry sources, if you feel that a neighbor’s tree is in
danger of damaging your house or property, you should consider
requesting, via certified letter, that the tree be removed. Such a
letter may help your case if the tree later falls and damages your
Permits may be required. Many
city and county governments regulate tree removal and require
inspections and/or permits. Although getting the proper permits and
approvals is the homeowner’s responsibility, many high-quality tree
services will remind you to get them and, in some cases, assist in