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Contrary to what most people think, TOPPING a tree is the absolute worst thing that can be done to while trying to reduce it's size, make it safer, and less hazardous to a homeowner. Some reasoning to TOP is that a tree is getting too big and starts to scare people. If a tree scares you, probably you should consider removing it or in the least calling us to look at it and consider what may be done. Natural or man-made defects in trees usually result in future hazards. Topping throws the trees normal growth patttern out of balance. With no top to grow at a faster rate than lateral branches, side branches grow longer and wood gets exceedingly heavy. Where one top vertical branch was cut, sucker growth festers from the cut trying to develop another vertical branch. These multiple stems fight each other and grow from in-adequate points of attachment. Rot develops, limbs break, and wood below gets heavier and more dangerous. The tree still will try and grow back to it's genetic full size no matter what is done. In future years the homeowner is left with a more hazardous situation than what they would have had if the tree was properly taken care of. Other cultural practices can be done to save the tree, yet keep it healthy and in a safe condition. We can help you decide what is best for your situation.

General Pruning Guideline

Trimming a tree/plant is a highly cultural practice that uses knowledge and skill to help keep or place a plant in a safe and healthy condition. Many times a plant is left growing through-out it's life without anything having been done to it at all. The plant usually develops unwanted and undesirable growth. It then becomes more of a challenge to correct the plants shortcomings without compromising it's health and beauty. Once a tree is butchered by an un-proffessional, it may never be able to recover from the damage. To just trim live branches from an otherwise healthy tree or plant for no reason, is a waste, as it is unhealthy to the plant to remove tissue that keeps it healthy.

Trimming a tree consists of removing dead and dying limbs and branches, eliminating rubbing and interferring limbs, properly flushing old stubs and wounds, cutting out sucker growth that is becoming dominant, scaffolding the branch points from the main trunk to create seperation of limbs, thinning the internal canopy and opening it up for sun-light and wind to penetrate, cutting out limbs with bad points of attachment, elevating the tree for good building and ground clearance, and shaping the tree for optimal balance and symetrical beauty.

Many of the OLD ways of trimming are now obsolete and improper. Many times wounds were plastered with asphalt. Holes in trunks were filled with cement. It was found that more rot was created behind these patches than would have happened if a better technique would have been utilized.

Internal growth used to be totally removed through-out the canopy. This is detrimental to the tree(s) overall health. Each and every LIVE leaf creates food which is stored in the roots. Strong roots make strong tree(s). Thinning is desirable, stripping is not. 100% of a tree(s) roots feed 100% of a tree(s) leaves. The tree(s) roots are connected to it's leaves through a network of specialized food and water conducting tissue that are located just under the bark. Severe or improper pruning can cause some of this tissue to die which can cause defects to develop which are unhealthy for the tree(s) long term health as well as human safety. TOPPING is a sign of work being performed by unproffessional companies and workers. There would be very few if any reasons to top a tree.

We have 2 Master Arborists on staff. We know how to do it right.

Call 728.2922, 305.1279, or 305.1268

Tree Removal

There are many reasons to remove a tree. Sometimes it has outgrown it's usefulness, grown larger than the space it occupies, grown too large to be safe in proximity to buildings and people, started to go into a decline and is breaking up, or is in a location that excavating, grade change, trenching, or building additions or new buildings are going to be built. It is ALWAYS easier to remove a tree BEFORE the new cement or building is put in. Alot of people try do do the right and green thing by leaving as many trees as possible when needing to do excavating or building work. Root damage and environmental changes often kill trees years after the work has been done. Large, older trees cannot recooperate easily from damage to roots or branches. There are ways to help off-set this type of damage though. We may be able to help your trees recover if we are involved sooner than later.

Call 728.2922, 305.1279, or 305.1268

Stump Grinding

We hear from alot of people that were unhappy when they had their stump ground out by someone else. To grind a stump out right, you need to grind well below grade level and well beyond where the roots spread out from the main part of the stump. Sometimes there are finger roots that stretch out many feet beyond the main part. We know how to do it right. You will be more than happy with the work we do for you.

The cost of grinding is determined by some of these factors: How wide, how tall above grade level, do you have more than one, what kind of ground, and how far are you from where our grinder is working. We give mutiple stump discounts. Maybe a neighbor has some he wants to get rid of that can be used toward the multiple discount. Some types of soil have rocks that destroy the teeth that the machine uses to tear the stump apart.

The grinders work much like a garden rototiller. The end result sometimes surprises people when they see a mound of soil mixed with the wood chips where the stump once was. This mixture is very good to use in and around trees and flower beds or left to beak down into a compost. If you want to grow grass in this spot you must remove the chips to a depth of 6" or more. You then can back-fill with a good top soil and seed. Most people just level the mound of chips out and let nature do the rest.

We have large and small grinders that can get us into that tight spot or make quick work of that big old ugly stump.

Our many years of experience doing things right will make you satisfied with the work we do for you.

Call 728.2922, 305.1279, or 305.1268

Fruit Tree Pruning

Friut tree pruning as a general rule should be done when the tree is dormant and before it flowers in the spring. There seems to be 2 approaches to the pruning structure itself. Most people recall seeing the radical horizontal "commercial" type trimming that removes the main tops of vertical growth. Commercial producers want limbs horizontal and close to the ground for ease of harvest. This extreme pruning technique causes prolific undesirable sucker growth. Commercial growers have workers constantly pruning and culturally grooming these tree(s) through-out the growing season.

For the homeowner I generally advise normal pruning techniques but with a twist specific for fruit tree(s).

Their are numerous insects and diseases that affect fruit tree(s).Spraying to control these is NOT an easy task. A very good resource is through a county MSU extension office.

Oak Wilt Disease

It is very important to realize that oak trees get a disease called oak wilt disease. Pruning of oak trees should be done ONLY when the trees have gone dormant, usually toward the end of October. This time frame runs from the fall to around the end of March. At that point the trees vascular system is shut down. Pruning of oaks usually consists of removing the deadwood. Even when only taking deadwood out, a cut must be made fairly close to the tree. This will make a cut which will expose the wound to the air. The disease is a fungus and can travel through the air or ground by minute particles called spores. An insect called a picnic beetle loves to bath in the infected trees fungus mats located under the bark. It then moves to un-infected trees and transmits the disease. Disease can also move through infected trees roots that touch other non-infected trees. If the spores come in contact with the live tissue, the disease can be introduced into the tree. In order to try to save healthy trees, trenches can be made using trenching machines or backhoes.Trenching along with injections of fungicide provide the highest protection. Oak wilt disease can NOT be stopped once it has infected a tree. Death of the whole tree follows. Dead trees left standing allow the disease to spread over long distances. Right of way utility crews also help to spread the disease. Generally, it is never a wise decision to prune oaks in their growing season. Why take the chance that you would kill the tree, have to remove it, lose it's shade, and asthetic beauty?

Emerald Ash Borer Control

Since it's invasion the emerald ash borer continues to devastate the ash tree population. No ash tree has been found to be resistant to the borer attack. All ash tree(s) WILL die unless some type of control measure is undertaken.

We utilize a direct injection method from "Arbor Systems". A specialized type of device is used that allows a small needle to be inserted into the tree where the chemical is injected. The hole is small and very non-invasive. The chemical acts fast and protection is provided for the season. We are certified by Arbor Systems and the Michigan Department of Agriculture for it's use. Studies, as well as our own experience, have shown that this product works very well if applied before a tree becomes infected. Some people we have talked with wanted to treat their tree(s) but wanted to wait until the following year. We could see that infestations were already in their area. By the time the "next" year came about, quite apparent signs indicated their tree(s) had become irreversibly infected and now could only be removed. Infected trees often show no signs at all the first year. Damage is done though, as eggs hatch under the bark and larvae feed on the live tissue. As the bug expands through-out the tree, the outer bark on the main larger branches and trunk appear to have whiteish splotches in various shapes and patterns. Woodpeckers looking for a meal start to invade the tree as under the bark is full of the larvae. The birds action causes the bark to become loosened and pieces noticeably fall to the ground. The leaves become thinned and the over-all look of the tree is that something is wrong. Once infected the     tree(s) death advances very quickly and uncontrollably. Many of the trees we remove are full of ants, which speed decay and rot. The disruption of the inner cells under the bark causes the tree to be unable to move water from the roots to the trees live tissue. The decline is caused from the lack of water. The tree becomes very brittle. Branches and large limbs break and snap off. This makes it more difficult to remove the tree as well, as pieces shatter. If you have ash tree(s) you don't want to die, you must take preventative measures immediately, based on the disease advancement with-in your area.

If your trees have are becoming unsafe and dangerous to people or buildings, call us for our inspection services. Don't wait too long, as the trees only become more dangerous if they have to be removed.

Call 728.2922, 305.1279, or 305.1268