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Tree Care

Services

Tree/Landscape Inspection & Evaluation, Legal Reports

We have experienced Certified Arborists and a Consulting Arborist on staff who can prepare independent reports to evaluate the health and safety of your valuable trees.
We also perform independent assesments and reports for legal uses. These can range from tree hazards, improper planting techniques, to evaluation of after-care and irrigation. 

No tree can be guaranteed to be safe, even apparently health trees can fail but we can help evaluate & mitigate the risks. In most cases, by the time, a tree shows symptoms of stress like early loss of leaves or decay, the underlying cause has advanced to the late stages. As trees age, they become more susceptible to wood decay and other defects. Many old trees slowly decline and do not appear to be a hazard.

Uncovering these issues before they cause serious damage is vital. Utilizing modern equipment such as a Resistograph, which can accurately determine the amount of decay in a tree, we can help to determine whether a tree is safe or is a risk for failing. Think of an evaluation as a checkup for your trees; by having regular ‘physicals’ we can help to prevent problems and recommend any needed treatments. We can prepare a report on long-term tree and landscape care as well as reviewing current programs.

 

Pruning

Pruning is the selective removal of tree & shrub limbs. All our tree care services are performed under the supervision of a Certified Arborist. Pruning can accomplish: improve the beauty and health of your  trees, remove hazardous dead or damaged limbs; create clearance for vehicles & pedestrians; improve your surrounding views; allow for more sunlight penetration, reduce tree height and width to grow within the space available, and can restore damaged trees. We adhere to stringent standards developed by the Tree Care Industry Association for proper pruning techniques.

PRUNING TYPES:

  • Clean – Selective pruning to remove one or more of the following parts: dead, diseased, and/or broken branches from tree.
  • Thin - Selective pruning to reduce density of live branches in tree.
  • Raise – Removal of lower limbs of tree to provide vertical clearance.
  • Reduce - Selective pruning to decrease height and/or spread of tree. 
Specialty Pruning:
  • Vista pruning – Selective pruning of tree to allow a specific view.
  • Restoration - Selective pruning to improve the structure, form, and appearance of trees that have been severely headed, vandalized, damaged, and/or neglected.
  • Young Tree Pruning - Pruning to establish proper structure for a young or newly transplanted tree.
  • Candling – Pruning the end growth bud or 2/3 of the new soft growth from pine trees. Pollarding -The maintenance of a tree by making internodal cuts to reduce the size of a young tree, followed the annual removal of shoot growth at its point of origin. Espalier - The combination of pruning, supporting, and training branches to orient a plant in one plane.

 

Cabling & Bracing

Cables and brace rods are supplemental structural supports intended to reduce the risk of failure of weak and heavy branches, multiple stems or uneven growth. Steel cables are installed between major limbs to reduce the strain and help support the tree. This can help protect the beauty of the tree and extend its life. Cabling also reduces stress damage from high winds and excess ice or snow weight. For large, weak, or split crotches, bracing is used to give direct support and reduce twisting strain on the tree. A metal rod is inserted through the crotch and two more cables are placed above it. Cables should be inspected annually.

 

Tree Removal

There are various reasons for tree removal which include: Dead or declining trees that pose a hazard to people and property below. Selective removal allowing for valuable nearby trees and plants to flourish. New construction. Trees causing damage to property and foundations. Tree removal is dangerous and needs to be performed by skilled professionals. Trees need to be carefully rigged, cut into pieces and gently lowered to the ground, so as not to damage buildings, pavement or other plants. Our skilled and well-trained crews have all the specialized equipment and all the needed insurance, to remove your tree safely, with as little impact to your property as possible.

 

Lightning Protection

Millions of trees are struck by lightning each year. The tree can show as little damage as a scar along the trunk but can so severely weaken the tree, that they are then attacked and killed by boring insects or other secondary invaders, or they can be completely shattered and killed instantly. Your house is protected from lightning by grounding; important trees on your property and tall trees close to your home should be protected too. Lightning protection systems minimize the risk of damage from a strike. These systems use copper conductors connected to a ground rod to reduce tree damage, and conduct the electrical charge to the earth where the energy is dispersed.

 

Emergency Service

Our tree care crews are ready to help you in the event of an emergency. Snow and ice storms or simply wind can cause branch and tree failure. The damage can range from a large limb blocking a driveway, a tree leaning onto your home, tree limbs entangled into your power lines, or a complete tree downed. Highly skilled crews who have been trained through the TCIA Electrical Hazards Awareness Program will be dispatched.

 

Stump Grinding

This is the complete removal of a tree stump and the majority of the surrounding roots. A specialized machine grinds the stump 6 to 18 inches below the soil surface leaving only wood chips behind.

 

Woodlot Management

Woodlot management enhances the natural wooded areas of your property. Feature trees may be pruned to remove dead and diseased wood. Tree removal can alleviate unhealthy competition and open up beautiful vistas. It also encourages forest regeneration, species diversity and the growth of desirable under story shrubs. The brush that results from woodlot management is chipped right back into the woods allowing the beneficial organic material to be recycled naturally. This maintains a natural balance and provides essential nutrients for growth.

 

Root Crown Excavation (Air Spading)

Often what exhibits itself as a tree with pale, weak growth or in serious decline is caused by what you can’t see below the ground. Roots both support trees and supply water and nutrients. Years of soil compaction from foot or vehicle traffic, over-mulching, and planting too deep all affect root growth. Roots can wrap around (‘girdle’) the trunk, effectively strangling the tree. A powerful jet of air is used to blow the soil away from the roots without damaging them. After the root flare is exposed, girdling roots, roots wrapped around the trunk and strangling the tree, are then carefully cut away. Debris that may have been left in the planting hole such as wire baskets and nylon twine is cut or removed. Loose soil along with compost is replaced at the proper depth and are then carefully cut away and mulch is appropriately applied to help bring the plant back to health.

 

Radial Trenching & Vertical Mulching

Another technique that can be used to bring trees back to a healthy condition. Very useful after construction activity, this is a treatment performed to trees growing in compacted or poor soils. It is a way to get oxygen to roots, replace soil, and to alleviate compaction. In radial trenching, we use an air spade to blow soil particles away from the roots in a pattern like the spokes of a wheel, with the trunk as the hub of the wheel. The narrow trenches will be backfilled with the loosened soil, compost, fertilizer, and beneficial bacteria and fungi. Root growth will be greater in the trenched area than in the surrounding soil. This can give the tree the added boost it needs to adapt to the compacted soil or new grade. Radial trenching and vertical mulching are techniques to correct a damaged root system, caused by compacted soil, poor drainage, construction, lack of beneficial fungi and bacteria or severe nutrient deficiency.

 

Deep Root Fertilization

Our deep root fertilization programs are designed to simulate the conditions found in the forest by putting essential nutrients and elements back into the soil. Utilizing an array of organic bio stimulants, our programs will encourage your trees and shrubs to develop vigorous root systems, which will provide you with a healthy tree from the ground up. More information is available from our Plant Health Care Department.

 

Pre-Construction Protection

Consult with us in the early planning stages, when you hire your architect or builder, because our ability to repair major construction damage to trees is limited. Unfortunately, the processes involved with construction can be deadly to nearby trees. Unless the damage is extreme, the trees may not die immediately but could decline over several years. With this delay in symptom development, you may not associate the loss of the tree with the construction.

Many of the trees on your property may be saved if the proper steps are taken. We can assess the trees on your property, determine which are healthy and structurally sound, and suggest measures to preserve and protect them. We can advise you about which trees are more sensitive to compaction, grade changes, and root damage, determining which trees are to be preserved and which should be removed. Sometimes small changes in the placement or design of buildings can make a great difference in whether a critical tree will survive. Bridging over the roots may substitute for a conventional walkway, tunneling under the root system instead of trenching, and setting up construction fences around trees that are to remain can all help save a tree.
Even with the best of protective measures, your trees will require several years to adjust to the injury and environmental changes that occur during construction and will need close monitoring and follow-up care.

 

Tree & Landscape Inventory, Identification and Appraisal

Whether for a municipality, commercial property or for a residence, we will identify and inform you as to the health and structure of your trees and can place them on a map along with botanical and common names. Assessment begins with a visual assessment of a trees structure, growing conditions, as well as an assessment of surrounding trees and shrubs. When a tree is damaged during construction, a vehicle, or through a deliberate act of vandalism, its value may need to be determined. We also recommend valuable trees and plants be evaluated and appraised prior to commencing construction projects. For high value landscapes we suggest an appraisal be included in the initial inventory.

 

Arboricultural/Landscape Training, Seminars and Lectures

Our uniquely qualified staff has experience in conducting everything from short speeches to teaching short courses in all aspects of Tree, Plant Health, Water Garden, Irrigation and Landscape Care. When your commercial organization needs training from tree care basics to advanced plant health care and landscaping we have a solution for your needs.  We are available to speak on topics ranging from planning a garden, water gardens, organic care and much more.

We would love to make an interactive, fun and educational presentation on topics of interest at your school or garden club meetings at no charge.  We can customize programs to your individual interests and to the seasons.

 

Safety and Regulatory Compliance for Commercial Firms

Our dedicated Safety and Regulatory Department can assist your tree and landscape business by evaluating your current program for compliance or design one that meets the needs of your individual business and situation. We can prepare safety policies, employee safety manuals, and ensure that you are in compliance with the myriad of Federal and State regulations. We can provide and tailor training to your needs and budgets. From Hazard Communications training to Drug Free Workplace policy we can help get you through the maze. Proper training can reduce insurance costs, down time, exposure to legal issues and lead to happier, more productive workers.  On staff we retain a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional.

 
P: 631.287.6100 | F: 631.287.6245 | info@raysmithassociates.com