Pruning – You Get What You Pay For

In our daily lives, we buy and sell many things. We all want value in these transactions and the adage, is still true, you get what you pay for? This is true in almost every transaction and is true when it comes to choosing who will prune your trees. The above picture is of two live oaks for which the owner requested a pruning estimate.

The owner chose another company to do the pruning and they received the value that they paid for. This post may seem like sour grapes, but I only want to point out that there is a difference in who gets into your trees. We each have to decide what value we are willing to pay for. There are a lot of tree cutters roaming the neighborhoods that will “prune” your trees for very little money. Many of them do not have the slightest idea of what is good for the tree and what is good aesthetically. All they know is to raise the canopy of the tree and strip out all of the lower internal limbs. As you can see on these trees, there was no attention given to the density and weight at the end of the limbs. These trees will now grow “long” and lanky limbs that will be prone to breakage and the suckers will come back with a vengeance along the length of the limbs. The health, beauty, and safety of these trees has now been compromised. When you shop for pruning services, please make sure the provider is certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and knows what they are doing in the trees. Every cut on the tree has a purpose and each cut needs to be carefully considered before it is made. Remember, “you get what you pay for.” Trees are a valuable asset to your property. Please don’t let the “tree cutters” near them. You can verify ISA credentials by searching the ISA “Verify an ISA Credential” index.

The trees in the photo above should look like majestic shade trees, instead they look like giant pieces of broccoli! The owners got what they paid for with this pruning job. In a year or two, the owner will be paying another “tree cutter” to prune out all the tree suckers. (Tree suckers are young stems that sprout from the trunk or large branches.) It is a vicious circle, which is good only for the “tree cutters,” not for the property owner or the trees.

Scott Geer

Scott Geer

Scott Geer has a master's degree in forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University and is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist.® He is also a graduate of the American Society of Consulting Arborists Academy.