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Should You Really Hire An Arborist?
As a home owner you need to care for the tress in your property. Their health, aesthetic appearance would surely be top priorities in your mind. The obvious question that is most ask is – Should I hire an arborist for the job or just do it myself?
You should hire an arborist if you have a larger tree that needs to be trimmed or removed. Tree maintenance is a highly skilled trade and can be very dangerous. Anything that requires the work to be carried out more than 1m off the ground, it is best left to the professional. If it is only a very small job like pruning a lemon tree then DIY is a great way to save money.
Below we look at some of the most frequently asked questions about hiring arborists including the not so obvious benefits, cost and certification they need to present.
Cost of hiring an arborist
The simple answer is, it depends on the nature of the job you are hiring the arborist for.
As mentioned above, arborists offer a wide range of tree related services and they charge you based on the work they do and the complexity involved in the job. But for the most part it’s the time take and resources need to complete the task.
For instance if you want a tree report from them a certified arborist would charge you between $400 and $500 for a single report. If you are looking to remove a huge oak tree then you could be looking at $4000 – $5000 for the job.
As far as tree pruning and tree removal jobs are concerned, there are several factors that would decide the cost.
– The species of tree
– Size and spread
– Location of the tree and access
– Obstacles around the tree
For instance if the tree is in the backyard which isn’t easily accessible with heavy equipment will cost more to remove as there will be a lot more manual labour involved. The cost go up as more crew, equipment and time needed to complete the job.
How to choose the best arborist?
It is extremely important that you are choosy and exercise all caution while choosing an arborist. There are hundreds of unskilled and unqualified arborists claiming to have professional ‘skills’ and ‘expertise’ to handle your job. Hiring them can be a nightmarish experience and they do more harm than good. Here we take a look at few things you need to look for and these would let you to the best arborist.
• Qualification – An arborist with a minimum of Certificate III in arboriculture is going to be your best bet to getting a quality job done. Anything less and you will have a practicing arborist.
• Experience – The first thing you should do when investigating arborist to hire is see how long they have been in business. You should be able to check this by looking up their business name in the small business register online and see when they were registered. You need a company with a bare minimum of 3 – 4 years-experience.
• Insurance – Pruning, tree removal is a risky job and accidents do happen even when you have hired the most experienced and qualified professionals. You need to verify that the company carries public liability insurance. The best companies do carry insurance but you still need to ask for a proof of the same while hiring one.
• Knowledge – An arborist who knows their stuff loves to should off their skills and depth of knowledge to customers. It’s pretty easy to tell know good an arborist is by the information they can give you on your tree and exactly what needs to be done and why.
• Attire – If you get a guy that turns up in an old banged up Ute and looks like he hasn’t showered in a couple of days, I would give him a miss. If he doesn’t care too much about his own appearance, he is not going to put too much effort into cleaning up after they have done. He’s probably a bit of a grub, so move on.
Why you need a certified arborist
Tree services are a lucrative and fast growing business. This has attracted several people into this trade including “self-trained” weekend warriors. We have already mentioned the benefits of hiring an arborist, but it is equality important for you weigh up what certification they have. There is a big difference between a certificate II arborist and an arborist with a diploma.
• It’s a skill demanding job – Tree management might seem a simple job and you may have seen several DIY videos on YouTube. But in the real world it is a highly skill demanding profession. From knowledge of trees to the best practices in tree management there are dozens of things that only a certified arborist can bring to the job.
• They know the trees – Different species of trees need to be cared for differently. It is important for the person dealing with trees to understand their inherent characteristic, the kind of care they needs and how to prune them. Certified arborists have comprehensive knowledge in the science of tree care, their management and maintenance. This separates them from individuals who picked up a chainsaw amidst job loss or other reasons.
• They carry the right equipment – As with any modern job tree management also requires several equipment that goes beyond the chainsaw as you’d imagine. From cable hoists to tree cranes and tree climbing gear to safety gear a certified arborists brings the right equipment to the job improving the quality or work and reducing the chances of accidents.
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Benefits of hiring an arborist
As you already know trees need to be well cared for in order to remain healthy, safe in an urban environment. Though you can try your hand at basic care and maintenance it is always a wise to hire a professional for the job. An arborist or a tree surgeon is trained in the art of tree care and management and here are some of the benefits of hiring an arborist –
• Tree health, vigour and longevity – An arborist will first identify the deadwood, weak branch unions and crossing branches for pruning. They are all the Achillies heal of all trees and do lead to their slow demise. Removing these offending branches improves the trees health and longevity.
• Knowledge base that saves you in the long run – Going with a local gardener will not guarantee you the depth of knowledge needed to promote your trees long term health.
As professionals arborists they have the required skills to identify impending problems and suggest necessary remedial measures. By using their professional knowledge you can eliminate potential risks an un-kept tree can post to your property in the future.
• Property Value and curb appeal – Trees and overall landscape is one of key factors deciding the value of a property. That’s why those home renovation shows also ways spend a chunk of money on the landscaping. It pays dividends. When you hire an arborist they would care and manage your trees in the right manner for optimal tree balance and aesthetics which in turn increases the value of your property.
What tasks does an arborist actually do?
As we have mentioned above arborists are tree specialists and they can carry out number of tasks depending on your needs. Here we take a look at some of them:
• Tree Pruning – Tree trimming or pruning is an arborists break and butter work. Trees in suburbia are in constant need of upkeep. Removal of dead branches, excess weight for the trees health, to the clearance of buildings and electrical wires for the sake of your property.
• Tree Removal – While tree removal is often the last resort there are times when it is the only option to safeguard life and property. Trees eventually reach the end of their Safe and Useful Life Expectancy in an urban environment and slowly begin to become more of a danger than an asset. This is when it’s time to remove the tree. Other reason include damage to building foundations or risk of branch failures.
• Stump removal – Once a tree has been removed, you will general need to also remove the stump. Not all tree surgeons are equipped with stump removal equipment, but most do.
• Arborist report – Once a tree reaches a significant size you city can make you keep it through their tree ordincances. In cases where they are on the fence, they will ask for an independent arborist report to get a second opinion. For this you will need a consulting arborist. Reports generally cost $400 – $500
• Cable bracing – I am personally not a huge fan of cable bracing as I feel that is a tree cannot support a branch or itself under its own weight, then the offending tree or branch should be removed. Some people are very attached to some trees which I can understand and want to have the braced to prevent future branch or tree failure. An alternative to consider is to take some weight of the branch or tree in questions which will releave pressure and make it more stable and safe.
• Emergency tree services – There are a few tree services that are on call 24/7 just in case a tree comes down during the night or on a Sunday. You need to bare in mind that this is very expensive and they will general charge double or triple for emergency work.
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