Frequently Asked Questions

Why hire a knowledgeable Arborist?
Trees are living things that require ongoing maintenance and care in order to provide you and your property with the many benefits that trees can supply. Arborists are specially trained and equipped to provide you and your trees with safe and scientifically based tree care. Poorly maintained trees and improper tree care practices can lead to decreased aesthetics and property values as well as increased liabilities and maintenance costs.

What should I look for when hiring an arborist?
  • Check for credentials such as licenses and certifications showing a demonstrated level of experience or skill.
  • Memberships in industry associations such as ISA, TCIA, ASCA and NJSCTE demonstrate a willingness to stay current with all of the latest technology and skills.
  • Check for proof of insurance especially liability and workers compensation. This should be provided to you directly from the insurance company to ensure that policies are current and you are covered in case of any mishaps or injuries on the job.
  • When getting estimates, don’t always go with the low bid. The cheapest price may not be the best value. Improper tree care can take years and a larger investment to correct and in some cases may not be correctable.
  • Always get it in writing. A professional arborist is generally too busy to solicit work door to door looking to perform the work on the spot. Request a contract. Read it carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

When should I prune my trees?

This would depend on the objectives you are trying to achieve with your pruning. If it is to remove deadwood for general safety/hazard reduction or to improve tree health, this can be done at any time of the year.

Pruning of any significant live growth more than 10-15% of the crown is best done during the dormant season. Pruning young trees and not waiting until the tree is mature is also critical. This can help establish a good structure, preventing future defects and possible failures.

Small cuts are also less stressful to the tree and close over faster providing less opportunity for insects and disease to gain a foothold.

How often should I prune my trees?

Barring unforeseen weather events like droughts, hurricanes or ice storms, routine maintenance pruning on most species should occur about every three years. This can vary by tree species, proximity to buildings and desired aesthetic objectives.

When is the best time to treat for tree diseases?

Fungal infections begin early in the season during the cool and damp spring weather.  The tender young leaves need to be protected from fungal spores as they are emerging and expanding.  This is typically done with several fungicide applications over the course of 3-4 weeks depending on the disease.  Treating later in the season is not effective as the damage has already occurred and will not improve the condition.

Should I mulch my trees?

Natural mulch has many benefits including, protection from mowers and string trimmers, soil temperature moderation, moisture retention, and returning organic materials to the soil.  Mulch should be no more than 2” deep and go as far out into the drip-line as possible, and not be in contact with the trunk tissue.  Too much mulch can be as detrimental as having no mulch at all and can lead to excessive heat build up on the roots and trunk, decay of bark tissue, formation of stem girdling roots and provide habitat for vermin like mice and voles, and parasitic worms called nematodes.

How often should I water my trees?

When there is adequate natural rainfall there is no need to water your trees unless you have installed new landscape materials.  When we experience hot and dry summer conditions people often assume that their lawn sprinklers are sufficient, but that is not the case.  Trees need at least an inch of rain each week to thrive, and large older trees are no exception.  Supplemental watering should include flowers, shrubs, and young and old trees alike, and should continue until normal rainfall resumes or the ground freezes in the late fall or winter and plants go dormant.

What is “Red Thread Disease”?

Red Thread disease is a common turf disease found on ryegrass, fine fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass. This disease is prevalent during rainy periods in the spring and early summer. It can also be associated with low nitrogen levels. Red thread disease symptoms appear as circular patches of pink turf, and upon a closer look, it appears that there are pinkish reddish “threads” on the turf. In most cases, with proper fertilization and irrigation, the symptoms will go away in a couple of weeks. In severe cases, a fungicide may be warranted to help with the recovery.