The winter is best time of  year to prune trees. The Water Authority recommends hiring an arborist to prune them because arborists specialize in the care of individual trees. They are knowledgeable about the needs of trees and are trained and equipped to provide the proper care.

Arborists can provide the following services:

  1. Pruning
  2. Tree removal
  3. Emergency tree care
  4. Planting
  5. Plant health care
  6. Other services such as consulting, tree risk assessment, cabling and bracing of trees.

How do you find a professional arborist to take care of your trees? We recommend to ask the following questions when looking for an arborist:

  1. Are they certified? Certified arborists have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care through experience. They have  passed a comprehensive examination developed by some of the nation’s leading tree care experts. There is an online resource called Find an Arborist to help you locate one in your area.
  2. Do they have insurance? Check that they have a certificate of insurance that includes proof of liability for personal and property damage, including workers’ compensation.
  3. Do they offer a contract? Get a written contract of the work to be completed from the arborist. It should include the estimate for the services, a start date, and estimate of how long the work will take.
  4. Do they have references? Ask the tree company to provide a few names of past customers, and ask friends and neighbors for local references, too.

To learn more about tree care, visit http://www.treesaregood.org/portals/0/docs/treecare/hire_arborist.pdf

Author: Jill Brown, ASLA Landscape Architect and owner of My Landscape Coach in Albuquerque, NM. Resources: International Society of Arboriculture, Trees are Good.