Deterioration and the Cost of Tree Services

The nature of tree services is that we often deal with dead or dying trees. When a tree dies, there are a few options for what to do; cut it down or leave it standing to decay at its natural pace. In an urban setting, the presence of nearby buildings often precludes the latter from happening, as the danger of a dead tree falling onto a home, business or other structure means it has to be dealt with.

The question then becomes how soon removal has to happen. That isn’t always so easy to answer. How far gone is the tree? Should it be removed immediately? Can the tree be left for a week, month or year? What are the pros and cons of leaving it to let nature take its course?

Dangers of Leaving a Tree

Calvin and a baby raccoon

While dead trees make great homes for insects, birds and animals, they pose a risk to you and your property, especially in the case of dangerous trees

Once a tree dies, it begins to decompose. This is great for insects, birds, and other animals, as it is good for shelter, food, perches, and nest-building, but not everyone wants a family of raccoons living on their property.

The bigger problem is that as trees begin to rot, pieces of them fall off. That includes, twigs, branches, and bark, but sometimes the whole tree falls down. And in the case of ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer (EAB), ash trees become extremely fragile.

As the EAB essentially cuts off the flow of nutrients throughout the tree, it rapidly dries out. An infected ash tree can die in as little as two years. Without treatment, it can become dangerous far sooner than a tree which has died from natural causes, due to the brittleness of the tree. The longer you leave it, the more dangerous it becomes.

Cost of Tree Removal

This ash tree was not stable enough to allow arborists to climb it. A crane was required for the tree removal job.

This ash tree was not stable enough to allow arborists to climb it. A crane was required for the tree removal job.

Tree service work is unfortunately not cheap. We need to factor in insurance, training, equipment, maintenance, wages, and more. Those are the everyday costs associated with running our business. When we quote a job for a client though, we write our estimates based on the job at hand; whether we have to climb, use a bucket truck, have a larger crew on hand, or bring in additional equipment like cranes. All of these factors affect the bottom line.

In the case of dangerous tree removal, we must look at safety issues as well. If a tree has recently died due to EAB, we may still be able to climb it to remove upper limbs before felling the main trunk. As ash trees deteriorate rapidly, that window is fairly small though. If a climber feels that the trunk is unstable, they can and should refuse to climb the tree. They put themselves at risk, not to mention any property in the vicinity. A tree which has succumbed to EAB is unpredictable and may not hold a climber’s weight, not to mention their added gear.

Note to climbers: If your spurs dig in like mush refuse to climb!

Luke in the bucket

The more equipment needed for a job, the more expensive tree removal becomes

When we are unable to climb a tree during tree service work, the costs begin to rise. Part of our job is to make sure surrounding property is safe during tree removal. We need to know where a section of trunk may fall and EAB infested trees are harder to predict. Bringing in bucket trucks or cranes, adds to the cost of the job, but our safety and yours is paramount. We refuse to put it at risk, even if it means the job costs more.

Your best course of action, if you have a tree on your property which is dead or dying, is to contact CLC Tree Services as soon as possible. Leaving the tree removal to later, when you think you can afford it better, just might find the price tag a little bit steeper. Don’t wait. You can’t afford to risk your property, person, or anyone else who may be near your dangerous tree.


Published by
September 28, 2016 2:37 pm