Tree Health Assessment and Maintenance

Tree Health Assessment and Maintenance

Think of us as tree doctors. We can help you get new trees started off right, and we can also look at ailing trees to determine the cause of a tree’s poor health.

Young tree health. The most common reason for lack of vigor or decline of newly planted trees is poor planting which overwhelmingly means planting too deeply. Roots planted too deeply suffocate and rot. Rot may also set in on bark around the trunk if it is below grade or piled too thickly with mulch.

We can plant trees, supervise the planting of trees or advise you on how trees should be planted, including any staking or guying should it be needed.


Tree Damage. We can upright downed trees if they are not too large and secure them. We can also cable and/or bolt trees with split stems or weak unions in many cases.

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Pest problems. The vast majority of insects do no serious harm to trees. Most insects are in fact essential partners in a healthy ecosystem. There are a small number of problematical and also some serious insect pests of trees. Foreign, recently introduced pests such as emerald ash borer, and Asian longhorned beetle are surely making their way south from the northeastern States where they were first accidentally introduced in shipments of goods from Asia. Early detection and treatment is needed in these cases.

As with insects, the vast majority of fungi including mushrooms, that you may find in your soil are benign and in fact are likely highly beneficial to your trees. There are however a number of pathogenic fungi that can invade and weaken your tree.


Most leaf spots and twig problems are about as much trouble to a healthy tree as a moderate case of acne or a small rash is to us. We can spot the true troublemakers.

We can help identify harmful insects, fungi and diseases and perform or recommend the appropriate response, if any is needed. In most cases, just the reassurance that a problem is not serious is enough.

We never spray, drench or inject a pesticide unless a clear diagnosis is made. There are no magic sprays. At best, ill-considered pesticide use is a waste of money and at worst, it can damage plants, including the tree you are trying to save, and introduce toxic material into your garden ecosystem.

Trees and Construction. Construction damage is the chief cause of decline of mature trees, especially where they grew in a forest and subsequently were chosen to be retained while their companions were removed.

Changing grade, cutting roots, and especially soil compaction are all serious problems for remaining trees after construction. Trees may take 3 to as much as 10 years to show the effects of this damage, because large trees have enormous energy reserves in their massive trunks, but eventually the reserves run dry.

Protect Your Tree Roots. The best thing you can do is to make a plan for the protection of trees you want to save before construction starts, and to ensure that these plans are carried out. We can help you with that. We can also measure soil compaction and alleviate soil compaction problems from around valuable trees that have, or you suspect have experienced construction damage.

Lightning protection. Lightning can kill large trees outright. Many trees survive lightning strikes but do sustain some damage.

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We can help you determine whether a lightning struck tree is a hazard or deserves the time to ‘heal’. We can also install lightning protection systems on valuable trees.

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