Tree Removals

Removal of small trees typically presents no special problems as stated on our website: .  In fact, some homeowners choose to tackle small tree removals themselves.  However, even small trees may pose problems;

  • When working in a restrictive area
  • Tree disposal can definitely offer a challenge – especially if the tree was infected and must be removed from the property.

As trees grow and increase in height and width, they become increasingly more difficult to remove, making the services of a professional tree care company highly desirable if not absolutely necessary.

When choosing a tree service company to remove a tree from your property, it is imperative to identify a company that has:

  • A physical address
  • An excellent reputation and presents themselves as professionals not only in appearance, but in the information provided and the delivery of services
  • At least 10 years experience in the tree care business
  • The necessary equipment to ensure the tree removal is completed safely and efficiently with minimal risk to the surrounding environment – most important of all, to your home
  • Verifiable Certifications and financial responsibility
Crape Myrtles

There are several different types of Crape Myrtles.  There are the Tree like, the Shrub like and the Dwarf.  Then there are those in each class that have unique characteristics such as leaf texture, bark color and of course color of flower.  Therefore, different levels of care are required for each.

Tree like crape myrtles should be planted to allow for a large growth habitat; somewhat the size of a small tree, trimming of should also mimic that of pruning a tree.

Shrub like can be allowed to grow large but this cultivar is generally pruned to maintain height and maximize flower production.  This is done successfully by pruning in the late winter and in some cases trimming it during the growing season.

The Dwarf is of course the easiest of all to care for, with little trimming requirements.

Regardless of type, all require feeding with a slow release fertilizer.  In the event that they become ill, a Certified Arborist who specializes in Tree Health Care can diagnose and recommend the appropriate prescription.

“Tree Service”

….Those words should have defined meaning, but as I have learned through the years, this is not necessarily the case.   In fact, the words “tree service” may mean one thing to one person, but may mean something entirely different to someone else.   There are over 200 tree companies in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex.  They cover an entire spectrum of services, quality, experience, education, professionalism and wisdom.

When shopping for a tree company, your expectations of cost should reflect your goal.  If the decision is based purely on cost, then buyers beware.  “You get what you pay for”.  If your goal is to provide for the tree’s health and structure, then your options can be greatly narrowed down by choosing a company like Advanced Tree & Shrub Care Inc. whose staff consists of ISA Certified Arborists working under the direction of our Board Certified Master Arborist and Registered Consulting Arborist.  We know how to care for your trees and want our customers to know not only WHAT we are doing, but WHY we are doing it.

Rick’s Recommended Tree List for Dallas & Surrounding Areas

There are plenty of trees here.  Shade trees, ornamental trees and understory trees.  They grow large, wide, small and tall.  The large trees are shade trees, the medium size trees are ornamental trees and the small trees are understory trees that grow underneath other trees.  Some require wet situations like a Sycamore.  Other species prefer dry sites like a Sumac.  Clearly there is a tree for any condition your yard may be in.  Knowing which species to plant, what ails them, and how to take care of them is up to us, the Certified Arborists (Tree Doctor).


Arborvitae (EG)**

Arizona Cypress (EG)**

Ash (Green or Texas)

Austrian Black Pines (EG)**

Big Tooth Maple

Bird of Paradise

Buckthorn (US)*

Bur Oak

Button Bush

Calorie Pear

Carolina Laurel Cherry (EG)**

Cedar Elm

Cottonless Cottonwood

Chinese Pistachio

Chinquapin Oak


Chitalpa Willow


Crape Myrtle

Dawn Redwood

Deodar (EG)

Desert Willow

Dogwood (US)* Roughleaf

Elderica Pine (EG)**

Eve’s Necklace (US)*



Hollywood Juniper (EG)**

Japanese Black Pine (EG)**

Japanese Maple (US)

Lacebark Elm (FG)***

Kidney Wood

Lacey Oak

Live Oak

Magnolia (EG)**


Mexican Buckeye (US)

Mexican Plum (US)

Mulberry Fruitless

Pecan (Native)


Possum Haw (US)

Red Bud (“Forest Panzy”)

Red Cedar (EG)**

Red Maple

Red Oak (Schumardii, Texana, Rubra)

Smoke Tree


Texas Ash

Texas Persimmon (Dry)

Toothache (US)*

Tree of Senna

Vasey oak

Viburnum (US)

Vitex (Dry)

Western Soapberry

Winged Elm

Yaupon Holly (US,FG)*

*(US) = Understory

**(EG) = Evergreen

***(FG) = Fast Growing

What Can Be Done to Reduce the Effects of The Drought?

We have discussed in my previous blogs, the benefits of proper tree fertilization and how it aids trees in stressful conditions.  What can also help is the addition of organic matter through soil injection.  This process by itself or in conjunction with fertilization increases the retention of soil moisture, improving soil structure by adding and cementing soil particles.  Other additives such as surfactants are available to aid in penetration and absorption and will remain in the soil for long periods of time.  Surface application by physically adding mulch also aids in the retention, reduces soil evaporation and ads to increase soil moisture capacity.  This needs to be replenished at times seasonally and I prefer native non processed mulch that decomposes quickly.  Mulch should be 4-6″ thick keeping in mind to stay off the root flares.

For smaller trees there are irrigation vehicles such as bags with drip emitters which can irrigate small trees successfully for periods up to 3 weeks.

Finally, there is monitoring.  Nothing can beat this.  Use a soil probe and begin to work up a relationship with your soils.

Remember!  For every diameter inch at breast height, a tree requires 10-15 gallons of water per watering.

Why Fertilize Your Trees?

Well for starters, EVERYTHING NEEDS TO EAT!

Even unhealthy trees will grow.  They have to in order to survive, but for a tree to be healthy it needs essential nutrients.  A tree in good health and vigor can defend itself against environmental stresses, plant parasites, disease and insect infestation.  The goal is to provide these nutrients using the most effective products, which are the slow release fertilizers (3-1-1) with the most efficient method of delivery, which is by soil needle injection.

Urban soils are deficient of the basic nutrients needed by trees to survive.  This is due to the soil damage and sometimes total removal of soil that occurs during the home development process.  In most cases the organic humus layer is replaced by a turf grass or landscaping that actually competes with the trees for nutrients.  Remaining or planted trees are left to fend for themselves with the added stresses thrown at them through the season.  Because the soil cannot be replenished, it should be supplemented.

Trees and shrubs are living organisms.  They require food and water just as humans do.

Rely on an Arborist who has the proper certifications (Board Certified Master Arborist / Registered Consulting Arborist), and whose expertise lies in Tree Health Care to diagnose the tree issues you may have on your property.

Certified Arborist

What Is a Certified Arborist?  What does it mean?

Certified Arborists, as defined by ISA:

Certified Arborists are individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care through experience and by passing a comprehensive examination developed by some of the nation’s leading experts on tree care.  Certified Arborists must also continue their education to maintain their certification and adhere to a Code of Ethics.  Therefore, they are more likely to be up to date on the latest techniques in arboriculture.

Becoming an ISA Certified Arborist is a voluntary process through which individuals can measure their knowledge and competence required to provide proper tree care.  ISA Certification is not government-sponsored or government-endorsed.  It is administered by the International Society of Arboriculture as a way for tree care professionals to demonstrate their commitment to the profession and the industry.

Certification is not a measure of standards of practice.  Certification can attest to the tree knowledge of an individual but cannot guarantee or ensure quality performance.”

As I prepare for my speaking engagements, I once again find the term “Certified Arborist” compromised.  What does it stand for and what does it mean to you?  I have defined the term Arborist and in fact I have used The Glossary of Arboriculture Terms (ISA definition). The problem is that it is much too broad.  I find myself time and time again explaining to people why surveyors, public employees, etc., are allowed the opportunity the title of “Arborist”.  Can a surveyor TRULY be an Arborist?  How far can you go?  Can a wood processor be an Arborist?  Think of it, does it not render us to the status of surveyor of arboriculture.  I look for the time when a Certified Arborist means something.

So as it stands right now, it is totally up to the prospect (YOU), to figure out who is going to be best suited, or most qualified for your needs.  I can only give you my wisdom based on many years of experience along with holding the most certifications: Board Certified Master Arborist / Registered Consulting Arborist / Degreed / Licensed as well as over 20 years dedicated to this profession and considered to be an expert in the field of tree health care.

Tree Care Cost

When you have a tree that is dead, dying, diseased, hazardous and is a nuisance to yourself or others it is time to have it removed.  If it is a tree that is too large, dead, rotten, difficult and or challenging it is time to employ a professional.

Homeowners who have never employed or performed the work themselves generally do not have an understanding what it takes to remove a tree.  Let me give you some history, in the months of August and September of 2011 there were 29 recorded deaths, 15 of which were civilians. These statistics are only what was reported.  Many more have gone unrecorded.  Homeowners rank very high in deaths along with unskilled tree workers and then line clearance personnel. The point is, this type of work is very dangerous, has a lot of risks associated with it and we need to talk about it before we move on.

Some of the risks:

Life and limb. 

The lack of proper equipment (tools), skills, experience and physical fitness.  I have always said that if you are performing tree work you should have at least 3 sizes of chain saws with the appropriate length cutting bar.  For example when cutting large wood you use a large saw, medium wood -medium saw and small wood, use a small saw.  Know how to make cuts and which way they will fall. Use the proper ropes for securing wood, directing and lowering.  All of these require a special skill sets. 

Injury to yourself or others while performing the work.

Damage to structures, buildings, landscape, fences, underground utilities and even other trees.

Disposal of the tree once it’s down – timing and requirements of city pick-up.

The dangers of hauling the debris yourself.

When all of the challenges are considered and the risks made clear, it makes sense to bring in a professional.  You now have a better understanding of why there are professional services. It does not totally remove all the risks but choosing the right professional tree care provider reduces your liability considerably. This is what you should look for:

  • Insured – documentation is provided directly from the carrier
  • Verifiable Arborist Certifications and status
  • Experienced and expertise.
  • Length of time in business
  • Knowledgeable of Arboriculture and tree removal / tree risk assessment
  • A free estimate for the tree removal.  Keep in mind that if you are dealing with a sick tree that you are trying to save, this is a specialized service and would require a RCA or BCMA with expertise in Tree Health Care which then incurs a charge for diagnosis.
  • Professional etiquette and appearance.  An Arborist should look like an Arborist not a cowboy, golfer or trash remover.

All estimates are based on time and complexity.  The larger the tree, the more obstacles, the higher the traffic area, the placement of the tree, the more time it takes, and therefore will be more expensive to remove.  Obstacles could be buildings, pools, fences, walkways, landscape plantings and other structures will add time to the removal.  A sick tree, which could be decayed, hollow, cankered with cement or hardware installed in it makes a removal more complicated and therefore will also add time.

Generally speaking there is a cost of doing business factor, which is the common denominator for any business.  Then there is an hourly rate which ranges from market to market, typically ranging from $65 – $95 per man hour.

To compare oranges with oranges, all professional credentialed companies will complete a job from the start to hauling off the debris.  They should be professional in appearance and safety one conscience.  Clean up should leave the property looking at least as good as it appeared before, if not better.  There is no difference in price from chipping debris into the back of a truck or cutting and stacking it in the front yard for the city to pick up. 

And finally, you should hire a professional tree care service.  You wouldn’t employ an accountant to prescribe medicine would you?  Then leave the tree work to the tree specialists!

What is Deadwood?

Deadwood is tissue on a tree that is non-conducive.  It has neither moisture nor sugars moving through it.  These tissues can be trunks, stems, limbs, branches, twigs, roots or heartwood.  In addition, deadwood acts as brood areas for insects and disease.  Dead tissues provide an entry for both parasitic and saprophytic organisms.  It is unimpeded, there are no toxins, tannins or any other substances to slow down or stop infection.  It allows infections to move directly from dead structures to other structures such as heartwood, which is deadwood.  It also allows live structures to be infected with the more aggressive organisms of infection.

Removing deadwood through pruning cycles is part of the practice for normal care in healthy trees.  In the case of sick or ill trees, it is imperative to have it removed immediately.

Leaves on Live Oaks

Why are we are seeing different shades of green on Live Oak Trees?  Some trees have a silverish tone, others have a bronzeish appearance to the leaves. This is due to an infestation of mites feeding on the foliage that have been present for months.  Mites have a mouth part like a mosquito that they insert into the leaf to feed by pulling out the chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color.


Mites are still present and continue to feed here in the North Texas and Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

They are a very debilitating insect whose sole purpose in life is to feed and reproduce.  Their feeding causes low vigor and vitality in the trees, making them more susceptible to other infections and diseases.


Cold spells seem to have no effect on these insects.  It appears as though the cold just makes them less active and as the day warms they begin feeding.


I highly recommend treating for these critters immediately. The longer they are present, the more long term damage that is done to the tree.  Sometimes additional treatments are required, but it is well worth it in relation to the alternative.


« Previous Entries Next Entries »