If you’ve never heard the term Tree Surgeon, it's another name for an Arborist, or someone who prunes and cares for trees. But if you’re thinking in terms of the full value an Arborist actually provides, the name Tree Surgeon is too narrow.
At Blue Ox, we prefer to think of ourselves as Tree Primary Care Physicians as well as Tree Surgeons. After all, a surgeon only steps in after something’s gone wrong and drastic intervention is required to correct the problem. But your PCP is there for you throughout your life, helping keep you healthy and avoid the surgeon whenever possible.
If you’ve been under the misguided impression that an Arborist is only there for your trees when they need surgery, read on to understand the full value a Tree PCP can provide to your urban forest…
Exercise (regular pruning)
In the same way a PCP recommends exercise so things don’t grow out of control, we recommend regular maintenance pruning of your trees to keep them in shape. Maintenance pruning is often more cost effective than waiting until there’s a problem to correct. Not only do untended trees require more pruning, but they often have hazardous limbs, could be causing damage to your home by rubbing against it, and pose a greater threat in a storm by being at higher risk of limb or tree failure.
Like us, trees need a well-rounded diet to stay healthy. A green goddess power bowl for a tree is whatever dead plants and animals are decomposing on the forest floor. However, our manicured lawns don’t offer much for a tree to eat, which leaves them nutrient-deficient. Arborists offer fertilization services to feed your trees and keep them strong so they’re less susceptible to diseases, pest infestations, and mechanical failures.
Annual physicals (Arborist assessments)
Even if you don’t think you have any immediate medical needs, you still try to see your PCP once a year for a quick once-over to avoid overlooking any heath issues that might arise. Any Arborist worth their title should be happy to visit annually, and at no charge, to inspect your trees and recommend any services that could improve their heath and decrease their risk to your property. These physicals are also a good time to run diagnostics if needed or desired. Arborists can take soil and tree samples and send them in to labs to be tested for quality and/or issues, just like a blood test.
Therapeutics (pest and disease treatments)
The treatment of a person (or tree!) for the purpose of both preventing and combating ailments, an Arborist with a pesticide license can give your trees medicine in the form of injections (think shots) or drenches (think salves). Sometimes these treatments will be recommended as antidotes to pests or diseases that are already attacking your tree, and sometimes they’re recommended before your tree has contracted any illnesses as a way to strengthen it against a potential threat. You can think of these preventative treatments as multivitamins.
So you can see there’s a lot more to arboriculture than chainsaws and chippers. If you’ve found a quality Arborist to care for your trees, chances are they’ll not only offer these additional services, but will be excited to provide them at your request. Like a good PCP, a good Tree Doctor is passionate about the health and well-being of their patients.
Sometimes putting our general health ahead of our busy schedules can be a struggle. Luckily we have the support of our PCPs, and your trees do, too. Don’t wait until they need a surgeon to call an Arborist!