Tricky Tree Removal

Sometimes, removing a mature tree can enhance curb appeal

It’s important to make a good first impression, especially when trying to sell a house. Curb appeal can be what nudges people to take a closer look at a property or drives them away. While many people appreciate the beauty of large, mature trees, Spillane decided to remove the Black Walnut located near the sunroom.

The downfall of this hardy species is that it releases a toxic compound called juglone. It seeps into the soil around the tree, extending to the edge of the tree’s canopy, and it makes the area uninhabitable for a variety of vegetables, annuals, perennials, shrubs, and other types of trees. For people who enjoy gardening, this 75- to 100 year-old black walnut could be viewed as a deterrent to buying the house.

For several weeks, the grass and other vegetation in the yard have been trampled as materials are unloaded and workers move around the property.  Now is the right time to bring in heavy equipment and remove the tree, using a cherry-picker and a crane, without worrying about damaging the existing landscape. Several exterior touches still need to be completed before Spillane will turn his attention to the yard.

Because the tree was located directly between Spillane’s property and the next-door neighbors, he talked with them about removing the Black Walnut tree to avoid creating friction. They even agreed to split the cost of the removal. Due to the tree’s size and proximity to the house, a professional tree care service was called in.

Spillane knew the importance of hiring a reputable business that had:

  • An up-to-date certificate of insurance and copy of their work contract. This protects Spillane so he couldn’t be held liable for any damages, accidents, or injuries that might occur. It is especially important since multiple tradesmen will be at the work site during the tree removal process.
  • Appropriate credentials. Every situation is different. Some tree removals required more experience, training, or certification than others. At a minimum, a Certified Tree Safety Professional (CTSP) should be available to address any safety challenges that a company may face including hazard and incident control and prevention.
  • Solid references. Satisfied customers are always happy to talk about a company they did business with in the past. References should be current and less than a year old.

Spillane also requested:

  • A written estimate. The scope of the job was outlined in writing before the work got underway, including what type of equipment would be used, and how long it would take to complete. All of the costs were itemized, too. It’s always a good idea to obtain three estimates before making a hiring decision.

The removal of the Black Walnut tree was a dangerous job. It took a four-man crew a full day, using specialized equipment and techniques, to safely complete it. Spillane knew this portion of the project was out of his skill set, so he didn’t try to do it himself. No matter how tight a budget is during a remodel, the cost of someone’s experience always outweighs what will be paid in fees. 




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