Ask An Arborist: Frequently Asked Tree Questions

If you have questions about arborists or tree care, you are not alone. Our team has been in the arborist business for many years and we have learned what people are most curious or concerned about.

TREE CARE FAQ

For your convenience, we have rounded up the most common tree care questions.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ARBORIST AND A LANDSCAPER?

Often used synonymously, arborist and landscaper are actually two very different job titles.

Landscaping includes landscape and hardscape installation, lawn care, lawn irrigation installation and maintenance, mulching, garden bed preparation and maintenance and sometimes shrub pruning. Landscapers focus mainly on aesthetics.

Arboriculture includes caring for mature trees, tree removal, pruning, cabling, stump grinding and more. Our arborists don’t just bid a job—they look into all aspects of the tree environment, providing recommendations based on your needs and our professional advice.

WHAT IS AN ISA-CERTIFIED ARBORIST?

An ISA-certified arborist is an expert-level arborist. To become ISA-certified requires an arborist to have real world experience and pass a rigorous exam (see our blog post on the exam for an example). Birch Tree Care has several ISA-certified arborists on staff to help us make sure our work is done in the best, most efficient way possible.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO PLANT A TREE?

In Minnesota, the best time to plant a tree is early spring. Our summers and winters can be harsh, so it is best to plant the tree when the weather is moderate and there is plenty of rainfall. This will give the new tree time to acclimate before our hot summer and bitter winter.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CUT DOWN A TREE?

In general, the best time to cut down a tree is as soon as you notice it is a hazard. While you might want to wait – whether it is for a better season or a bigger paycheck – you shouldn’t. The longer a hazardous tree is in your yard, the bigger risk it becomes. Every windy day or bout of extreme weather weakens the tree and increases the risk that it falls and causes damage to your property.

If a tree has a disease like EAB, you will have to wait until the insects are less active (mid-late fall or early spring) to cut down the tree. The DNR has restrictions on when we are allowed to cut diseased trees in order to reduce the spread of the disease.

DO I HAVE TO DO ANYTHING TO CARE FOR MY TREES IN THE WINTER?

There is such a thing as winter tree care. In order to guard a tree against the winter weather, you should add mulch to help insulate the tree, use plastic tree wrap to protect young trees from rodents, clear accumulating snow off branches to reduce the strain on the tree and avoid putting salt down near the tree.

WHY INVEST IN TREE CARE?

Plant health care is like human health care – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is much easier (and cheaper) to regularly care for your trees than to only take care of them when there is a problem. We offer our Plant Health Care services for this reason. We care for your trees and shrubs all year long to prevent them from getting sick, becoming a hazard and/or needing to be removed.

Do you have a burning question for our team? Let us know on Facebook or give us a call!