International Society of Arboriculture Topics for South Carolina

Charleston, SC ISA

If you have a home with a yard and a tree in it, chances are that you pay to support America's multibillion-dollar tree service industry. Back before the recession began, when home prices were on the rise all the time, Americans spent about $8 billion on pruning, fertilizing, strengthening, planting and removing the trees in their gardens. And that's not even including what local governments spend on the trees in public parks and what businesses spend on the trees on their campuses.

People these days seem to realize that tree care is a specialized line of work. It isn't just something that any gardener does on the side. The fact that tree service today is recognized as a line of work that requires specialized skills, means that they can charge more. Which might be fortunate; considering how ever since the recession started, people have been cutting back on spending on their tree service. Business is down 10%.

Your friendly local tree service professional doesn't so much see his job as caring for trees though as he sees it to be as caring for his wallet. Pruning trees for instance, they will often go all for artificial prettification over the health of the trees they prune. Tree service people for instance will prune trees to look round or compact.

Or they will prune to take unattractive looking branches out. With this kind of thing, trees often sicken. They need their branches and leaves for nutrients and to catch some sunlight. Adult trees should only be trimmed when they pose a danger to power lines nearby or something. They shouldn't be pruned recklessly for prettiness purposes. But that is exactly what they will to. It's an unhealthy practice.

Tree medicine this the other area that makes the tree service line of work profitable. Healthcare for trees though isn't an exact science. Tree services will often sell soil amendments, medicines and fertilizers of every variety for tree health problems that they diagnose. For instance, they will detect fungi on the roots of trees and then they will offer to get rid of it with all kinds of soil treatments. It may not really make much sense to do anything about natural fungi that will always grow in warm and moist environments though.

And they won't even test your soil before the do this kind of thing. Often, getting overenthusiastic with the soil treatments can backfire. Adding unnecessary fertilizer to soil for instance, can attract all kinds of pests.

You can't even depend on your tree service to keep track of all local regulations. Every state has a list of protected trees. If you want to cut one down in your yard, you need to ask for permission. You can't just call your tree service and expect that they'll take care of it. They will usually be as clueless you are.