Monday, December 4, 2023

Do Tree Removal Companies Need to Be Licensed?

If you need a tree removed from your property, before you pick up the phone to call the first tree removal service you find online, consider the risks involved in hiring an unlicensed company. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why hiring a licensed and insured tree removal service is crucial and answer the question: do tree removal companies need to be licensed? We’ll also cover the certifications and accreditations that demonstrate a company’s expertise and the potential dangers of hiring unlicensed services. Let’s ensure your tree removal experience is safe and hassle-free.

tree removal service with a contractor's license

Key Tree Company Licensing Takeaways

  • Tree removal companies must be business-licensed and insured in order to protect customers from potential legal liability issues.
  • Professional certifications and accreditations are indicators of a tree removal company’s commitment to safety standards.
  • Careful evaluation is essential when hiring a reputable tree removal company and verifying licenses, insurance coverage, certifications, and other qualifications for quality service.

Licensing Requirements for Tree Removal Services

Licensing requirements for tree removal services vary by state and local regulations but generally include obtaining an occupational license and registering with relevant state departments. Tree removal companies with proper licenses can confidently assure customers of their ability to perform tree service and removal tasks safely and efficiently. After all, you wouldn’t want an inexperienced or unqualified individual wielding a chainsaw near your home, would you?

Not only do licensing requirements ensure that tree removal companies have the necessary skills and knowledge, but they also protect customers from potential legal liability issues. Penalties can be imposed on tree services operating without a license, which may ultimately affect the homeowner. Hiring a service with the necessary licensing and registration is vital for a smooth tree removal process.

State and Local Regulations

State and local regulations mandate specific licenses and permits for reliable tree services to operate lawfully. For instance, in California, applicants must demonstrate at least four years of journeyman-level experience and pass the relevant examinations to obtain a tree service license. In New York City, a Tree Work Permit is required for tree removal companies performing work on or within 50 feet of a tree under City jurisdiction. These regulations ensure tree removal companies adhere to safety guidelines and provide quality service.

However, regulations can differ between rural and urban areas within the same state. In some urban areas, a permit may be necessary for tree removal on private property, especially if the tree is designated as a ‘heritage tree’ or meets specific criteria. Regulations may be more lenient in rural areas, and permits may not be needed for tree removal. It is advisable to consult with your local city or county government to understand the specific regulations in your area.

Occupational Licenses and Registrations

In addition to state and local regulations, tree removal services must obtain occupational licenses and registrations to comply with local laws and regulations. The requirements for tree removal services vary from state to state. For example, in New Jersey, all companies performing tree work must have at least one employee with a valid license. In Texas, individuals must pass the TDA general laws and regulations and ornamental and turf pest control exams, as well as submit an application along with a fee.

Obtaining these licenses and registrations demonstrates that tree removal companies are committed to providing quality service while adhering to proper tree removal guidelines. Verifying the contractor’s status with the state license board is a necessary step. This gives you confidence that the tree removal service you engage in operates within the law and is qualified to perform the job safely and efficiently.

Professional Certifications and Accreditations

certification of arborist that performs tree care services

In addition to licensing requirements, professional certifications and accreditations, such as ISA Certified Arborist and TCIA Accreditation, demonstrate a tree removal company’s expertise and commitment to industry standards. These certifications and accreditations validate the company’s knowledge and skills and signify their adherence to safety guidelines and best practices in the tree care industry.

Hiring a certified tree removal company with professional certifications and accreditations indicates their safety and quality service prioritization. After all, when it comes to tree removal, you want to trust that the professionals handling the job are well-equipped to perform the task.

ISA Certified Arborist

An ISA Certified Arborist is a highly trained professional who has acquired the necessary knowledge and training in tree safety, aerial rescue, and electrical hazards. To become an ISA Certified Arborist, individuals must:

  • Satisfy a minimum of three years of arboriculture experience
  • Complete the application process
  • Pass the certification examination
  • Abide by the ISA Code of Ethics

Continuing education units (CEUs) or retaking the exam are also necessary to sustain certification.

A tree removal company with ISA Certified Arborists on staff assures you of their skill set, knowledge, and capability to address your tree removal needs. Their expertise includes:

  • Tree biology
  • Identification and selection
  • Soil management
  • Pruning and trimming techniques
  • Disease and pest control

This ensures that they can provide the best possible care for your trees. Search this website to find an ISA certified arborist.

Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Accreditation

TCIA Accreditation is another indicator that a tree removal company follows industry best practices and safety standards. To achieve TCIA Accreditation, companies must:

  • Comply with the TCIA code of ethics
  • Practice optimal business practices
  • Utilize qualified personnel
  • Abide by tree care industry standards

The Tree Care Industry Association accreditation requires renewal every three years to ensure ongoing compliance with industry standards.

Engaging tree care companies with TCIA Accreditation assures you of their commitment to stringent safety guidelines and dedication to delivering quality service. Their commitment to upholding industry standards ensures that your tree removal experience will be both safe and efficient.

Insurance Considerations for Tree Removal Companies

worker's compensation insurance policy protecting a tree removal company

Insurance considerations for tree removal companies play a crucial role in protecting both the company and the customer. Tree removal companies should consider obtaining liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance, as these types of coverage offer financial protection in the event of accidents, property damage, or injuries during the tree removal process.

Ensuring a tree removal company has adequate insurance coverage is a proactive measure to protect yourself from potential legal liabilities and financial losses. Furthermore, having adequate insurance demonstrates the company’s commitment to professionalism and responsibility, giving you peace of mind during the tree removal process.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is a crucial aspect of a tree removal company’s overall coverage. It covers property damage and injuries sustained during the tree removal process, thereby reducing the financial burden on the company. Moreover, having liability insurance can help build trust with clients and demonstrate the company’s commitment to professionalism and responsibility.

To verify the insurance coverage of a tree removal service, it is recommended to contact the insurance company directly and request a Certificate of Insurance (COI). This document provides proof of the company’s insurance coverage and ensures that you, as a customer, are protected in the event of any accidents or damages during the tree removal process.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Worker’s compensation insurance is another vital component of a tree removal company’s coverage. It provides coverage for job-related illnesses or injuries that arborists or tree-trimming workers may experience, including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages for injured employees. This insurance protects the tree removal company from liability in case of accidents or damages and safeguards the customer by offering coverage for medical expenses and lost wages should an employee sustain an injury or illness in the workplace.

In the event of a work-related accident on your property, having workman’s compensation insurance ensures that you, as the property owner, are not held liable for any injuries and expenses. Engaging a tree removal company with worker’s compensation insurance ensures protection for workers and your interests.

Evaluating Reputable Tree Removal Companies

reputable tree removal company verifying license and insurance information

When evaluating reputable tree removal companies, there are several factors to consider. These include verifying license and insurance information and checking for certifications and accreditations. Ensuring that a tree removal service has the proper qualifications, certifications, and insurance coverage demonstrates their commitment to professionalism and safety and protects you as a customer from potential legal liability issues.

Investing time in evaluating tree removal companies before hiring allows you to make an informed choice, selecting a company committed to quality service, proper tree removal guidelines, and safety standards.

Verifying License and Insurance Information

In states that require licensing, before hiring a tree removal company, it’s crucial to verify their license and insurance information before hiring a tree removal company. A company’s license ensures that they are operating legally and possesses the necessary qualifications to perform tree removal safely and efficiently. You can verify the contractor’s status by contacting the tree care company’s state license board, ensuring they are properly licensed and registered.

In addition, it’s important to verify a company’s insurance coverage by calling the insurance company listed on their certificate of insurance and confirming its validity and coverage. Requesting a Certificate of Insurance (COI) from the company can provide proof of their insurance coverage and ensure that you are protected in the event of any accidents or damages during the tree removal process.

Checking for Certifications and Accreditations

Checking for certifications and accreditations can help you identify tree removal companies that adhere to industry best practices and safety standards. ISA Certification and TCIA Accreditation are the most recognized certifications and accreditations for tree removal services. These credentials demonstrate that a tree removal service has met specific standards and has the expertise required to carry out tree removal safely and efficiently.

To verify ISA Certified Arborist credentials, you can utilize the “Verify a Credential” tool available on the ISA website. For TCIA Accreditation, you can visit the TCIA website and explore their accreditation program. By hiring a tree removal company with professional certifications and accreditations, you can have confidence in their commitment to safety and adherence to industry standards.

The Dangers of Hiring Unlicensed Tree Removal Services

property damaged by an unlicensed tree removal service

Hiring unlicensed tree removal services can expose you to various risks and dangers. Unlicensed services may lack the necessary training and expertise to safely remove trees, which can result in potential property damage and legal liability issues. Hiring a licensed and insured tree removal company is essential to avoid these potential risks and ensure your tree removal experience is safe and hassle-free.

Understanding the risks associated with hiring unlicensed tree removal services aids you in making informed decisions, thus protecting yourself from potential property damage and legal liabilities.

Potential Property Damage

Unlicensed tree removal services may cause property damage due to their lack of training and adherence to safety standards. Such damages can include:

  • Physical damage to structures
  • Damage to landscaping
  • Utility line damage
  • Property devaluation
  • Liability for injuries

Additionally, unlicensed tree removal services are often found to be in breach of safety standards, which can result in further potential property damage.

Engaging licensed professionals with the necessary knowledge and expertise for tree removal is a prudent step to avoid the risk of property damage caused by unlicensed services.

Legal Liability Issues

Hiring unlicensed tree removal services can result in legal liability issues for customers, as they may be held responsible for damages or injuries that occur during the tree removal process. For example, if an unlicensed worker sustains an injury while carrying out tree removal on your property, you may be held responsible for their injuries. Furthermore, unlicensed tree care service providers may be subject to criminal prosecution for operating without a license.

To avoid potential legal liability, it is advised that property owners:

  • Hire licensed and insured tree removal companies
  • Ensure that the companies adhere to safety guidelines
  • Verify that the companies have the proper qualifications to safely remove trees.

The Tree Removal Process and Safety Standards

The tree removal process involves a thorough tree assessment and planning and adherence to safety guidelines. These steps ensure the tree removal process is carried out safely and efficiently, minimizing potential risks and damages. By understanding the importance of the tree removal process and safety standards, you can ensure that the tree removal company you hire prioritizes safety and adheres to industry best practices.

tree removal process following safety guidelines

Engaging a tree removal company that adheres to safety guidelines and employs certified professionals gives you peace of mind, as you can be confident of a safe and efficient job execution.

Tree Assessment and Planning

Tree assessment and planning are essential steps in the tree removal process to ensure safety and efficiency. A professional tree assessment for removal typically involves the following:

  • A visual inspection of the tree’s health and condition
  • A risk assessment to evaluate any potential hazards
  • Diagnostic testing, if necessary
  • Documentation of the findings
  • Recommendations for removal or alternative solutions

By conducting a thorough tree assessment and planning, tree removal professionals can identify potential hazards and develop appropriate strategies to remove the tree safely. This minimizes risks and ensures that the tree removal process is carried out effectively and responsibly.

Adherence to Safety Guidelines

Adherence to safety guidelines, such as those set forth by the ANSI, helps protect both tree removal workers and customers from potential hazards during the tree removal process. The ANSI Z133 Safety Standard outlines the safety standards for tree removal, providing guidelines for safe tree care operations.

Adherence to these safety guidelines by tree removal professionals helps minimize potential hazards during operations, ensuring the safety of both workers and customers. Hiring a tree removal company that follows these safety guidelines gives you peace of mind and confidence in their ability to perform the job.


In conclusion, when it comes to tree removal, it’s essential to hire a licensed, insured, and certified tree removal company that follows safety guidelines and industry best practices. Doing so can protect yourself from potential property damage and legal liability issues while ensuring the tree removal process is carried out safely and efficiently. Remember, when it comes to tree removal, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are tree trimmers required to be licensed in California?

In California, tree trimmers must obtain a C-61 Limited Specialty License to perform tree maintenance and removal services.

Do tree trimmers need to be licensed in Texas?

There is no state licensing board for arborists in Texas, so tree trimmers do not need to be licensed. Be aware of people claiming to be a “Texas licensed arborists” and verify their ISA credentials.

Does Florida require a license for tree removal?

Florida does not require a license for tree removal, meaning anyone can cut down a tree on their property as long as it is not regulated. However, it should be noted that tree removal is a very precise and dangerous process if not handled properly.

How to start a tree-cutting business?

To start a tree-cutting business, become a certified arborist, write a business plan, get financing, register your business, purchase insurance, choose a name & design a logo, and price your services for profit. Set up small business accounting to ensure success.

What are the benefits of hiring an ISA Certified Arborist?

Hiring an ISA Certified Arborist assures that they have received expert training and possess the skills and knowledge necessary to provide superior tree care.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

Marietta, GA
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Friday, September 29, 2023

How to Find and Hire a Good Tree Removal Service

Have you ever encountered a tree on your property that needs to be removed? Entrusting this task to an inexperienced or unqualified company can lead to disastrous results. Finding a reliable and professional tree removal service is crucial to ensure your property’s safety and your trees’ health. This blog post will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to find a good tree removal service for a safe and trustworthy experience.

tree service company removing a tree from a yard

By following these tips, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the tree removal industry and make an informed decision when hiring a tree service. From assessing your tree removal needs to reviewing contracts and payment terms, this guide will cover all essential aspects to guarantee a seamless process.

Tree Service Takeaways

  • Assess tree removal needs prior to calling and engaging a professional service.
  • Understand if your project calls for an arborist versus an experienced tree removal service.
  • Research local companies and gather recommendations from trusted sources and online reviews before making a selection.
  • Verify credentials, confirm insurance/licensing, evaluate equipment/safety measures & investigate company history for track record and successful project completion.

Assess Your Tree Removal Needs

Begin by assessing your tree removal needs before reaching out to potential services. Formulating a plan allows you to pinpoint any specific issues your tree may face, such as disease or storm damage. A clear understanding of your tree’s needs enables effective communication with prospective service providers, ensuring they comprehend the project’s scope and preventing misunderstandings.

Engaging a professional tree service decreases the risks of injury and property damage. By having a clear plan and understanding the tree’s issues, you can better communicate your objectives to the service provider when starting a removal or tree-trimming project. This will save you time and help you confidently choose the right tree service for your needs.

Research Local Tree Service Companies

With your tree removal needs defined, start exploring local tree service companies. Here are some steps to help you in your search:

  1. Read online reviews to gauge the company’s reputation and professionalism.
  2. Consult the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to check for complaints or negative reviews against the company.
  3. Investigate memberships in industry organizations like the Tree Care Industry Association to ensure the company meets industry standards.

These steps will help you narrow down your options and find a reliable tree service company.

researching local tree service companies

Address tree health issues promptly, as a dying tree and dead limbs pose a significant safety risk. By inquiring into various questions, including:

  • Do they have workers’ compensation insurance?
  • Are they licensed and insured?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Can they provide references?
  • What equipment do they use?
  • What is their process for tree removal?

You can gather the necessary data to make an informed decision when hiring a tree removal service. Don’t underestimate the benefits of hiring a reputable arborist or tree service, as tree trimming and removal projects are typically too large and hazardous for DIY attempts.

Gather Recommendations from Trusted Sources

Garnering recommendations from trusted sources is another vital step in securing a reliable tree company, such as neighbors, friends, and even your insurance company. These individuals may have firsthand experience with tree removal services and can provide valuable insights into the companies they have used in the past.

neighbor telling how to find a good tree removal service

By obtaining recommendations from reliable sources, you increase your chances of finding dependable and experienced tree removal services. This will save you time and effort in the long run, ensuring your tree removal project is completed safely and efficiently.

Request Multiple Estimates

Having researched local companies and obtained recommendations, solicit multiple estimates from various tree services. This will allow you to compare prices, services offered, and overall professionalism among most tree removal companies. Be cautious when selecting a company based solely on cost, as this may not always guarantee the best results.

When obtaining estimates, look for companies willing to visit your home to assess your trees’ needs, respond promptly to your queries, and provide guidance on subsequent steps, if necessary. Ask them about their experience working with the company. Curious questions can include: was the yard clean after they finished their job? How long did the job take to complete, and any other relevant inquiries regarding your situation.

Verify Credentials and Certifications

Ensure the credentials and certifications of a tree removal service before hiring, such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certification or the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) accreditation. These certifications demonstrate the company’s commitment to industry best practices and a high level of professionalism.

Certified Arborists

Certified arborists are tree experts trained to provide proper tree care and adhere to a specific code of ethics. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is an organization that certifies arborists and provides educational resources and a code of ethics for them to follow. It is common for tree removal companies to employ at least one ISA Certified Arborist, ensuring that the service can provide the highest quality of tree care while adhering to a stringent code of ethics.

hiring tree service arborist

A certified arborist on the team indicates the company’s commitment to quality tree care, including tree biology, identification, and maintenance. This expertise can be invaluable in diagnosing and treating tree health issues, ultimately ensuring the safety of your property and the well-being of your trees.

Industry Organizations

Industry organizations, such as the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA), play a vital role in ensuring that tree service companies stay up-to-date with best practices and safety standards. These organizations provide resources and training for tree service professionals, helping them maintain a high level of expertise and professionalism in their work.

By choosing a tree service company that is a member of industry organizations like TCIA and ASCA, you can be confident that the company is committed to maintaining the highest standards in tree care and safety. This not only provides peace of mind but also ensures that your tree removal project will be completed with minimal damage to your property and the environment.

Best Practices for Tree Services

Best practices for tree care include:

  • Proper techniques of pruning, fertilizing, and mulching
  • These practices help maintain the health and structure of the tree while reducing the risk of damage from storms and other potential hazards
  • Fertilizing can promote strong growth and may help prevent diseases
  • Mulching can help maintain soil moisture levels, suppress weed growth, and improve soil structure

In addition to proper tree care techniques, safety measures are essential when removing a tree. This includes:

  • Wearing protective gear like a hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, and steel-toed boots
  • Using appropriate equipment such as chainsaws, ladders, and cranes
  • Adhering to ethical business practices like providing accurate estimates and honoring warranties.

Confirm Insurance and Licensing

Confirm the insurance and licensing of a tree removal company before hiring tree services. This protects you from potential injury or property damage claims and ensures the company operates legally. A reputable tree removal company should possess general and professional liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and, in some states, a bond.

To verify the company’s insurance and bonding, you can inquire directly with the company or check with your state or municipality’s website, if applicable. Holding a valid license and insurance demonstrates the company’s commitment to operating within legal guidelines and prioritizing the safety of its employees and clients.

Evaluate Equipment and Safety Measures

tree service company with proper safety equipment and measures

Evaluate the equipment and safety measures a tree removal service employs when choosing one. To ensure a safe and efficient job, a professional tree removal company should have the latest equipment, including chainsaws, chippers, lifts, cranes, and other specialized tools. They should also possess the necessary safety equipment, such as helmets, safety harnesses, and protective clothing.

Asking about the company’s safety plan, training, and protocols can provide further insight into their commitment to safety and efficiency. A company with a strong safety record and experience in similar tasks will be better equipped to complete your tree removal project securely and productively.

Investigate Company History and Reputation

Investigate the company’s history and reputation before finalizing your decision. This can provide a comprehensive overview of their client relations and operations. The tree service industry can be prone to fraudulent activity, transient operators, and inadequate services. This step alone is vital and a shortcut in how to hire a tree removal service.

Check for any red flags or negative reviews that may indicate potential issues with the company. Additionally, asking for references from past customers can validate the quality of their work and safety protocols. A company with a solid history and reputation will more likely provide a satisfactory tree removal experience.

Understand Cleanup & Disposal Options

Understand the cleanup and disposal options the tree removal service offers before signing a contract. This may include mulching or cutting and stacking wood. Ensuring these details are included in the quote and contract can help you avoid any surprises or additional costs after the job is complete.

tree service company equipment

Discussing your preferred cleanup and disposal options with the company can also help you gauge their commitment to customer satisfaction. A professional tree removal service should be willing to accommodate your requests and ensure your property is left clean and tidy after the work is completed.

Review Contracts and Payment Terms

Thoroughly review the contracts and payment terms before hiring a tree removal service. Hold off on making a payment until the work is complete to ensure your satisfaction with the job. Be aware that a deposit may be required for larger projects.

By carefully reviewing the contract and payment terms, you can protect yourself from potential tree service fraud and ensure that the company is committed to providing a satisfactory experience. This also allows you to hold the company accountable for the quality of their work and the cleanup of your property.

Finding a Tree Removal Service

In conclusion, finding a trustworthy and professional tree removal service requires careful research, planning, and consideration. By following these ten tips, you can confidently choose a tree removal service that will provide a safe and efficient experience. From assessing your tree removal needs to reviewing contracts and payment terms, this guide covers all the essential aspects to ensure a smooth process and a job well done.

Remember that your property and the health of your trees are too important to leave to chance. Invest the time and effort in finding the right tree removal service, and you’ll be rewarded with peace of mind and a beautifully maintained landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost of tree removal in my area?

The average cost for tree removal in your area is between $500 and $1,200.

How much can you remove from a tree?

Removing too many limbs or anchoring roots can destabilize a tree, so it’s best to only remove parts that are necessary and fewer than 1/3 of the anchoring roots; be sure to check for any root flares at the base of the tree trunk before doing so.

Should I remove a tree close to the House?

Given the benefits trees offer, removing a tree close to your house is not recommended unless it is leaning dangerously, has roots that are compromising your foundation, or is dead.

How to find a good arborist?

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is an organization that certifies arborists and maintains a directory where you can find a good arborist.

What should I look for when assessing my tree removal needs?

When assessing tree removal needs, evaluate any tree problems, like disease or storm damage, and assess potential service providers for the job.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

Marietta, GA
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Friday, May 26, 2023

9 Fast Growing Shrubs for Marietta Georgia

Looking for the perfect fast-growing shrubs to plant on your property? Knowing which shrubs will thrive in your Marietta yard will help you plant and have a beautiful landscape.

fast growing shrub marietta ga yard gathered the following species, growing, and care information to help you determine which shrubs are ideal for your yard.

1. Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia)

This deciduous shrub blooms bright yellow flowers in the spring. It grows to 6 to 10 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of about 2 to 3 feet annually. It is hardy in zones 5 through 8 and prefers a 6.0 to 7.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

2. Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora)

This evergreen shrub features glossy green foliage that turns bronze in the fall. It grows 4 to 6 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of about 2 feet per year. It is hardy in zones 6 through 9 and prefers a 6.0 to 7.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

3. Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

This deciduous shrub shows off bright purple berries in the fall, attracting birds. It grows 6 to 8 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of about 2 feet annually. It is hardy in zones 7 through 10 and prefers a 5.5 to 6.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

4. Fastest Growing Privacy Shrub - Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii)

leyland cypress shrub

This evergreen conifer is a stunning hybrid of two cypress species and has become a popular choice for privacy screens and hedges due to its fast growth and dense foliage. It can grow 3 to 4 feet annually and reach a mature height of 50 to 70 feet with a spread of 10 to 20 feet. It is hardy in zones 6 through 10 and can tolerate various soil pH levels, from acidic to alkaline. It requires regular watering and prefers full sun.

5. Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)

This deciduous shrub blooms bright yellow flowers in the winter. It grows 6 to 10 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of about 2 to 3 feet per year. It is hardy in zones 6 through 10 and prefers a 6.0 to 7.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

6. Purple Leaf Sand Cherry (Prunus x cistena)

This deciduous shrub features purple foliage and pink blooms in the spring. It grows 6 to 10 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of about 2 to 3 feet annually. It is hardy in zones 2 through 8 and prefers a 6.0 to 7.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun.

7. Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)

This deciduous shrub features white blooms in the summer, attracting butterflies. It grows 8 to 12 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of 2 to 3 feet annually. It is hardy in zones 4 through 8 and prefers a 5.5 to 6.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

8. Dwarf Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus 'Compactus')

dwarf burning bush shrub

This fast-growing deciduous shrub features bright green foliage turning brilliant red in the fall. It grows 6 to 8 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of 2 feet per year. It is hardy in zones 4 through 9 and prefers a 6.0 to 7.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

9. Fastest Growing Flowering Shrub - Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)

This deciduous shrub or small tree is well-known for its crepe-papery flowers blooming in the summer months in pink, white, lavender, and red shades. It can grow 3 to 5 feet per year and reach a mature height of 15 to 30 feet with a spread of 6 to 25 feet. It is hardy in zones 7 through 9 and prefers slightly acidic soil with a 5.5 to 6.5 pH. It requires regular watering and prefers full sun.

Crape Myrtles are popular for their rapid growth and stunning blooms, making them a perfect choice for homeowners wanting a splash of color in their landscape without waiting too long. Crape Myrtles prefer well-drained soil and should be planted in locations with good air circulation to prevent fungal disease growth.

Fast Growing Shrubs

In this article, you discovered fast-growing shrubs, their growth habits, hardiness zone, soil, water, and sun requirements.

Understanding which shrub species will grow best in your Marietta, Georgia, yard will help you plant and develop a stunning, well-kept landscape that could significantly increase your home’s curb appeal.

Without hardy shrubs, your soil will more easily erode, look unappealing, and leaving your trees and home more susceptible to wind and storm damage.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services
Marietta, GA (678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Thursday, April 13, 2023

How to Tell if a Tree Is Dying

Signs of a dying tree include loss of foliage and dieback

Need help figuring out if your tree is dying and what to do about it? Recognizing the signs of a dying tree will help you get professional help to save or remove it before it falls, causing catastrophic damage or harm. gathered the following information and signs of a troubled or dying tree and what you can do to help or remove it.

What Causes a Tree to Die

While trees may appear impervious to severe weather and their surroundings, there are several factors that can cause a tree’s decline and death. These factors include death from the following:

  • Its environment
  • Drought
  • Harmful insects and diseases
  • A catastrophic event or impact
  • A lightning strike
  • Severe weather events (causing blowdown, windthrow, or windsnap)
  • Age-related collapse (starvation)
  • Timber harvesting
Signs of a dying tree include brittle branches and twigs

Note: Sudden tree death can occur from Armillaria root rot, fatal fungal diseases, or drought.

Signs of a Dying Tree

Property owners often see a concerning tree and wonder is my tree dying? Some fail to follow through when they disregard the warning signs. You can prevent catastrophic damages by learning the signs of a dying tree and how to respond to them. These are the most obvious warning signs that a tree is dying:

1. Leaning Tree – Leaning trees may signal damaged or dying roots, structural imbalance, or failure of soil structure. When a tree is leaning more than 15 degrees, this is typically a result of wind (storm) or root damage and is unlikely to recover.

Recommendation: Hire a professional tree service to evaluate the tree’s condition. Leaning trees can sometimes be preserved by cabling or bracing them. However, most leaning trees must be removed.

2. Root Damage – Construction, digging, trenching, and landscaping projects often disrupt or compact the soil around a tree, causing distress or root death. Severe damage can also occur from lawnmowers or weed eaters if you get too close to the trunk or roots.

Recommendation: Consider the following preventive measures:

  • Protect the soil (and roots) within the tree’s drip line by applying a 2 to 3-inch layer of organic mulch.
  • Prevent foot, vehicle, and equipment traffic beneath the tree.
  • Keep digging and trenching activities from disturbing or severing roots.
  • Never allow equipment or material storage under a tree.

Note: If roots have been damaged or severed, have the tree inspected to determine restorative measures or removal.

3. Bark is peeling or falling off – Diseases like hypoxylon canker and boring insects can cause sufficient damage in a tree’s cambium layer to cause its bark to fall off. These pests are opportunistic, typically attacking already distressed trees.

Recommendation: Have a professional tree service inspect the tree to determine what is happening to the tree, how to prevent nearby trees from being infected, and if the tree should be removed.

4. Mushrooms Growing on Trunk or Roots – When mushrooms grow from a tree trunk or roots there is typically extensive decay occurring in its heartwood. Mushrooms are the fruiting structure of most fungi and should be addressed soon as they are seen around a tree trunk or roots.

Signs of a dying tree include mushroom growth on the trunk and roots

Recommendation: When caught early, you can save the tree by pruning infected limbs. You can also apply fungicides if the disease hasn’t spread. However, prevention is the best solution. Proper watering, sunlight, mulching, fertilizing, and fungicide applications can help prevent fungal infections.

Note: When mushrooms appear on a tree, it is often too late to save the tree. Seek immediate professional help.

5. Brittle and Fallen Branches – Frequently seeing sticks or twigs on the ground and brittle or weak tree branches may be a sign of diseased or dead branches, which could signal the majority of the tree is already dead. This symptom may be caused by drought stress, over-fertilization, pest infestations, or disease.

Recommendation: Have your tree evaluated ASAP. With professional help, you might save your tree.

6. Oddly-Shaped or Chlorotic Foliage – Oddly-shaped or discolored tree leaves typically represents a soil or root problem. It may signal severe root rot or be an insect infestation.

Recommendation: Ensure your soil isn’t mismatched with your tree (nutrients, pH, etc.) by testing the soil (contact an arborist or local university extension). If it’s not a soil issue, consult a tree professional for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Learning to Identify Dying Trees

In this article, you discovered how to recognize the signs of a dying tree, when to remove it, and what actions to take to save it or prevent further decline.

Knowing how to identify a dying tree will help you take prompt action to either save or remove it.

Failure to recognize when a tree is troubled or dying will leave your property and well-being at risk if the tree starts shedding limbs, collapses, or falls.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

Marietta, GA
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Choosing a 7B Landscape Tree for Your Marietta Yard

Marietta ga landscape trees include zone 7b hardy species

Need help selecting the best tree for your Hardiness zone 7b yard? Understanding different tree species’ characteristics and growing habits will help you plant a tree that fits perfectly in your yard. gathered the following tree species and growing information for zone 7b landscape trees.

What is a Landscaping Tree?

Landscaping trees are planted to create diversity and serve one of many purposes on your property. These trees come in all shapes and sizes and can be among the most significant assets to your yard by providing shade, privacy screens, wind protection, wildlife refuge, visual interest (curb appeal), and other uses.

What are the Benefits of Landscape Trees?

Landscape trees reduce air pollution and noise pollution. They also filter water and absorb rainfall, lessening the impact of flood and stormwater and preventing soil erosion. Trees also attract a variety of birds and natural wildlife, providing food and shelter.

Note: A large, healthy tree can absorb approximately 40,000 gallons of groundwater annually, returning it to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration.

What are the Best Trees for Your Front Yard?

Marietta ga landscape trees include lagerstroemias

Flowers add pops of color, and mulch creates a clean, well-manicured look. With trees, you can balance height and width in your landscape. Trees are among the best ways to draw the eye, add height, and create a relaxing balance. Curb appeal helps sell a home (trees significantly contribute to curb appeal), and here are a few of the best front yard trees:

  • Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia) reaches 15 feet
  • Blue Spruce (Picea pungens) reaches 75 feet
  • Cherry (Prunus avium) reaches 25 to 30 feet
  • River Birch (Betula nigra) reaches 60 to 70 feet
  • Magnolia (Magnolia) reaches 70 to 80 feet

Tip: Avoid catastrophic structural damages by planting your trees at a safe distance from structures on your landscape.

What are the Most Low-Maintenance Landscape Trees?

Marietta ga landscape trees include japanese maples

Once you have determined your tree’s purpose in your landscape (flowers, evergreen shade, privacy, etc.), you should consider the tree’s maintenance. Some landscape plants drop fruit and nuts, while others grow with invasive or surface roots, disturbing your yard, driveway, and foundation. Consider the following low-maintenance landscape trees:

  • Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) reaches 25 to 35 feet with delicate branches and vibrant foliage
  • Jacaranda (Jacaranda) reaches 25 to 40 feet with striking blue and lavender flowers
  • Redbud (Cercis) reaches 10 to 20 feet with deep red, bright yellow, or two-colored foliage
  • Frangipani (Plumeria) reaches 20 to 25 feet with non-invasive roots and an abundance of beautiful flowers
  • Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera) reaches 25 feet with deep purple foliage and pink/white flowers

Tip: All tree species require seasonal pruning and thorough inspection after severe weather.

What are the Best Trees to Plant Near a House?

Marietta ga landscape trees include weeping willows

Smaller trees with shallow or non-invasive roots pose little or no risk to your home. Consider the following low-risk tree species:

  • Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica) reaches 30 to 40 feet
  • Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) reaches 50 to 70 feet
  • Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) reaches 50 to 80 feet
  • Sweetgum (Liquidambar) reaches 60 to 75 feet
  • Crabapple (Malus) reaches 15 to 20 feet

Tip: Towering tree species like southern pines and eucalyptus should be given extra space and not planted within 40 to 50 feet of landscape structures.

Why do Landscape Designers Prefer Male Trees?

Trees with male reproductive organs are preferred in landscapes because they don’t drop messy seed pods or fruit. However, they do produce and release pollen.

Note: When female trees, which capture pollen, are absent from significant landscape areas, the entire area can be blanketed by mass amounts of pollen.

What is the Best Pine Tree to Plant in Zone 7b?

Marietta ga landscape trees include lodgepole pines

Pine trees are often used in landscapes as privacy screens and specimen trees because they are fast-growing, shapely, and evergreen. Consider the following pine tree species for your landscape needs:

  • Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) reaches 60 to 90 feet
  • Austrian or Black Pine (Pinus nigra) reaches 50 to 60 feet and requires ample space to flourish
  • Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) reaches 70 to 80 feet
  • Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) reaches 50 to 80 feet
  • Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) reaches 50 to 80 feet

Tip: Avoid planting pines near driveways and carports (overhanging branches can leave your vehicle or structure riddled with sap droppings). Pine trees produce and drip sap. The sap flow is heaviest in spring and early summer. During winter, sap slows down and picks up again as spring approaches.

Marietta Georgia Zone 7b Landscape Trees

In this article, you discovered species information and growing characteristics for several popular zone 7b landscape trees.

Knowing which trees to plant around your home and landscape will help you create a beautiful yard with purpose and elevated curb appeal.

Planting the wrong tree species in the wrong location can result in catastrophic root damage to your landscape, driveway, pathway, foundation, and home if it falls on your roof.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

Marietta, GA
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Twisty Trees for Your Landscape Specimen

Twisty trees include species with spiral or twisted patterns

Need help deciding which trees with twisted trunks and branches to use as a specimen on your landscape? Knowing which tree species grow in a twisted form will help you determine which one to plant as a centerpiece on your beautiful landscape. gathered the following species and growing information for naturally twisty trees to consider for your landscape’s specimen tree.

What Causes a Twisted Tree?

Spiral or twisted patterns are clever tree survival adaptations. Since the bark and wood of trees do not grow in unison, the spiral pattern beneath the bark may not be evident until the bark drops from the tree.

Tree wood cells that must support heavy loads of massive branches and a dense crown, growing in an excessively windy location, or grow on unusually uneven land, like shore pines that grow in windy and sandy areas, can grow in a twisted pattern to provide more strength to the tree and its branches.

Environmental factors like prevailing winds, compromised roots, and physical barriers can cause trees to twist and adapt. A spiral wood grain efficiently and evenly delivers water and nutrients throughout the tree when straight grain wouldn’t be sufficient. Other common theories include the following:

  • Tree genetics
  • Heliotropism (tracking the sun)
  • The Coriolis Effect (causing the clockwise wind pattern and ocean current in the northern hemisphere)

Regardless of why they twist, they are a sight to behold as they mature. Consider the following twisty tree species for your landscape needs:

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Twisted trees include jack pine

Jack pine needles typically grow in bundles of two, the tree’s cones are tightly wrapped and slightly curved, while the tree’s bark is thin and flaky on younger trees, maturing into thicker plates as they age. This species has crooked branching and trunk development when grown in open landscapes (rather than forested or crowded situations), giving it an oversized bonsai appearance.

USDA Hardiness Zones – 2 through 6
Mature Size – This tree reaches 40 to 50 feet with a spread of 15 to 20 feet
Lifespan – 80 to 100+ years

Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Twisted trees include scotch pine

The Scotch pine is a fast-growing, medium-sized evergreen conifer that typically grows with a conical to columnar (often irregular and contorted) habit and then develops an open, rounded irregular, or gnarled crown as it ages. Cones are small and rounded, while needles typically grow in twisted bunches of two.

USDA Hardiness Zones – 3 through 7
Mature Size – This tree reaches 30 to 60 feet with a spread of 30 to 40 feet
Lifespan – 150 to 300 years

Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii)

Twisted trees include japanese black pine

The Japanese black pine is an attractive evergreen conifer tree with a typically flat-topped pyramidal form with no prominent central leader. As this species ages, it grows irregular and asymmetrical, with drooping branches. The tree is noted for its shrubby habit and curved trunk.

USDA Hardiness Zones – 5 through 9
Mature Size – This tree reaches 20 to 60 feet with a spread of 10 to 20 feet
Lifespan – 15 to 20 years

Cork Oak (Quercus suber)

Twisted trees include cork oak

Unlike other oak trees, cork oak is a vibrant evergreen. The thick, gnarled dark grey bark is the portion known as “cork.” This tree can form a twisted trunk with sprawling branches.

USDA Hardiness Zones – 7 through 9
Mature Size – This tree reaches 30 to 65 feet with an equally sized spread
Lifespan – Over 200 years

Overcup Oak (Quercus lyrata)

Twisted trees include overcup oak

Overcup oak is a medium-sized tree with an irregular crown and twisted branches. Native to North American east coastal plains, this tree’s often twisted growth reduces its value as a timber tree.

USDA Hardiness Zones – 5 through 9
Mature Size – This tree reaches 45 to 70 feet with a spread of 35 to 50 feet
Lifespan – 80 to 100+ years

Willow (Peppermint) Myrtle (Agonis flexuosa)

Twisted trees include willow myrtle

This species resembles a weeping willow (Salix babylonica) tree from a distance due to its long, drooping leaves. It is distinctive because of its powerful peppermint fragrance. This tree produces clusters of small white flowers, and its weeping branches partially conceal its twisted trunk.

USDA Hardiness Zones – 8b through 11
Mature Size – This tree reaches 10 to 15 feet with a spread of 8 to 10 feet
Lifespan – 50 to 80 years

Twisted Acacia (Acacia schaffneri)

Twisted trees include twisted acacia

Twisted Acacia is a spiny, spreading, multi-stemmed large shrub or small tree. The stems have many paired, pin-like spines and are pale to blackish. When young, a twisted Acacia needs aggressive pruning to maximize its gnarled trunk and branch growth.

USDA Hardiness Zones – 9 through 11
Mature Size – This tree reaches 20 to 25 feet with a spread of 25 to 30 feet
Lifespan – 30 years

Trees With Twisted Trunks

Some trees have a tendency for a “pronounced” twisted appearance where the trunk deviates from the species’ typical straight growth. Planting a tree that exhibits twisted trunk or branch growth adds curiosity and interest to a landscape and serves as a focal point or specimen tree. When choosing a tree species, select one that has this tendency. It is not guaranteed that an individual young tree will develop pronounced twists, but the result is worth the gamble.

Twisty Trees

In this article, you discovered species and growing information about several trees that grow with twisted trunks, branches, or both.

Knowing which tree species have twisting growth patterns will help you decide which to use as your landscape’s specimen tree.

Lack of info about twisted tree species may cause you to plant the wrong tree.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services
Marietta, GA (678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Friday, January 13, 2023

Top 5 Landscape Features for Marietta GA Yards

Creating a stunning landscape includes incorporating multiple features

Planning and looking for the best features to enhance your Marietta, Ga landscape? Understanding which landscape features work well together will help you design a yard that can significantly increase your home’s curb appeal and value. gathered the following landscape design principles and features to help you create a stunning Marietta, Georgia, yard.

Landscape Design Principles

The following landscape design principles have been utilized by designers for centuries in all art forms, like painting, construction, landscape design, etc. Consider the following design principles when developing your Marietta, Georgia, front yard landscape concept:

BalanceSymmetrical balance is used in formal landscapes, in which each side mirrors the other. Asymmetrical balance, or informal balance, differs on either side and appears relaxing and free-flowing.

Focal Point – A landscape’s focal point is often a feature close to the front door to enhance the home’s entrance.

Proportion – Landscape design proportion considers building size, yard size, tree, shrub, plant size, and planted areas vs. open space.

Simplicity – Avoid a cluttered landscape by using too many (or clashing) colors, shapes, curves, and textures.

Rhythm – A rhythm is established when landscape features are repeated with standard intervals. Trees, plants, shrubs, stones, benches, or other elements can be repeated within the design to create rhythm.

The colors, shapes, sizes, textures, and other landscape features can easily create a beautifully unified front yard space.

Popular Landscape Features

Front yard landscaping design and its features define your home’s exterior. Your front yard is the most seen part of the property, greeting your guests and visitors before reaching the door and setting the tone for the rest of the house. Consider the following popular landscape features:

1. Front Yard Garden Space

Creating a stunning landscape includes planting a garden

Well-designed, multi-level garden areas showcase your gardening prowess with color, and variety, and when used as borders, can highlight other landscape features, like a pathway, driveway, specimen tree, pond, etc.

Tip: Reduce watering and care requirements by planting native plant species.

2. Landscape Lighting

Creating a stunning landscape includes installing lighting

Landscape lighting improves your home’s safety and security. Well-placed landscape lighting can enhance trees, gardens, and other features in your yard while illuminating a hard-to-see walkway, driveway, or raised steps.

Read more about landscape lighting and its ideal palcement at

3. Front Yard Water Feature

Creating a stunning landscape includes installing water features

Besides creating a focal point, a water feature provides individuality to your landscape. This occurs through the feature’s size, shape, color, design, and placement. Water features give movement to an otherwise still area with rushing water.

Note: Your fountain will attract birds, butterflies, and wildlife to your front yard.

4. Landscape Trees

Creating a stunning landscape includes using trees for specimens or privacy

Specimen trees are excellent front yard focal points while providing shade, offering leafy screens, or framing a picturesque view. A large specimen tree in a vast landscape can add structure and shape to the space.

Using trees for privacy screens helps seclude you from your neighbors’ wandering eyes while providing a lush, green landscape year-round (evergreen species), shielding your property from wind, and creating a beautifully shaded scenery.

Tip: Hire a professional tree service to provide seasonal pruning and care.

5. Front Yard Walkway

Creating a stunning landscape includes installing a walkway

Installing a stone, brick, concrete, gravel, or paved walkway gives guests and visitors a sense of invitation. It simplifies getting to your front door (or other destination), which naturally increases your property’s curb appeal.

You can add visual value to your front yard walkway by bordering it with flowering plants, shrubs, and lighting.

Tip: When installing a walkway, consider applying a slip-resistant surface to avoid slips and injuries during watering cycles and wet weather.

Visualize Your Landscape Design

You can sketch your front yard landscape design by drawing the yard’s outline, penciling in any existing features, then adding any rocks, waterways, structures, slopes, etc. Consider the following app to help you formulate the perfect Marietta, Georgia, landscape design:

iScape – With iScape, you can create an accurate front yard digital model. The app will show you what featuring your favorite trees, shrubs, and plants looks like, so you can visualize the landscape design before beginning your project. The app is user-friendly and can insert objects, move them around, and more.

Landscape Features

In this article, you discovered essential information about landscape design principles, elements, and the value it adds to your home’s curb appeal and value.

Creating a stunning landscape design can add significant value to your home while adding to your neighborhood’s beauty and biodiversity.

Missing the simple but important landscaping features can result in reducing your home’s curb appeal and potential value.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services
Marietta, GA (678) 505-0266

Originally published on: