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Trees grow, change and can reward homeowners with beautiful leaves and flowers. But they can also show their health problems with abnormal issues like yellowing leaves or trunk/branch damage.

Download TCIA’s Tree and Shrub Journal to track the changes you notice in your trees and shrubs throughout the year. Make copies and attach photos and leaves for reference.
For a sample of a completed sheet, click here.
If you notice an uncharacteristic change in your tree friends’ appearance, contact a qualified tree care expert for assistance.

This website is provided to help you learn more about how to take care of your trees.

Remember, the single best thing you can do for your trees is to be certain that you hire a professional tree company when you need help.

It can be tempting to hire the first tree care company you find. But by doing your homework, you can avoid scams, save money, and ensure that the work is done right the first time.  Doing this could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

How to hire a professional tree company:

Before beginning your search, be aware that the credentials of someone calling themselves an arborist can vary widely. A true arborist is a professional who cares for trees and other woody plants according to national standards and best practices.  This is done by working in a safe manner with the correct equipment.

Second, be wary of tree care scammers - don't just hire someone with a chain saw who knocks on your door! Disreputable companies are renowned for ripping gutters off, breaking fences, and even dropping trees and branches on cars or houses. Often, they do not have insurance and will fold up and leave after an accident, never to be seen again.

Homeowners searching for qualified tree care companies should start by asking for A Written Work Proposal.  The proposal should read like a contract and state that work will be done according to the American National Standards Institute A300 standards for tree care.  It should also include what method and type of work will be done as well as how much work will be done.

Here is an example:  If you would like your tree pruned to remove dead branch that might fall from a tree and damage your house, the proposal should state that the objective of the work is to reduce risk from falling branches.  It should also list how that will be accomplished, as well as how much pruning needs to be done to reduce the hazard.  A very basic work spec for this example may read something like this:

All work done according to ANSI A300 standards for tree care management.
Prune (your tree identified here) to reduce risk from dead branches that may break and fall.
Clean the tree by removing dead, dying, diseased branches 2-inch diameter or greater to reduce the risk.

Also, don’t forget to check for the following:

  1. Insurance coverage, by asking for a current certificate of liability and workers' compensation insurance. And don’t be shy, call the insurance company if anything on the certificate appears out of order or the date is expired. 
  2. A good reputation, by looking for local references and ratings.
  3. Check the company's professionalism by looking for affiliations and credentials, such as:
    • Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) member
    • TCIA Accredited tree care company
    • Certified Treecare Safety Professional
    • Certified Arborists on staff

You can also try quizzing the company to see if they know about ANSI A300 standards? Have they even heard of them before? Ask the salesperson and gage the response.

There are some things to avoid as well.  Be careful, and ask more questions, if the company references terms such as “topping,” “hat-racking” “lion’s tailing,” or other terms that do not sound professional.  This may indicate that they do not prune trees to industry standards.

Another warning flag is if the company asks for full payment up front, offers a better price to do half the work now and half the work later, or is going door-to-door selling tree work.

Use these tips to help avoid being the victim of unprofessional tree services and tree care scam artists. To report a tree care scam, contact the Attorney General's office in your state, the Better Business Bureau or the FBI.

Use the Find a Qualified Tree Care program on this website to start your search.

Find a Professional

Welcome to Tree Care Tips, where tree owners can find information about caring for trees and protecting their landscapes. Read about storm damage, stressors to trees, feeding, pruning, transplanting, mulching and other topics by clicking a button to the left. This site also has a free zip code search of local tree service companies for consumers.

What you donít know can cost you money.
Watch these videos about caring for your trees:

Tree Care Basics

Using Trees to Save Energy

Planting Care for Trees

Recovering from Storms

Determining whether your
tree has a problem

Protect your investment Ė
how to hire a professional

These videos were created by the Tree Care Industry Association to educate homeowners about proper tree care and to provide some simple steps that they can take to begin protecting their investments.

New!  Download The Tree Owner's Manual for the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, provided by the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry


Tchukki Tchannel:
This Month: Summer Fruit Tree Pruning

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Tree Board University is a unique online training will help you learn more about trees, about people, and about serving in a citizen advisory role in your city, town, or village. Learn more here.


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