You’ve always heard “Money doesn’t grow on trees” that saying is true for everyone except greedy, =unethical tree services. When they look at your tree, that is all they see. Money, Money, Money!
The #1 way to identify a shady tree service- Did they recommend fertilizing your trees without taking a soil sample? If so, they are probably crooks.
If you have had a tree service come out for an estimate and they recommended fertilizer without even sampling the soil, they are an unethical company. They are most likely a sales driven company with a staff that is trained to promote and sell products and services that aren’t needed. These services can be pushed as packages and are usually recommended on a reoccurring basis. It is great for a companies bottom line, but bad for business when the client finally realizes they’ve been taken advantage of. Many tree companies want you to think your trees need to be pruned every year to stay healthy or they want to sell you some expensive fertilizer to better your trees. Is it really necessary? No its not. Every standard that applies to fertilizing trees requires an arborist to obtain a soil sample prior to prescribing a fertilization treatment. Unnecessary treatments should not be applied just to make a sale.
Pruning- A tree’s pruning needs depend on the type of tree, size, location, owners wishes and of course the health of the tree. Pruning schedules for most urban trees in good health should be every 3-4 years and should focus primarily on function type pruning such as removing dead wood and clearing limbs away from buildings and lights.
Fertilizer You should not fertilize your trees unless you know what you are fertilizing for. Your arborist should take soil samples from the tree in question and get lab analysis info to be sure of missing elements from the soil. Then accurately replace what is missing. This is called the Prescription (Rx) approach. Applying fertilizer without an Rx is unnecessary and wasteful. Some companies just want to sell you a product and will do so by telling you without these treatment your tree will decline or die over time.
Unnecessary treatments should not be applied just to make a sale.
As with any service, Ask yourself what am I getting? Will it truly benefit the tree? Why does one tree need pruned and another not? A good arborist should be able to explain these things and help you spend your money to best sevice your trees needs.