The Benefits of Tree Care vs. Tree Removal

Written by by Basil Camu of Leaf & Limb Tree Service
Updated January 15, 2014
Oftentimes, common tree care solutions can be performed for a fraction of the price of a full tree removal, says Camu. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Brianne W. of Orlando, Fla.)

One highly rated provider shares the difference between tree removal and tree care and explains how to decide which is best the trees in your yard.

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Your trees are more valuable than you may realize. Trees can increase property value by as much as 20 percent, depending on location, maturity, species and quantity of trees. 

Not only that, trees can reduce energy bills by providing shade, absorb pollutants in the air and water, reduce soil erosion, clean carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, lessen noise pollution and offer a number of other benefits. There is little doubt that your trees are a source of real value, in terms of both actual money and improved quality of life.

With this in mind, why would anybody want to cut down his or her trees instead of trying to preserve them? To be fair, there are many instances when a tree does need to be removed, usually because it is dead or located in a threatening position. 

Often though, dying, diseased and damaged trees can be saved. Unfortunately, many tree service providers present removal as the first option when instead it should only be considered as the last option.

Our industry is overcrowded with companies that can fell and trim trees. The majority of tree service companies, however, do not have the expertise with which to identify, diagnose and treat tree disorders. As a result, removal and trimming are the only two solutions they are able to offer. Yet in the world of tree care, there are many other options such as:

FertilizationIntegrated pest managementDisease managementCabling and bracingRoot collar excavation, soil de-compaction and other forms of root careLightning protection systemsDrought managementTree monitoring, evaluation, and assessment

These services, along with several others, collectively fall under the category of “tree care.” Tree care experts know a great deal about tree physiology, diseases, root systems, pests and abiotic factors, as well as the surrounding environment. 

At this point, the only remaining question is cost. One would assume that tree care must be expensive, given the expertise involved. As a matter of fact, this is usually not the case. 

Tree removal is generally the more expensive option. Depending on the size and type of tree, the average cost to remove a large tree could run over $1000.

In comparison, common tree care solutions can be performed for a fraction of that price. Excavating root collars, applying pest controls, treating trees for disease and fertilization are all services that generally range from $50 to $200 per tree, depending on the exact scope of the work. 

To give a concrete example, the average cost to treat a mature maple tree afflicted by gloomy scale is around $120. Removing that same tree could easily surpass the $500 mark. Not only is removal more expensive, but there are other disadvantages as well:

Your tree will be gone, which means you will lose its full value. Tree care, on the other hand, helps maintain and enhance this valuable asset.There is a great deal of risk to both the tree service staff and your property during the tree removal process. This process involves using high-powered chainsaws and equipment to remove a tremendously heavy and unpredictable object.The tree service must bring heavy equipment onto your property. Tree care crews are generally very small and cause less damage to your property, if any at all.

The value proposition is clear: To save money, enhance your property value and increase your quality of life, tree care solutions should always be the first option whenever it comes to any tree service project. 

About this Angie’s List Expert: Basil Camu is co-owner of Leaf & Limb Tree Service, providing tree service in Raleigh, N.C. Since 1997, Leaf & Limb Tree Service has specialized in tree care, tree removal and cutting, tree trimming, soil care and fertilization, root care and much more. You can follow this #ALExperts contributor on Twitter @LeafLimb.

As of January 15, 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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