Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Tree Service Companies Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: ArborWorks, Inc. (2009)

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a tree service that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified tree maintenance service. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated tree service and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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Simon Tunnicliffe is a 29-year veteran of the tree service industry and owner of West Valley Arborists, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2010. He can be reached at (408) 827-8933 or by email.

Simon Tunnicliffe

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Simon Tunnicliffe: Outdoor Ambition

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CAMPBELL — As a young man, Simon Tunnicliffe thought he might enjoy working in an office setting, but he soon realized he preferred an outdoor workspace. “When I was a teenager, the real estate market was really booming in my home country of England, so I thought about pursuing a career in the industry,” he recounts. “I enrolled in a work experience program, where I spent one day a week working in a real estate office. It didn’t take long for me to realize I didn’t like spending my days indoors, so I began looking for a career that would allow me to be outside. Tree service seemed like an obvious choice—I mean, what other job lets you climb trees and use heavy equipment, all while conserving nature?”

After earning his arborist certification, Simon began working locally in the tree service industry, but soon after he took his professional passion abroad, working by turns in Germany, France, California and Australia. Eventually, Simon settled on Northern California for his permanent residence, and in 2005, he founded West Valley Arborists, Inc. “The Bay Area seemed like an ideal place for me to start my own business,” he says. “Besides having perfect weather for working outside, the west coast has one of the world’s largest tree service industries.”

A resident of San Jose (where he lives with his fiancée, Sommer), Simon spends his time outside of work engaged in a variety of active pursuits. “Sommer and I are very active people, so we do a lot of fitness training, hiking, biking and kayaking,” he says. “We also like supporting independent local establishments like wine bars and restaurants.” When the opportunity arises, Simon and Sommer like to get away from it all by taking weekend trips to nearby destinations like Santa Cruz and Lake Tahoe.

In regard to his professional career, Simon likens running a business to a continuous balancing act. “I think you have to be a pretty well-rounded individual to be a successful business owner,” he says. “From overhead costs to managing employees to dealing with customers, there are a lot of aspects to juggle, so you have to maintain a balance. I think it’s also important to have a positive attitude, stay focused and not let the small things get to you.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Simon says he’d celebrate. “I’d throw a big retirement party, just to express my appreciation to my employees and all the people who have supported me throughout my journey. After that, I’d probably do some traveling. I have family in New Zealand, so that might be a good place to start.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Opa! Authentic Greek Cuisine in Campbell.

Q: Did you play any sports in high school?
A: I played rugby and cricket.

Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: When I was five years old, my family lived in Spain, and I remember taking rides to the beach on our Vespa scooter. My parents would put my sister in between them while I crouched on the floor near the front—it was about as packed as you could get!

Q: What kinds of movies do you like?
A: I’m a big fan of the James Bond movies.

Q: Who’s the best James Bond?
A: That’s a tough one. I love Sean Connery, but I’m also a fan of Daniel Craig.

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Deep Root Fertilization


CAMPBELL — Like any plant, trees require nutrients to grow and flourish. While trees typically derive nutrients from the soil, under certain circumstances they may not be able to get adequate nutrition, which can put them in a state of… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Deep Root Fertilization

Complete Video Transcription:

CAMPBELL — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to caring for the trees on your property, one healthful measure to consider is deep root fertilization. Today… Read more




  • Ameristar

  • Bufftech

  • DoorKing

  • Xcel

  • Bandit

  • Freightliner Trucks

  • Stihl

cedar trees
birch trees
maple trees
cypress trees
juniper trees
magnolia trees
palm trees
orange trees
ficus trees
Japanese maple trees
olive trees
ash trees
ornamental trees
flowering trees
cherry trees
dogwood trees
willow trees
pine trees
lemon trees
apple trees
fig trees
oak trees
eucalyptus trees
plum trees

tree pruning
ornamental tree pruning
dead tree removal
tree stump removal
tree transplanting
tree fertilizing
tree maintenance
tree landscaping services
citrus tree pruning
seasonal tree care
tree stump grinding
tree disease treatment
tree identification
tree pest control services
tree thinning
tree restoration
tree surgery
tree disease diagnosis
tree cutting
tree planting
tree limb removal
fruit tree pruning
tree felling
emergency tree services

Blossom Valley
East Palo Alto
Holy City
Los Altos
Los Altos Hills
Los Gatos
Monte Sereno
Monte Vista
Morgan Hill
Mountain View
Mt Hamilton
New Almaden
Palo Alto
Redwood Estates
San Jose
San Martin
Santa Clara


American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) (http://www.asca-consultants.org/)
Better Business Bureau (BBB) (http://www.bbb.com/)
California Arborist Association (CAA) (http://www.cal-arb-association.com/)…

American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) (http://www.asca-consultants.org/)
Better Business Bureau (BBB) (http://www.bbb.com/)
California Arborist Association (CAA) (http://www.cal-arb-association.com/)

Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB) (http://www.cslb.cs.gov/)
International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) (http://www.isa-arbor.com/)
Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) (http://www.natlarb.com/)
Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA) (http://www.wcisa.net/)

Know What You Want
Before Hiring Tree Services in Santa Clara County

You know you need tree services. But since there are many tree companies out there to choose from, you must be diligent in how you hire a tree service. Ask yourself what kind of business you want performing your tree services in Santa Clara County.

The questions above will help you narrow down your tree care needs and goals.

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • Do I want a tree service in Santa Clara County that is expertly qualified and experienced?
  • Have I done research on common tree services and what tree work entails?
  • If I am unable to hire a Diamond Certified tree service, do I have time to thoroughly research tree services (which could save time and money in the long run)?
  • Do I have time to check references, confirm licensing, confirm ISA certifications, verify liability insurance and workers’ compensation, as well as check for complaints against the company?
  • Do I have the budget for hiring a well qualified tree service in Santa Clara County?

Whether you are in Cupertino, Alviso, Milpitas Santa Clara or another area, you can chose with confidence by using a Diamond Certified tree service.

If you are unable to use a Diamond Certified tree service, this is where you especially must conduct your own research. You first should determine the tree services you need, and then locate a tree service that caters to your needs.

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What To Ask In Person
In Person Questions for Tree Services in Santa Clara County

After your phone interviews with tree companies, meet in person with the tree services you are considering. Whether you need tree maintenance, repairing tree storm damage, view restoration, or reducing tree overgrowth, be sure to communicate exactly what you want from a local tree service.

Write down the tree trimmer or arborist’s answers to your questions. This is especially true if you have a complex tree problem. And let the tree service know if you will employ an arborist for the long term.

Questions to ask local arborists and tree services in person:

  • What tree care equipment do you use when inspecting trees, trimming trees or providing other tree maintenance services?
  • Do you use tree spikes (may cause damage)?
  • How experienced are your employees with working around hazardous electrical wiring?
  • Is clean up included and when will clean up be completed?
  • Will I need to supply water for tree services (a potential hidden cost)?
  • How long will my tree services will take to complete?
  • Will you provide stump grinding after tree removal services?
  • Is there an extra cost for stump grinding service?
  • Do you offer tree storm damage repair in Santa Clara County?
  • Will you have a written contract for my tree care services?
  • What are the contract terms for tree service in Santa Clara County?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions to Ask Santa Clara County Tree Service References

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified tree care service because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a tree care service in Santa Clara County, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company.

    Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified tree care service company close enough, you’ll have to do careful research. If you call references yourself, make sure to ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid a tree service only offering their happiest customers for references.

    Remember though, references provided to you by the tree care company are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from local tree services often favor the company, and are not randomly selected from all their customers.

    Here are some questions you can ask tree service references in Santa Clara County to help ensure you’re making a wise decision:

    • What tree services were provided?
    • On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your satisfaction level with this tree service?
    • What reasons (if any) were you unsatisfied with the tree service?
    • Would you call this company again for tree services in Santa Clara County?
    • Were they friendly and professional through all of your encounters?
    • Did they notify you of any accommodations needed before starting tree work (moving vehicles)?
    • Did they pressure you into tree services you did not want?
    • Were there any hidden costs on your tree service invoice?
    • Did your final cost reflect the estimate you were given? Why or why not?
    • Did the tree company remove debris before they left the premises?
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  • Review Your Options
    Final Questions When Choosing a Tree Service

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Review your final tree service companies and make your final selection. When hiring a tree care service in Santa Clara County, consider these additional questions.

    • Whether for tree pruning in Palo Alto, tree bracing in Sunnyvale, tree removal in San Jose, or solar enhancement in Milpitas, can you communicate effectively with the company?
    • Has a Santa Clara County tree service pressured you into services you do not want?
    • Has a tree service in Santa Clara County expressed interest in your long-term tree work needs?
    • Are you only seeking a fix to an isolated tree problem (no long-term tree service)?
    • Do you want a full-service tree company or a part-time tree service? (A full-service company will likely be better equipped and trained.)
    • Did you feel they have your best interests in mind?
    • Have you checked tree service liability and insurance, as well as licensing, tree care training, ISA certification, and experience?
    • Are they a Diamond Certified tree service in Santa Clara County?
    • If they are not Diamond Certified, do they have any complaints with the Better Business Bureau?
    • Have you contacted the California Contractor’s State Licensing Board (CSLB)?
    • Have you contacted their insurance company for verification of liability for tree services?

    If you are reassured with the answers to these questions, make your decision to hire a professional tree service company.

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  • How To Work With
    Tips for Working with Santa Clara County Tree Services

    Congratulations on selecting the tree service in Santa Clara County. Know that in the long term, good tree care will be an investment. Make sure you have everything in writing with detailed descriptions of the tree services to be performed.

    This will help avoid mistakes due to poor communication. Have them give you a start date and estimated completion date. Have them notify you in advance of any additional costs that were unforeseen in your original estimate.

    After Hiring a Santa Clara County Tree Service
    You received an estimate based on the tree services you asked to have completed. Of course, unforeseen problems may arise. Tell them you must agree to any additional costs prior to completing tree services.

    If you haven’t already, ask if there is an extra charge for travel to your home. Sign the contract and do a walk-through with the senior contractor before it begins.

    How to Ensure Tree Services in Santa Clara County are as Expected
    Anticipate extra noise while your tree service is completed. Make sure not to get close while they are completing the work, as this could be unsafe. Ask your arborist what is a safe distance to stay away.

    Do not talk to tree service workers if they are in a tree, only when they are on the ground. Make sure to keep any pets out of the way, and keep your windows and doors closed as much as possible.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How You Can Be A Valued Santa Clara County Tree Service Customer

    It is the tree service’s responsibility to put in quality work using the best possible techniques. But you play an important role in receiving good professional tree care services.

    Here are some simple steps you can take towards being a good customer.

    • Be upfront with the tree service you choose. Let them know how they can fulfill your expectations.
    • Reiterate your understanding of the agreement for tree services. Most problems with professional tree services occur because of a breakdown in communication.
    • When working with your tree service in Santa Clara, ask if you should call to check on the progress of your tree work.
    • Be sure your contractor has a phone number where they can reach you while they’re performing tree services.
    • When your contractor calls you, always return calls promptly to keep your tree work on schedule.
    • Remember that being polite and keeping a friendly smile will go a long way!
    • Pay for your tree care work promptly.

    So why would you want to be a good customer? Everyone appreciates a pleasant customer. This is no different for tree services in Santa Clara County.

    Tree care professionals appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Having a positive attitude as a customer sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship.

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Check The Work
Check Tree Services Against the Invoice

Always make sure to check everything in your tree care contract was completed to your satisfaction. Compare the line items on the invoice to the actual work that you had done.

A complete invoice for tree care services should include the following:

  • The tree company’s name, address, telephone number, and their license number at minimum.
  • An itemized list of all tree work performed, and specific descriptions of the work done.
  • A break-down of cost for labor and materials.
  • The invoice should ideally include a start date, estimated completion date and possibly a guaranteed end date. There may be a clause for some delays that are excusable such as inclement weather.
  • If they offer a satisfaction guarantee, has the Tree Service been completed to your 100% satisfaction?
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Written Warranties
Written Guarantees for Tree Care in Santa Clara County

If your tree contractor offered you warranties for tree services, they should be willing to provide them to you in writing for your records.

For your protection, all written guarantees should include the following information:

  • Your responsibility if you place a warranty claim (i.e., if you have to pay for labor or materials, or if you are required to pay a prorated amount).
  • The tree contractor’s name and physical address.
  • What products and services are covered.
  • All limitations and exclusions.
  • If the warranties are transferable to the new owner if you sell your home.
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Top 10 Requests
Popular Requests for Santa Clara Tree Companies

Chances are you are unsure what tree services you require of tree care companies in Santa Clara County.

Here are some common tree care services and common tree problems where professional tree companies and certified arborists can assist:

Tree Bracing and Tree Cabling
Helps to provide extra support to strengthen a tree that may be weak and have limbs that may break. Without correcting a specific tree weakness, you may risk injury or property damage. This is especially problematic when there are storms.

Dead Branches in Trees
A common tree issue which should be removed to increase tree health. This will also avoid property damage and injury, as dead branches are more susceptible to storm damage. You don’t want a dead tree limb or dead tree branch to fall on a car, break a window, or cause other structural damage.

Diseases in Trees
Often times tree disease is the result of a deficiency of nutrition in trees. Tree disease can range from leaf discoloration, to excess bark peeling, to insect infestations.

Leaning Tree Repair
If your tall tree leans at a noticeable angle, this could be a hazard if there are strong winds during storms. Leaning trees should be corrected by a professional tree service to avoid property damage or personal injuries.

Mushroom or Fungus Growth in Trees
This can happen around the base of the tree, which is a sign of tree decay. There is rotting wood in roots of trees, which means your tree is dying. A well trained arborist can assess your tree and recommend a solution.

Preventative Tree Care
Trees need proper light, pruning, and food to help it achieve a pleasing tree shape and to live longer. This includes tree fertilizers, which will increase the overall health and nutrition of your trees. There are many organic and conventional fertilizers for trees that your Santa Clara County Tree Service can provide.

Raised Earth Around Base of Tree
This can mean your tree is beginning to uproot from the ground. This could be dangerous if a strong storm came through to further uproot your tree. Many of us have seen photos of a tree that crashed on a vehicle or a tree that fell on a house.

Solar Enhancement Services
Solar Enhancement completed by professional arborists in Santa Clara County will ensure there is sufficient light for solar panels to function adequately. If your home has solar panels, you may see improved solar functionality by reducing the amount of shade from nearby trees.

Tree Planting Services
Perhaps you wish to plant decorative trees, fruit trees or citrus trees. Either way, consulting a professional tree service will assist you with tree planting in Santa Clara County.

View Restoration
This can include tree thinning, which creates beautiful filtered views by removing dead wood on trees. They may also perform “windowing” which creates additional open space, similar to a window’s function in your home.


Products Used By Good Tree Care Services in Santa Clara County
Your Santa Clara County tree care professional may use a number of different products and tools to care for your trees. Here are a few things to expect they may use when performing tree care services.

Climbing Line or Climbing Rope
These should meet all ANSI safety standards, and will assist a professional arborist with safely climbing trees.

Tree Fertilizer
Fertilizer and other tree health products may be used in preventative tree care.

Professional Chainsaws and Other Professional Tree Equipment
Chainsaws are often used by tree contractors to trim trees, clear utility line areas, or for other tree shaping and tree pruning.

Electric Pole Chainsaw
These are used as an alternate way for trimming trees. Instead of climbing a ladder to the top of your tree, chainsaw in hand

Rigging Line
Not to be confused with a climbing rope, this assists tree stability by connecting them to stationary objects.

Tree Cabling Tools
This is a very specialized tree service skill, which requires the use of eye lags, extra strength cable, and bracing equipment such as a course threaded rod.

Tree Saver Straps
These should be used when a tree rigging line is put into place. They will help avoid damage to bark while tree work is being performed.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Tree Care Terms

Following are some common terms used in the tree service industry. This will help you when talking to a local arborist or tree service who is using industry terms you may not know.

ANSI 3000
American National Standards Institute, the national organization that sets standards for tree trimmers, tree services and arborists.

ANSI Z133.1
American National Standards Institute safety standard for tree care.

Following are some common terms used in the tree service industry. This will help you when talking to a local arborist or tree service who is using industry terms you may not know.

ANSI 3000
American National Standards Institute, the national organization that sets standards for tree trimmers, tree services and arborists.

ANSI Z133.1
American National Standards Institute safety standard for tree care.

A chemical that is applied to cut back water loss through stems and leaves on trees.

Also known as antidesiccants

The cultivation and management of trees which focuses on the health and safety of trees.

Also known as: Arboriculture

Refilling a hole around the roots with dirt, often happens during transplanting.

The protective outer layer on trunks, branches and twigs.

Creating extra support for a tree with structural defects by limiting movement of tree branches using steel cables, wire rods, and clamps.

The division of a stem, or a secondary stem, attached to a primary part of the tree.

The use of a ¼ inc threaded steel, used to support cracked, splitting, or debilitated joints of a tree.

buttress root
A large root that forms at ground level of a tree.

A method of structural support for weak tree joints. An extra strength cable is used to support the tree. There is a hole drilled into each main branch, into which a two eye-bolts are used to help keep a tree from splitting apart. Often preferable to bracing or used in conjunction with tree bracing.

The top or crown of a tree, which is formed by all the branches and leaves together.

canopy raising
Used to assist in creating a symmetrical tree by taking away lower lateral limbs.

All branches and foliage of a tree above the ground

crown thinning
Removing selected tree branches in order to facilitate sunlight penetration and reducing weight of strained branches.

crown restoration
Used to renew health and structure to a damaged tree

Removal of dying, diseased, or already dead branches.

Trees or shrubs that shed their leaves seasonally.

drop cut
A second cut in a three-cut procedure of take away a branch.

eye lags
Screws thread eye bolts used in cabling and bracing.

Also known as: eye bolts

A tree or other plant’s ability to tolerate cold or warm temperatures.

lateral root
A root that extends off of the main root.

Having the legal responsibility for financial costs related with cost to repair casualty.

mature tree
A tree that has reached about 3/4 of its full growth.

pesticide (conventional)
Created for destroying or repelling a pest. Synthetic or man-made chemicals. Can be damaging to the soil.

pesticide (organic)
Less refined, naturally occurring products that often contain natural resistance to insects and other pests. Generally less harmful to people and the environment.

plant health care
A tree maintenance system that aims to be preventative or proactive in tree care. Includes fertilization, protection from tree diseases or tree infestation troubles, and ensuring satisfactory water and soil conditions.

Also known as: tree maintenance

stump grinding
A power tool with high-speed disk that rotates in order to chip a stump into smaller pieces for removal.

Also known as: stump cutter

tree pruning
Removing certain branches, roots, or buds of a tree. Used to maintain or improve health of trees, improving flower or fruit output, and helping them become more aesthetically pleasing.

Also known as: tree trimming

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ About Tree Care Services

Q: Why Choose a Diamond Certified tree service?

Q: Why Choose a Diamond Certified tree service?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a tree service with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only local tree services rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified tree contractor

Q: Why should I commit extra effort into tree care?
A: Trees have long been valued for their aesthetically pleasing qualities, which in turn can increase the value of your home. Trees can increase your home’s worth by up to 25%, depending on placement, health, size of trees, and variety. You should protect your trees with proper tree care services.

Q: Do I really need to water trees?
A: For the most part, trees need to be watered more often when they are young and growing. However, this changes if you are having drought conditions in your area. With normal rainfall levels, the main exception to this would be trees that were not suitable for your local environment.

Q: What does pruning do for trees?
A: It helps your trees stay healthier, especially as young trees grow and mature. It promotes good branch structure, that could otherwise lead to an early death of your tree.

Q: Do arborists prune trees to specific standards?
A: All arborists should follow the “ANSI A300 – part 1 pruning” standard. Ask your tree service if they always use this standard for tree pruning.

Q: What is pruning paint for trees, and is it still needed?
A: This is an out-dated procedure that used to be suggested for sealing cuts on a freshly pruned tree. Research by the US Forest Service has debunked the need for this “wound dressing”, and showed it actually was contrary to the best interests of the trees. You can even harm your trees with too much moisture.

Q: What is the best time of year to prune trees?
A: Most arborists would agree that you can prune most trees at any time it is needed. Although some trees are more likely to need pruning at the turn of different seasons such as summer of fall.

Q: Do I really need to fertilize my trees?
A: Most trees need fertilization at some point in their lives. In the forest, there are natural circumstances such as animal waste, leaves and other plant material falling to the forest floor, and other decomposition that recycles itself. Mulching is one way to help fertilize a tree, but a plant health care program from a certified arborist is best. A certified arborist can make the best determinations based on your local environment and the ground where your trees grow. This will help your trees have the best health.

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