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An arborist is a professional who is trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining trees and other woody plants. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) provides an arborist certification once individuals have worked a minimum of three years in arboriculture or a combination of education and experience and pass an exam. A good arborist will offer a wide range of services such as pruning, removal, disease and insect diagnosis, integrated pest management, etc. There are many experienced tree services that do not employ certified arborists but will do a fine job removing a diseased or infested tree.
You should always get 2-3 written price quotes before you choose one company, ask to see proof of liability insurance and do not pay the company until the work is complete. Be wary of people that go door-to- door soliciting business. Before hiring a company, make sure they understand what is expected with the tree removal including timeline, wood removal or chipping, and stump de- barking. You do not need to grind out the stump, if the bark is removed off the stump. If you or your neighbors have healthy red oaks within 100 feet of the diseased oak(s), you should hire a company that can offer treatments to prevent the spread to nearby oaks as well as tree removal.
DBH is a forestry term that means diameter (in inches) measured at breast height, which is 4.5 feet from the ground. Multi-stem trees are measured as one tree at the narrowest point above ground. Beyond size of the tree, removal pricing is based on the tree’s location within the property and the presence of obstructions such as overhead utilities, steep slopes or structures. The type of equipment that can access the tree can also influence the cost. Each company has a different business model with varying levels of staffing, education and overhead which can cause wide fluctuations in cost. Most companies carry at least $2 million aggregate in liability insurance because forestry and arboriculture work carries a high risk to the employee.
Property lines are determined based on physical factors such as fences, mowing lines, overhead power lines (which generally mirror property lines), and aerial photos along with plat maps (when needed). If you think the tree is on your neighbor’s property, try to resolve the dispute yourselves. If you cannot agree and would like more detailed information, you can call the Engineering Department at 952-985-4500 to determine if there is a survey on file for your property.
When removing any tree, it is very important that you be aware of any overhead utilities that are near or travel through the tree. The utility companies (Xcel Energy or Dakota Electric) must be notified of the situation well in advance of the tree’s removal so that they may assist you. When you contact a utility company, make sure that you notify them that you have a diseased tree, and give them your deadline. Please notify our office if there are any delays.
There are two types of situations that occur when your tree has wires near or in it:
Pole-to-Pole: This situation involves electric service to more than one residence because the wires in your tree are connected between service poles. The utility company usually prefers to handle trees around these lines by removing as much of the tree as necessary to prevent damage to their lines and to make it “safe” for other contractors to remove. They may remove only a portion of the tree and leave the remaining wood debris. It is your responsibility to dispose of any wood left on site.
Pole-to-House: This situation involves the utility lines running from service pole to your house. It is common for the utility company to disconnect the service lines involved while you or your contractor remove the tree. They will then reconnect the service lines after the work is complete. You should set a specific time for disconnection and re-connection of your service to facilitate both the efficient removal of the tree and the restoration of your service.
The stump does not have to be ground out, but all of the bark must be removed from it in order to prevent spore mats from forming (oak wilt), to prevent elm bark beetles or emerald ash borer from reproducing/surviving. If the stump is in a high traffic or grassy (mowed) area, you may want to consider removing it for aesthetic or safety reasons, but it is not necessary for disease/insect control.
If you plan to implement control measures such as vibratory plowing (oak wilt/Dutch elm disease) or injections, notify our office at 952-985-2724 so we can update our records.
The tree inspector will revisit each address to confirm the removal of all infested/diseased trees and wood in person when the removal deadline has lapsed, but you can contact the City at 952-985-2724 if your property is ready for re-inspection.
If you believe you will need an extension, contact the City Forester at 952-985-2724. Extensions of up to one week may be granted when you provide the name of the contractor you have hired, your property address and your phone number. The site will be rechecked for completion after your extension has ended.
The tree inspector will leave a door hanger thanking you for helping to protect the Lakeville community forest.