408 867-0143 | Since 1973 | ISA Certified Arborist
Saratoga Tree Service

Essential Guide to Tree Care


Trees are essential to mankind for many reasons. One of these, is their contribution to our ability to breath. They have long been appreciated for their aesthetic qualities and beauty. For these reasons, as well as many others, they enhance property values considerably. The purpose of this guide is to provide information and support for those individuals responsible for mediating the care of these assets.


When we first started writing this booklet, we geared it toward property managers. That is, the person or persons responsible for getting the tree work done. After some consideration, we realized that this booklet would be invaluable for large organizations, cities and small residential properties. Therefore, when we refer to the title of Property Manager, we mean it to be inclusive of anyone who needs this information to care for their trees.


As the Manager, you are responsible for the appearance and working order of the property or properties that you oversee. Your maintenance problems may run from malfunctioning pool pumps to faucet repairs, but these are usually taken care of by in-house staff. The grounds and gardens may be kept clean and trimmed by a landscape contractor who will most likely take care of the problems which arise from time to time.


However, are your trees maintained and kept in the same good condition as the buildings and lawns? How many complaints a year do you get regarding trees which are lifting up sidewalks, dropping needles in gutters or breaking branches in high winds?


Tree care is often a low priority on the budget for many complexes, This leads to situations where trees have been neglected for a number of years, and are now a problem in the landscape rather than an asset. After winter storms, the tree professionals are asked to come in and correct problems that should have been addressed many years prior. All too often, this results in drastic pruning measures which not only destroy the natural beauty of the tree, but they also leave the manager with a "temporary fix". This quick fix often ends up increasing tree maintenance costs for the future years rather than solving the problem.


How then, as a Manager, are you supposed to anticipate these problem trees and budget them accordingly? Obviously, without the proper training and knowledge of tree work, you cannot be expected to be an expert. There are, however, a few pointers that would help both you, the Manager, and the tree service you have hired, to do the work.


These include the proper types of pruning that can be offered, the correct times of the year to try to budget such a service, the impact of incorrect landscaping practices around the trees, and the list goes on.


It is not always wise for you or the Board of Directors of these complexes to go just for the lowest bid. The tree service company may not have the proper insurance or they may use pruning practices which are improper. These poor techniques provide "visible results" (such as a drastic reduction in height), but leave the trees in a structural disarray.


What we will provide for you in the following pages are instructions for recommended practices in tree care. This will help you determine whether the tree service you have hired is of the professional caliber that you expected.


We hope that you will find the information in the booklet to be educational, but most important, we hope to save your trees and save your money.




Like a tree, this site is growing. Check back often to see how we are evolving.