Grace Tree Service Tree Trinn

Why Hire An Arborist? Part 1

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One of the Grace Tree Service up in the rigging doing tree work

My father was born and raised in Detroit Michigan during the Great Depression (go with me on this for a minute). Things were tough for his generation and he, like many of his time, found himself becoming a master of “do it yourself” before DIY was a thing. By the time I was born, he had moved our family to a very rural setting on the upper peninsula of Michigan and I can honestly say I can’t ever remember a repair man or contractor ever coming to our home to perform any type of work. My dad did it all. He might borrow a neighbor’s tool or drum up some help from one of my uncles, but he did everything and anything that needed fixing or building himself.


I remember once when we put in a new drain field for our home, I received a lesson in work experience at the business end of a shovel as we dug the lines by hand! The self-sufficient spirit of his generation was one born out of necessity that I still admire. I have great respect for those who attempt projects on their own and in the age of the internet, that has become even easier to do. Gone are the days of ordering a 10 volume set of books on home improvements from “Kathy you Time-Life operator” who was always standing by to take your call (and your money). The newest generation possess all the knowledge at their fingertips with things like YouTube. With all that said, there are those skills however that should be left to the professionals. At some point you must know your own limitations and defer tasks in the name of safety. I my case I love using electricity but learned a shocking lesson long ago: Shawn should leave the wiring work to an electrician.


For the average DIY guy, if you find a low-hanging limb slapping you in the face every time you mow the lawn, we can all probably agree with confidence that you can find a pair of loppers in the garage and handle it. You may even take the time to draw on that great repository of knowledge previously mentioned and look up “How to properly prune a tree branch” on YouTube and truly feel confident as you embrace that “DIY” spirit.


Much like the invisible dangers of electricity, when it comes to proper pruning, maintenance and especially removal of an entire tree is the time an ISA Certified Arborist should be invited to come chat with you. One needs only a quick glance at social media apps like Instagram and the aforementioned YouTube to see an abundance of videos featuring homeowners attempting tree work. These videos inevitably end in seeing their efforts fail in the most spectacular ways. Each and every video like this that I see makes an even stronger case for the multitude of reason why to call an Arborist. To be honest, this article could be shortened by simply creating a compilation of video clips of all the epic failures from amateur tree work services and simply post it post here with the title “This is why.”


I will still get asked by people I meet questions like “How dangerous is tree work?” or “Can I remove my tree by myself?” and each time I am surprised that the answers aren’t obvious. Yes, our work can be very dangerous. We quite often find ourselves anywhere between 20 and 120 feet off the ground, operating power tools, avoiding hazardous weather, and contending with unknown forces. If someone had told me that Sir Issac Newton had just finished performing tree work when he posited that, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” I would have no reason to doubt you. Tree work is unforgiving to those who commit even the slightest of errors with consequences that can last a lifetime, or end it.


If years of professional experience hadn’t taught me that, one specific incident would have. Several years ago, I was called to meet with a potential client and provide an estimate for someone who was clearly well-to-do but also possessed that same DIY spirit I had so respected in my father. After providing an estimate and articulating the details required for the job; and despite the fact that he appeared well and truly able to afford our services, he attempted it himself and was killed in that attempt.


This is only one incident out of many other sad examples I am aware of and each one serves as a reminder of the dangers my crew and I face every day. Having a safety-first mindset is unequivocally our number one core value at Grace Tree Service. We want to go home safe to our families every evening. It is also why I took this entire blog to address this one key issue of “Why Hire an Arborist” as we want you all to do the same.


Safety is such a concern of mine that I have dedicated the entire first part of this blog series to it but safety is not the only reason. In part 2 of this series, we will explore a second, and possibly more surprising reason, to help you make the decision to call a professional arborist.