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Local Articles in Metro Detroit Area

Ask service providers in advance what type of equipment they will use for tree trimming and inquire, too, about company protocol for cleaning up after a job. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Mark C. of Brandon, Miss.)

Hiring to trim trees? A how-to guide

Follow these tips to find a tree service that will clip with care and leave you with dollars for the rest of your landscape.

Tree Care and Services

Trees grow slowly so you can't afford to make a mistake by planting them in the wrong location or overlooking something that puts the tree at risk. Tree care is something most homeowners can do on their own, but an expert should be called if a tree is showing signs of disease or if limbs need to be removed.

Removing a tree is the most expensive service, and typically includes cutting it down section by section, then hauling away the pieces. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Kathleen L. of Keizer, Ore.)
Tree Service

The price charged by tree removal and tree trimming companies may vary significantly based on tree type, height, and service requested. Find out why.

Preventing fungus can be as simple as trimming branches for more light and air to flow through. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
Tree Service

How can you tell if Mother Nature is about to take down one of your trees? Learn the signs that indicate a tree is in decline and may succumb to the next storm.

Fallen Bradford pear tree
Tree Service

Planting Bradford pear trees became popular in residential landscape design for a couple of decades. Now, problems with Bradford pears splitting have surfaced.

new tree planted near a home
Landscaping, Tree Service, Greenhouses/Nurseries

Do your research before buying and planting a new tree to make sure it will thrive in its new home and not damage existing landscape elements or your property.

Angie's Answers

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I would strongly suggest sending your neighbors a certified letter stating that, per your earlier conversation, you consider this tree to be a hazard due to its proximity to the power lines.  Then, when and if something bad does happen, you will have a record of having informed them of it and they won't be able to say "we didn't know."

You say the county has told you it is the neighbor's problem.  Did you contact the local electric company?  They should care very much about the situation.

I would also recommend taking lots of pictures showing the proximity of the tree to the wires and that it is obviously dead.

Dead trees do sometimes stay vertical for a very long time, but it sounds like a tense situation for you.  I understand your desire to not inflame the situation, but it doesn't sound like there is anything more you can do that won't have the potential to do so.  So it becomes your responsibility to look after your own interests in the most reasonable way possible.

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For my money, never ? I do a walk-around yearly in the summer (when easy to work on and before the heavy fall winds in our area) and look for trees with dead crowns, losing branches everywhere but at the crown, brown branches (evergreens) or leafless branches, leaning trees, trees with visible rot, trees with major bark loss, trees with seriously damaged or eroded away roots, etc. If none of those symptoms, then I call our 100 or so trees good for the year.

Of course, the bigger the trees and the likelihood of house damageor powerline loss (especially in winter) if there is a major branch or tree fall comes into play also. I trim and cut my own trees when needed regardless of size, so my level of confidence in being able to handle anything comes into it.

If you are worried about one or more trees, call an arborist to check them out - then I would say unless there is evidence of damage - ESPECIALLY leaning trees or major branches not leafing like the rest of the tree - I would not worry having them looked at more frequently than every 10 years or so.

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