Disagreement sprouts from tree trimming standards

Disagreement sprouts from tree trimming standards

COMPLAINT: Ed Corman, New Palestine, Ind.

I have eight trees I wanted trimmed back pretty well last year. My lot is fairly small, so I've always had them cut back pretty dramatically. I hired Ping's Tree Service in Indianapolis and their quote stated 'reduce crowns 25-30 percent, shape, prune, remove the dead and diseased branches and lift canopies. Remove all debris.'

"They worked and worked, but the trees didn't seem to be getting any smaller. I encouraged them to take more off. They indicated that wasn't how they did it and that they felt it would damage the trees. The trees still weren't as trimmed back as I'd hoped, but I decided to wait until spring and see how they looked.

"They are now shaggy and overgrown again and nearing the power lines. I called to speak with Mr. [Phil] Ping [the owner] and they told me he'd call me back, but he never has."

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I want the trees pruned again according to my desires and at no cost."

RESPONSE: Phil Ping, owner, Ping's Tree Service

"As a rule, we discourage crown reductions. Period. But, in some instances in urban settings, crown reductions are unavoidable because of space restraints and some clients insist on them. Our industry pruning standards are governed by the American National Standards Institute, which says [crown reductions should be] no more than 25 percent.

"We leaned toward the client's desires and performed a 25- to 30-percent reduction. The truth is that the harder a tree is cut, the faster it tries to grow back out because the leaves are the food factories and the tree is trying to survive. But, as certified arborists, we agree to adhere to the industry standards.

"As the member says, he wanted them cut harder and we told him upfront that we couldn't do that. There are unprofessional and untrained companies that would have complied with his request. But, being informed of the finished product before the work began, he cannot say we did not perform the job as contracted.

"We did exactly what we said we would."

STATUS: Stalemate


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