Tree service scammers frequently prey on the victims of sudden weather incidents (storms, tornados, hurricanes, ice storms, snow conditions, strong winds and heavy rains ) that weaken the tree roots and topple trees and limbs by charging triple rates for simple emergency tree removal. Make sure to get at least three cost estimates from reputable tree removal services, even if you’re faced with an emergency like a tree limb lying on your house rooftop, atop of your car, or across your driveway.

Make sure the tree service company is accredited with the Georgia Better Business Bureau. Only a handful of local tree services receive GA BBB accreditation.

Check reviews and ask for references. Go online to find out what kind of reputation the tree service has with the local community, and don’t be afraid to ask the company for references.

When considering different estimates, be just as wary of bids that seem too low as those that seem too high. If the tree service is giving you a very low price, it might be because they have little or no experience or do not have the proper insurances – liability, or workers comp. Or simply have no equipment other than a walmart bought chain-saw.

Never deal with drive-by, out-of-state companies. They might be plain crooks and after your money. Never pay up-front. Pay only when the treejob is done to your specifications and according to the estimate and treejob agreement. Make sure each tree service you are considering has enough liability and workers compensation insurance to cover any emergency or accident incurred on the tree-job. Otherwise, you could be liable for any injuries sustained by workers removing trees or limbs as well as any damage they cause to your and your neighbor’s property. Remember if the tree was dead to begin with then it’s always your fault, and the insurer will not cover your damages.


Dekalb County GA Homeowner Guide for Tree Removal

Written notification should be submitted to the Georgia Dekalb County Arborist, via fax at (404)678-3949 or e-mail – planninganddevelopment@dekalbcountyga.gov
Attention to the Dekalb County Arborist

Make sure that before trees are removed from property you comply with the following Dekalb County requirements:

… Dead, diseased or hazardous trees may be removed at any time
… You may remove up to five healthy trees on your property per calendar year, provided that those trees are not specimen trees. A specimen tree is defined as a tree with a life expectancy of 15 years or more, relative sound trunk with no extensive decay or hollow, less than 20% trunk dieback, no major insect or pathological problem and meets the following size guidelines:

*** For Overstory (large) trees, ex.: oak, poplar and pine- diameter at breast height (4 ½ feet up from the ground) is greater than or equal to 30 inches (which equates to a circumference of 94.2 inches)

*** For Understory (small) trees, ex: Dogwood – diameter at breast height (4 ½ feet up from the ground) is greater than or equal to 10 inches (which equates to a circumference of 31.4 inches)

If the tree in question meets the criteria for a specimen tree it cannot be removed until it is assessed by a certified arborist. If you need to remove more than five trees, you must have all trees assessed by a certified arborist and forward tree assessments in writing to the Dekalb County Arborist. You can find arborists in the yellow pages or by going to the International Society of  Arboriculture web site at www.isaarbor.org.

If you have any further questions, feel free to call Planning and Development, Environmental Compliance Division at 404-371-2685

Dead Hardwood

This Sunday while visiting Atlanta and Northlake garage sales and Estate sale deals I’ve  noticed a couple of dead hardwoods begging for help – one was off Street Deville and Heritage, the other just off Briarmoore entering Hawthorne Elementary, the third one off LaVista across from the Tucker Walmart, and yet another just south of Buford Hwy, across the Buford Highway Farmers Market. They all look like sweet gum deals to me, though. I was not really sure…. Need to go back Tuesday.

No Swimming on this Tree

No Swimming on this Tree

Yesterday Friday it was suddenly announced that the storm scouts sending us an urgent message of a disaster situation, where? – this bit of info was not disclosed, but we were told to sign up, get our stuff ready to go at 12 noon sharp. I jumped on the bobcat parked close by and started grading exit ways. People were really impressed, but the alert was just a drill. Still, it reminded me that we should be ready to pack and go any minute…

I placed an urgency call to my old friend – a lady painter from Paris, and offered her to remove a sweet gum next to her neighbor’s driveway, pointing that that tree may be a clear danger to both her house and the neighbor’s yard. We agreed to go down from 2500 for the three tree removals and the trees trimming in her front yard to 850 for the particular tree and the rest of them trimming and limbing. The problem still was with debris removal. Once we agreed on that part the problem was solved. I will meet her again Monday, and hopefully pick up a couple of clues as for how to prepare good glazes for interior painting.

Auntie was shooting the scene with Russian Mafia torturing a black guy for stealing a bunch of valuable diamonds. The guy was beaten up to death, chainsawed, burned, but he kept repeating – I don’t know man, I don’t know! Where are the damn diamonds? They’re up in your ass!  Unbelievable! Dan charges $250 for a half-day work (6 hours), and $400 for one full day, which is 12 hour job. He also provides post-production if needed.

Marianna as a Russian Mafia Enforcer

Need to find good strorm-tracking weather alerts, reliable, detailed, and mapped well in advance. Hardwood trees in older neighborhoods, large size, half-dead, and with an easy access for a bobcat and haul-away containers should be the first hazards to be removed when the storm strikes.


Bid Request from a Craigslist advertising: “Taking estimates for tree removal. We have 4-5 pine trees in the backyard that need to be cleared away. Must be bonded and insured and able to show proof. You may view the property at ….., but it can be seen better by driving down the lane in the back. Please do not knock on the door or enter into the yard unless given permission to do so.

Accepting estimates by email only until …. 23rd. Please include detailed estimates, with and without stump grinding and haul away. NO ATTACHMENTS! ESTIMATES MUST BE TYPED IN THE EMAIL (to avoid spam). ”

MY COMMENTS: How in the world can you give estimates for the trees in the backyard if you cannot enter the yard in the first place? Just an example of some really stupid or arrogant homeowners wishing to get something (Ian estimate) for nothing. [Bids by invitation only]

Phloem is the layer just beneath the tree bark, and it’s very important in that the phloem transports sugars produced by leaves down the trunk to limbs, branches, and finally to the tree roots to feed them all. Pine beetle larvae feeding on the phloem sugars and actually eating the phloem layer deprive the tree of the energy-rich food, and because the tree suffers from a severe hunger, it eventually dies.

I can compare it with human intestines and stomach settled by multiple parasitae, worms and others – they eat the food you just paid for at a local MacDonalds, and you’re still hungry because the parasites stole your food. If you don’t take care of the problem you might eventually die from hunger. That’s exactly what’s happenning with pine trees infested by pine beetles.

And because of the hot weather there are about twice as many bugs as normally would be,  the trees lose their natural resistance and die a slow and painful death. I wish we all could feel their pain. All they can do to defend themselves is to envelop parasitic intruders with their resin (live juices) and preserve them so that for a 5,000 years from now casual observer may enjoy it as a curious artifact – a bug inside a amber gem. But the bugs win this battle and American pine trees keep dying. It’s sooo sad, folks, isn’t it?

Because of rising temperatures there are twice as much pine beetles than normally – and our American pine trees are doomed. This summer in Georgia will be unusually hot – good news for pine beetles development, and it spells disaster for pine trees. Notice the evergreens turns reddish-brown in the middle of the summer, a sure sign that pine beetles have killed the tree.

Why? What impact do higher temperatures have on pine beetles? The scientists working  with a rising temperatures model found that and confirmed the positive correlation between bugs and prolonged hot summer days  ….Sure enough, as temperatures warmed, pine beetles at these sites shifted from a two-year to a one-year life cycle — just as the model predicted. Beetle outbreaks and other unsettling phenomena may finally grab the public’s attention. In the West, Bugmann explained with a small smile, we don’t have to wait to witness the consequences of global warming. Today, he said, is the day after tomorrow.