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Cost and Regulatory Considerations of Eco-Friendly Lawn Care

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Sustainability is becoming a greater concern than ever. Even some of the least likely sources are advocating for new measures to protect the planet. For example, the Pope recently released an action guide on sustainability from the Vatican. Catholics have historically been among the demographics least likely to accept the reality of climate change, but they are coming along. In fact, a recent report from Pew Research shows that 57% of Catholics now believe global climate change is a very serious problem, which is now the same as all United States adults on the topic.

As more people become concerned about sustainability, they are starting to take new steps to protect the planet. However, many people don’t know what they can do to live greener lifestyles.

Fortunately, there are a number of things that you have to take into consideration when you are trying to make your home eco-friendly. However, many people neglect to consider the importance of making the outside of their home eco-friendlier. These steps will involve proper tree maintenance and lawn care.

Lawn Care and Tree Maintenance Are Sustainability Issues

David Gaona from TreeNewal talked about some of the ways that eco-friendly yard care is important for the environment. He mentioned that having a good shade tree can reduce sun exposure on your home, which can reduce cooling costs in the summer. The right composts and fertilizers can also help trees and lawn without harming the planet.

However, it is important to find an eco-friendly lawn and tree care approach that is also effective and affordable. Eco-friendly lawn and tree maintenance tends to be cheaper in the long run than most traditional approaches, since they rely on less costly resources and are often more self-sustaining over time. However, costs can still add up if you don’t have an effective tree management strategy. It helps to understand where you can expect higher prices and the types of tree maintenance services most likely to save money in the long run. Here we look at environmentally friendly tree maintenance costs based on local tree services and how city regulations might impact your plans.

Understanding Costs of Eco-Friendly Tree Maintenance Services

The cost of general risk assessments and analyses will be the same regardless of whether you are using eco-friendly or standard tree and lawn maintainence services. The most common tree maintenance services property managers require include:

  • Tree inspections: An ISA-certified arborist inspects trees to keep track of their health and look for issues such as pests, Shot Hole Fungus, Fire Blight, Black Sooty Mold Fungus, diseases, defects, and soil issues. The average cost for inspections ranges from $100 to $5000.  Sometimes, a tree service may provide the inspection at no cost.
  • Tree removal: Whether the tree has fallen, is overgrown, or is diseased, tree removal helps ensure the other trees on your property are healthy, and your property remains safe. The tree removal cost is based on the project’s size and complexity but can range from $500 to $3000. This cost tends to be about the same whether you are using an eco-friendly or traditional service provider.
  • Risk assessment: Tree risk assessment is performed by an ISA-certified arborist who will provide an arborist report. The report helps you make informed decisions about your landscape assets. Risk assessment costs typically range from $200 to $1000.
  • Tree treatments: Many tree problems are caused by plant pathogens, insects, or decay. Arborists provide these services as preventative care, and costs range from $50 to $200 per tree per treatment.
  • Tree care: Diagnosis and treatment of tree issues keep your trees healthy and well-maintained. The average cost for tree care ranges from $200-$1000
  • Trimming and Pruning: Tree trimming and pruning services keep your trees safe and looking their best while protecting your property from damage. You’ll see the costs range from $200 to $1500.

Please note that these are just examples, and the actual costs may vary depending on the region, the size and complexity of the project, and the company providing the services. It is always best to contact local tree service companies and ask for quotes to get an accurate estimate of the costs for the services you require. You will also want to compare the costs of maintenance companies that use eco-friendlier services to those that have more traditional service packages. However, as we said, the cost is usually the same in the initial stages, although the eco-friendlier service providers tend to help you save money over the long run by using more sustainable practices.

How to Reduce Costs

Although pricing can seem a little intimidating, you can use these tips to reduce costs:

  • Keep the debris: Managing the tree debris instead of having it carted off saves time loading and carting it away. You can create wood chips for mulch to help reduce weeds and keep your property looking tidy.
  • Focus on prevention: Prevention reduces the need for costly treatments and removal services. For example, pruning keeps trees from becoming overgrown and dangerous. It also allows your arborist to spot issues and recommend treatments before they worsen.
  • Annual risk assessment: Annual risk assessments provide a report so you understand your costs for the year. You can prioritize your budget based on urgency and risks.
  • Keep the stump: If you are paying for tree removal, consider keeping the stump. It won’t impact your landscaping if it is out of the way.
  • Avoid unnecessary work: Often, property managers pay for excess pruning without realizing it. Ask your arborist how often pruning is necessary to maintain healthy trees and a shady canopy.
  • Bundle services together: You can save money by bundling multiple services together and negotiating a discount.
  • Hire an arborist: As arborists, we care for trees efficiently, reducing costs.

Understanding City Regulations

Most cities have regulations to protect trees and maintain a healthy canopy. These regulations vary from city to city, so it’s important to research the regulations in your area. For example, in the City of San Mateo, heritage trees protected by the ordinance include bay, buckeye, oak, cedar, and redwood with a 10-inch or more diameter measured four feet above the natural grade. In Menlo Park, heritage trees are any tree with a trunk circumference of at least 47.1 inches, 54 inches above the natural grade. These ordinances protect the most beautiful and rarest trees in our communities.

Some towns even require a permit to hire a tree trimming service for heritage trees. Additionally, pruning within 10 feet of power lines must be performed by a line-clearance-qualified arborist. It is important to abide by local rules to avoid unnecessary costs and fines. To learn more about local regulations, you can visit your city’s website or speak to a certified arborist who understands the local rules.

When to Call a Tree Professional

Often property managers are unsure when they should call in the professionals. Any arborist will tell you that unless you know what you’re doing, the answer is always any time you plan to manage your trees. Although this might sound extreme, each tree species requires different approaches to tree management. Also, improper pruning can create further hazards. However, if your budget doesn’t allow for ongoing tree maintenance, we would say you need to call a tree professional in the following scenarios:

  • Branches touching power lines: If your tree is in contact with or coming close to power lines, you need to manage those branches as soon as possible. The increasing risk and occurrence of wildfires in California call for diligence in prevention. Even a slight brush against power lines can spark a fire. Also, it can present a risk of personal injury when you try to trim branches on your own. Remember that law could define who can safely remove these branches in your neighborhood.
  • Dangerous branches: Branches don’t just become dangerous in storms or heavy winds. You should check trees regularly to look for signs a branch might fall. Trying to tackle branch removal on your puts you and everyone around you at risk. Dangerous branches that require professional removal include:
  • Branches that are split and separate from the trunk
  • Larger branches on the tree that appear heavy or awkward
  • Branches that are dangling or moving dangerously in high winds
  • Exposed roots: Trees with exposed roots or that suddenly appear to be leaning pose a falling hazard. The sooner you call in the professionals, the less likely the tree will damage property, residents, or passersby.
  • Branches infringement: Branches infringing on your property’s structures are significant risks for property damage. Professional removal is a must to ensure the branches don’t cause damage during the trimming process.
  • Visible decay: Signs of decay or softening wood present falling branch hazards and the risk of the entire tree falling. This is too big a job to tackle without the proper safety equipment and strategy to take the tree down piece by piece safely.
  • Fallen trees: Although it is your responsibility to remove fallen trees on your property, it has to be done safely. If the tree falls onto public property, you should call the city to remove the tree.

You can try to handle some of these practices on your own. If you want to take the eco-friendliest route, then you may want to try following these eco-friendly tree maintenance tips.

Follow Eco-Friendly Practices for Tree Maintainance

There are a lot of things that you have to do if you want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Taking care of your trees and lawn properly is important.

Managing tree maintenance costs and complying with city regulations is essential for keeping your property eco-friendly, safe and beautiful. Following the tips in this article and hiring a certified arborist can reduce costs and ensure that your trees are properly maintained. Always prioritize safety when managing trees and follow local regulations to avoid fines and legal issues. If you are in the East San Francisco Bay region and need tree maintenance services, visit Arbor Vision Inc’s website to learn more about their services and how they can help you. With their team of certified arborists, you can trust that they have the knowledge and expertise necessary to manage your trees efficiently and safely.


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