The Bigger They Are…
We are here for you and your trees. From emergency tree service to tree pruning, from pest control to bracing, our team of certified arborists keeps your trees healthy and happy.
Sometimes, we see that trees do not live to their full potential. We want to change this by educating the world about proper tree planting (called sustainable tree planting) and providing expert care by our certified arborists.
Contact us about your questions and needs today. Our normal response time for all services is within 24 hours. We also provide emergency storm services, and we are based in Franklin County, Missouri. We offer our services to both residential and commercial clients, and primarily serve Washington, Union, Pacific, St. Clair, and surrounding areas.
No, we’re not trimming split ends, but pruning is like that time your cousin updated the bowl cut he’s been sportin’ since second grade and finally got a date for once. That is to say, pruning affects your tree’s long-term happiness. Pruning is one of the most important services an arborist performs. It is essential for the proper growth of many trees, either because of structural weakness or because of cross-growth, or for other reasons specific to the kind of tree.
But pruning must be done with great care. Only an expert can prune a tree without potentially damaging the tree. Improper pruning creates more of a hazard for property owners. It can also reduce your property value and create an eyesore. We often refer to tree trimming as a double-edged sword. Done correctly, pruning can be the best thing you can do for a tree. However, done incorrectly, pruning can be the worst. Hire an arborist to care for your trees. They give you expert advice on proper care and follow certain standards to improve the health of your trees.
For example, some clients request to have their trees topped. When I ask why, they say the tree is getting too big and they are concerned about the potential risk of failure resulting in property damage.
But topping is the worst thing you can do to a tree. This is considered an unacceptable practice to professional arborists and is only a short-term solution. Every tree is designed to grow to a certain height. Reducing a tree using this method stimulates rapid epicormic growth.
Epicormic growth is a tree’s reaction to stress as a way to replenish the leaves a tree needs for photosynthesis to occur. These limbs that grow back are weakly attached and have poor structure. A tree’s bark is similar to the human skin and can be sunburnt, also called “sun scalded.” Sunscald is another result of improper trimming that results. This weakens the tree and can lead to a premature death.
Crown Cleaning & Reduction
As trees mature, pruning needs tend to change.
By this time, a tree should be growing well and no longer in need of the level of redirection a young tree might require, especially if the tree was taken care of by a certified arborist in its youth. But mature trees still need some specific kinds of pruning.
The first is crown cleaning, which is the removal of dead and dying branches.
And the second is crown reduction, which is careful, selective removal of some of the larger upper branches to lower a tree’s height (not the same as topping a tree).
Proactive Tree Care in New Construction
Did you know home buyers are willing to pay up to 30% more for wooded lots than for similarly sized lots without trees? That’s right, but most people don’t understand the impact that construction can have on trees, especially to root formations underground. It can take years to see the full effects that construction can have on surrounding trees. Any changes to the drainage patterns, soil compaction, organic nutrient cycling, or grade changes can significantly affect a tree’s chance for survival. Similarly, lot clearing can cause damage to the remaining trees by increasing their exposure to sunlight, wind, and other natural elements.
Many home builders in our area understand the esthetic value of trees as well as the impact a shade tree can have on a home’s efficiency. That’s why many developers and home builders will call an arborist to mark tree protection zones. By hiring a certified arborist before construction begins, you can rest assured in a carefully manicured plan to preserve the life of your trees. Craig’s Tree Service will come on-site, evaluate the quality of the tree population, the density of the trees, the species and variety, and factor in their survival potential. Protect the life of the trees you want to keep and prevent future costly tree removals that can cause damage to the recent construction.
When does a tree need removing?
In a perfect world, all trees would last hundreds of years and reach full maturity.
But if a tree has become diseased enough to pose a danger to the people and property, the hard decision to have it removed is sometimes the best decision.
When is a tree a danger? Usually, if decay or disease is at a level of 50% or more, then the tree is at risk for falling over without warning. Removing a tree, like lot clearing, is best left to certified arborists. Especially insured ones. And those who know how to take precautions to minimize the damage to your lawn, land, and surrounding vegetation and trees.
Pro Tip: If a gnarly storm makes the choice for you, make sure you call a certified arborist to evaluate the situation as well as the surrounding trees. We offer 24-hour emergency storm services.
Stump Grinding and Stump Removal
Stump grinding is an alternative to stump removal. It’s less dramatic. An arborist grinds the stump down to just below ground level. It’s more efficient, less intense, and leaves a pile of wood chips that can be used for mulch or landscaping.
The only disadvantage is that your landscape doesn’t have the clean slate that stump removal gives you because the tree roots remain. You can still plant grass where the stump used to be, however.
The roots will eventually break down.
Stump removal is more intrusive, as it involves removing the roots as well as the stump. As you can imagine, it’s a bigger investment in more time, labor, and machinery. Stump removal does leave behind a huge hole in your property, which must be filled in with dirt.
The upside? After stump removal, you’re left with a clean slate open to any new ideas you have for your landscape.
Tree Disease Diagnosis & Treatment
Each species of tree has its own unique enemies, though there are some in common. From oak wilt to girdling roots to the emerald ash borer, certified arborists know exactly how to care for a tree from infancy to full maturity for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. If there’s a way to save your tree, we will find it.
For more on each variety of tree, see our expert tips.
Tree Consultations & Assessments
Ever stared at a tree and wondered if something was wrong? Are those spots normal? Is the tree about to fall over? Are the branches growing correctly? Could my maple have girdling roots? What is eating the leaves?
There are so many questions, and the internet will only take you so far.
We have the answers—answers with execution that’s based on decades of experience and specialized skills. Craig’s Tree Service can send a certified arborist to assess your tree or trees for the services and care needed. The consultation charge is credited to the cost of your recommended service.
Cabling & Bracing
There are a few types of trees that are susceptible to weaker structure as they grow and benefit from cabling and bracing, a technique developed in the early twentieth century that is still used by certified arborists today. The need for cabling and bracing is to ensure that violent storms don’t result in toppled or torn trees.
24/7 Emergency Storm Service
High winds can leave enormous branches, or even trees, fallen across your property or house. In such cases, tree or branch removal becomes an emergency. We offer 24 hour, 7 day a week emergency storm service.
If there are structural damages or safety concerns, we will assemble our crew and remove hazard trees. We will also tarp your roof until a roof contractor can be contacted for roof repair.
Root Flare Excavation and Root Pruning
A little-known thing we do is offer root flare excavation and root pruning.
A root flare is the part of the tree root that is exposed and lays partially on top of (and partially in) the ground. If you’ve ever wondered if a tree is “supposed” to look this way, you’re not alone. It’s very healthy for a root flare to be partially exposed to air, not to mention that most people kind of like the look of it.
We also offer root pruning. Root pruning helps trees that are experiencing girdling roots. For more on girdling roots and root pruning, see our Expert Tips—the section on Maple trees and girdling roots, to be specific.
Emerald Ash Borer Treatment
An emerald ash borer is a pest that only became a threat to the Ash tree when it was inadvertently imported—some say in wooden packing crates. The packing crate theory makes sense because emerald ash borers love wood, of course.
Hundreds of millions of Ash trees die each year from emerald ash borer infestation. We can treat and eradicate infestations and protect your trees. We also provide EAB maintenance treatments to prevent Emerald Ash Borer, a program that treats your trees for Emerald Ash Borer prevention very couple of years.
For more, see the section on Ash trees in expert tips.