Trees perform many jobs in our ecosystem: providing housing and shelter for squirrels, birds, and other small animals, creating oxygen through its respiration processes, and adding both shade and aesthetic qualities to our yards. As such, it is hard to argue that trees don’t play an important role in our everyday lives, which is why it is important to give our trees the same care and attention that we do the rest of our homes.

In the same way that cars require regular oil changes and maintenance to continue functioning at their best, trees require regular pruning and landscaping. Routine tree pruning enhances the health of your trees by decreasing the risk of branches breaking, and regular removal of dead branches reduces stress on the tree trunk —all of which will improve the overall health and the visual appearance of your yard. Failing to keep up with pruning on the other hand can ultimately result in tree death, which not only hurts the environment, but can also cause significant damage to your home if the tree falls. In fact, tree pruning is so important that Andreas Hamann, associate professor of ecology at the University of Alberta, has been compiling reams of research on the topic, in an effort to inform the populace of the importance of proper tree care.

Many people are tempted to try maintaining their trees themselves in an attempt to save money. While in many cases a do-it-yourself approach is practical, in the case of tree removal and tree care, it is dangerous, and can cost significantly more money in the long run. This is true for three reasons: first, an inexperienced individual can be severely injured attempting to prune a tree by themselves. Accidents can come in the form of a fall from a ladder, an unexpected branch falling on an individual, or equipment-related injuries that can sometimes be fatal. Secondly, a poorly-performed pruning is actually worse on a tree than not pruning at all. The damage that can be caused by an inexperienced person trying to prune a tree can range from a result that is ugly to one that kills a tree entirely. Lastly, it will inevitably cost more money to try to have a bad pruning job repaired by a professional than to simply have your landscaping done correctly in the first place by a professional arborist, and the end result will likely not look nearly as good.

So, if you live in Edmonton, you need to have your trees trimmed, and you need to have the work done by professional tree care and removal experts, but with so many companies out there competing for your business, how do you choose? The good news is there are a few simple guidelines that you can follow to avoid getting scammed. First, the company should offer to come to your home and give you an estimate free of charge — a sales model employed by Edmonton-based tree care specialists, Chipps Tree Care. This proves that a company is serious and above-board. Second, they should be certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, and they should work within the standards set by this organization. This will ensure that your trees will be pruned to the highest of standards, and that you are working with a reputable company. And, lastly, reputation matters: read the company’s customer testimonials, and any online reviews you can find. A trustworthy company like Chipps Tree Care will not be afraid to show off their customer-care credentials.

In short, do not leave the care of your trees to just anyone — because it could cost you a lot of grief, a lot of money, or worse, the safety of someone you love. Get your tree pruning done correctly: your neighbours and the environment will thank you for it.