Tree Care FAQs

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It is a standard practice among tree companies that the “tree” and the “stump” are two different things.  In other words, “tree removal” does not automatically include grinding the stump.  The “stump” is what is left in the ground after the tree is cut and removed.  Stump removal involves a process of grinding it up with a special machine.  The end result are relatively fine wood shavings usually mixed with some of the surround soil).  A “stump” becomes a “root ball” if and when the tree uproots pulling the stump and connected roots out of the ground.  Removing a “root ball” involves the same grinding process as a stump, except it is usually a bit messier and the wood material may not be as fine since it is loose when ground.

You should also know that “surface roots” are considered separate from any stump grinding process.  These are roots extending from the stump that are visible.  Some trees have notoriously large and numerous surface roots.  These could potentially be ground as well but are additional to the stump itself.

This first depends on what city you are located in?  If you are outside of any city limits (you don’t pay any city taxes) then the county requirements might apply.  Please check our tree removal ordinance and permit page for a jump start on what might apply for your location.

Also, don’t forget to consider any “State Waters” requirement that might apply.  Counties interpret differently so you need to check with your county to determine if (a) any water on your property is considered “State Water”, and (b) how they interpret the disturbance.  All State Waters (as defined by O.C.G.A.12-7) require a minimum undisturbed vegetative buffer 50’ wide and an impervious setback of 25’ measured from the top of bank of both sides of the stream or edge of water (i.e. lake/pond).

This stands for “diameter at breast height” and is a baseline measurement used for communicating the relative size of the tree. The diameter of the trunk is measured at about 4’ from the ground and is often necessary to have this measurement when applying for a permit.  (If you can hug the trunk and have your fingers touch, the DBH is 17” for an average sized man.)

That obviously depends, but it may not be necessary as often as you think. Many will propose using a crane simply because they have one and want to use it. Also, their use justifies a higher price for removal so some may have incentive to propose. Crane work is faster and may be preferred for various reasons, but is not always necessary.

This question should be asked when receiving quotes. This of course relates to how the tree is removed, but make sure to ask about debris removal and clean up.  Will debris be left at the street for someone to pick up at a later date? If this is the case, be careful! The “later date” could be weeks…or never.

There are actually some tree companies that operate under a business model where the sales, tree work and clean-up are three distinct facets that are sub-contracted out to separate organizations.  So, the crew doing the tree work is only responsible to move the debris to the street – then it’s up to a separate company to come clean it up!!  Guess how many times we’ve been called by a homeowner that had debris left at the street for weeks?

No! When receiving quotes, make sure to ask about how the removal will be done.  For example, how much of the tree will be dropped at once?  This is obviously the fastest way to fell a tree but it will certainly cause tremendous damage to surrounding landscape – above and potentially below the ground.  You should also ask about the equipment to be used.  For example, will a heavy Bobcat be used to move debris?  Or, will a heavy crane be used?  These can also cause significant damage to lawns, driveways and underground piping.

Unfortunately, no. There are several factors to consider when pricing for any tree work including size (height and diameter), proximity to structures, size of canopy, degree of lean, type of tree, etc. etc.  Additionally, you have companies that are “desperate” for various reasons.  They may be willing to price a job with no profit or even below cost.  While this might appear to be a good deal for the consumer, watch out!  Deals made in desperation rarely end well.