Options on Declining Trees

By Don Williams, the Tree Wizard

Now that you realize that you have declining trees, what are your options?

Here's what you need to know about saving trees that may be stressed, declining, or diseased, and how we work to save them.

First, I look at your trees in an attempt to determine what is causing the decline or stress. Second, we listen to what you think is happening to the trees. Third, we discuss your previous watering schedule. Fourth, we advise you of the most likely issue and the process to remedy. We write up a sheet with recommendations and pricing.

The standard method of treatment is for a company to treat and tell you to call him/her in a year or two if tree does not improve. They charge for call backs. This is not the way to successfully do tree treatments.

However, we at Big Country Trees have 52 years experience at this so we fully understand the issues. It is not possible to treat a tree once and expect continuous improvement of trees, so we had to come up with a workable program. After several revisions we devised the best system possible in the attempt to give you effective service and this is how it works. We are the only tree company with this program. When doing tree treatments we know from history that it takes time for improvement and we tell you the cost that includes treatment now, then we come back in 4-5 months and review the condition of tree. We normally just retreat the tree at that time with no additional charge.

We always retreat oak wilt treatments at the first 4-5 month time frame with no additional charge. Then we come back again in 4-5 months and review condition. If a tree is not too far gone we generally have good results. Reviewing the tree’s conditions with two followups for a year helps with success.

You probably have other trees that are not as bad so we can look at them to maybe prevent what happened to the tree you originally call about. This first annual payment covers 12 months of tree injection service with the opportunity to renew (usually for same price) for another year. We recommend this as it takes time for recovery and we do not like failures. Usually failure is when we were not called earlier when a tree was in savable condition. We understand customers will sometimes wait and call after a tree has been looking stressed for a year or two. A sample call is “I have a sick tree”. I walk to the front door seeing declining trees in front yard. When arriving at the door to contact the customer he or she will usually say “the sick tree is in the back”. The tree in back may be near death, but I can usually help the declining trees in front that the customer never realized had a problem. We are in your yard to help you keep your trees healthy and will at times make comments on some of the other trees.

At the end of the first 12 month period we have been in your yard three times. Janet (my wife) will then call you and ask if you would like to renew the same contract for another 12 months, again charging the same amount as the first time.

90% of customers say yes because they see improvement and do know we did come back to review their trees two times after treatment. The procedure is as we discussed and we then arrive at an agreement and write up the contract. We treat within a few days and remind you we will follow up this tree for one year. We do not miss you on followups. Sometimes people are not home, but we leave a note and phone call leaving message and what time we were there and what service we did. If you have a locked gate we call ahead to determine proper time to be there.

We service a 9 county area and usually in your area 2-3 times per week. Again we are the only tree company with this program and we make it happen by following this system.