As of April 2017, nearly all of St. Paul ash trees are within the buffer zone of Emerald Ash Borer infestation. This means that if you haven’t created a management plan for your ash tree already, this should be the year you determine a plan before it is too late. If you do so choose to manage your ash trees, consider hiring an ISA Certified Arborist who can offer the help you need.
Arborists specialize in the care of trees and have a mission to protect and promote the health of individual trees and inform people if their tree is hazardous. If you need an expert, begin your search for a professional arborist with an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist endorsement. An ISA endorsement helps to insure an arborist is trained and knowledgeable in the work of tree care and health. You can find a listing of arborists certified in Minnesota at www.isa-arbor.com/faca/findArborist.aspx. Additionally, verify that the Certified Arborist has all necessary permits and licenses required for working within the city of Saint Paul. Visit http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=3411 for a list of tree care companies licensed in Saint Paul.
Click here for all the info you’ll need for understanding EAB in St. Paul: www.stpaul.gov/departments/parks-recreation/natural-resources/forestry/disease-pest-management#emerald
Other tips to help you in selecting the best tree professionals:
- Verify that your arborist is insured for property and personal damage and worker’s compensation. You may be having work done on a tree that could cause a lot of damage to your property or bodily harm to the workers – make sure you’re protected!
- Call more than one arborist for an estimate – shop around! Getting more than one bid will help to ensure you are getting a fair price, and it is important to get more than one opinion on what should be done. For example, it may not make sense to inject a dying tree – get another opinion!
- Don’t just accept the lowest bid. Examine the credentials and written specifications of companies that submit bids, and then determine the best combination of price, work to be done and arborist skill level for your project.
- Bids should include sales tax, cost of stump grinding, if needed, and the timeframe of the project (start and end times).
- Get references and spend time verifying the quality of the work that was done and how happy the customer was with the work performed.
- Review literature available on the ISA website to become familiar with current standards; be wary if a company’s work proposal is contrary to ISA recommendations.
- Never pay in full before the work is completed, if possible.
- Ask for a contract, which should include detailed specifications for what work will be done, including who’s responsible for clean-up, wood disposal, and where and how the wood is disposed.
- Consider giving preference to a company that is a member of the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).