The tree doctor has always pledged to provide state-of-the-art, scientifically sound tree care, informed by research and experience. All treatments are planned and in virtually all circumstances, supervised by a certified arborist.
Unless specifically stated otherwise (see below), all treatments are unconditionally guaranteed.
We are sometimes asked about the extent of the guarantee.
The answer is the same as a human doctor will give. We guarantee that we will do the best service possible. We guarantee that we will inform our customers of the problem identified and the treatments available. We guarantee that we will apply treatments according to accepted standards, with appropriate timing and in the recommended doses or rates. We guarantee that a certified arborist will assure that treatments are applied correctly and skillfully.
But just as a doctor cannot guarantee results, we also cannot guarantee results. When dealing with living trees with living pests and living diseases in an environmental system over which we have little control, we can only guarantee what we have control over.
However, we always try to inform customers of our past results and our expectations for various treatments.
FOLLOWING ARE SOME APPROPRIATE EXPECTATIONS:
1. ASH TREES TREATED FOR ASH BORERS. If the tree has at least 70% of normal foliage cover at the time of treatment, we will usually guarantee the treatment because those trees almost always survive. Some trees with 70% of foliage, but a lot of damage to the trunk and branch bark may not be guaranteeable. If the tree is guaranteed, there will be a line item in the invoice that mentions the guarantee and that will be your written documentation of the warranty. If you have more than one ash that has been treated, the guaranteed ash trees will be identified by tag number. If it is not mentioned in the invoice, then the tree is not guaranteed. The ash guarantee is good for two years from the time of injection. After that, the guarantee continues only if treatments are repeated at recommended intervals (currently every two years.) See below for definitions and explanations.*
If multiple ash trees are treated and a guaranteed ash dies before the next treatment is due, the cost of the previous treatment of that tree will be credited toward the next round of treatments of the remaining trees.
2. ELM TREES TREATED FOR DUTCH ELM DISEASE PREVENTION. Elm fungicide injections are guaranteed only if the tree is still healthy one year after the first injection. That is because there is no sure way to know if the tree has already been inoculated with DED fungus when we first treat it. Alamo injections are guaranteed for one year, Arbotect for two years. Money back guarantee if the tree dies from Dutch elm disease. (Arbotect, 100% in first year, 50% second year.) See below for definitions and explanations.**
3. SHADE TREES TREATED FOR SCALE. Scale populations will be reduced by at least 70% in large trees (over 25 inch trunk diameter) or trees with multiple main trunks, 80 to 90 % in smaller trees, with corresponding reduction in honeydew production (sap dripping). Trees will be re-treated at no additional charge if control is not achieved or if the scale returns the year of injection. As our brochure mentions, we often see two years of control with trunk injection using both quick acting and long acting insecticides.
4. ORNAMENTALS TREATED FOR SCALE. Scale populations will be reduced by at least 80 to 90%. Trees will be re-treated at no additional charge if control is not achieved in the year of injection or if the scale returns the year of injection. When two insecticides are injected, we often see two or more years of control.
5. BIRCH BORER INJECTIONS, TRUNK OR GROUND. There will be no evidence of new borer activity as long as treatments are continued. Two year control with trunk injection, one year with ground injection. This does not guarantee that the tree will survive. Birch trees are notoriously short-lived trees and when they are infested with borers, it is usually because they were stressed before the borers attacked the trees. This is especially true for native birch trees which have resistance to the borers unless they are stressed by root damage, excavation, drought, or other disorders. So if a birch tree dies within 2 years of a TREE-Age injection, we will examine it when it is taken down and if there are living borers within the tree, we will refund what was paid for the injection.
OUR PROMISE TO YOU:
- We will do our best to advise you regarding measures which will help keep your landscape trees and shrubs healthy and beautiful.
- We will do our best to identify problems and recommend the best approach, whether it be a specific treatment or watchful waiting.
- We will try to minimize the use of chemicals by treating only when necessary, thus avoiding environmental risks and harm to beneficial insects and other natural enemies of the harmful pests.
- We will try to inform you regarding the type of problem- Harmful to the health of the tree, Cosmetic only, Nuisance, or combinations of these. We will help you to make an informed decision regarding action to be taken.
* ASH TREE DEATH. If your tree is guaranteed, and you believe it is dead or dying, we will examine the tree while it is standing and after it is cut down. We regard an ash to be dead if it has no leaves other than sucker sprouts. We regard it to have died from ash borers if it is dead and has signs of emerald ash borer damage including woodpecker bark damage, d-shaped holes in the lower part of the trunk and no leaves on any of the main leaders. If this is the case on a tree that we have treated one or two years prior, and there is evidence of new ash borer damage with living ash borers, we will happily refund the cost of that treatment.
We have treated many trees that have less than 50% of normal foliage and less than 50% of leaders alive and many trees with 50 to 70% of normal foliage, and have usually seen those trees survive with treatment. Often, the homeowners have removed the dead branches one to two years after treatment and no further branch death is evident and the tree often "rebuilds" a canopy by putting out new sprouts on the remaining branches. Some of those rebuilt trees look remarkably normal four to five years after first treatment.
We always inform homeowners that we cannot bring dead branches back to life and that some severely affected branches may die even after treatment. So we recommend trimming 12 to 18 months after treatment, especially if considerable trimming will be needed. That may avoid having trimming expenses twice.
We can only guarantee life or death of the tree. We cannot guarantee that the homeowner will like the tree or find it pleasing to their eye. We have found that people who do not do the trimming of the dead become less happy with their tree after a couple of years and have the tree removed even though it is still alive. We cannot be responsible for the changing attitudes toward a damaged but still surviving ash tree.
** ELM TREE DEATH. We regard an elm tree to be dead if it meets the criteria above for ash trees, but also if it shows definitive signs of Dutch Elm Disease: flagging and wilt of even one main leader in early summer, wilt of more than one main leader by fall. Unless DED becomes chronic, these signs mean almost certain death of the tree within one growing season, usually within just a couple of months.