Tree FAQs

Why are the leaves curling and turning brown?

The cause of this is usually lack of water. If you feel this problem is less likely it could be that the soil is draining very quickly and the roots are not getting what they need. It could also be that the tree is on a slight slope, in which case most of the water may be running off the slope.

Why are the leaves on my trees and shrubs yellowing?

Yellow leaves usually suggest a condition commonly referred to as chorosis. Although this is a general term to describe leaf yellowing, with certain plants like pin oak, sweetgum trees, rhododendrons and azaleas this condition is quite common and reflects a nutrient imbalance often caused by alkaline soil. An arborist should be consulted to treat this problem.

Why should I prune my trees?

Trees should be pruned by an arborist or a trained tree service professional to avoid poor pruning practices. Good pruning keeps your trees attractive, healthy and less susceptible to injury from natural forces such as strong winds and ice. On the other hand, poor pruning practices, “topping” in particular, destroys the natural look of a tree and makes it more prone to pests and weather problems. It ultimately shortens the tree’s life span. Professional tree work will cost more, but view it is as an investment. If you don’t have the knowledge or the equipment to properly prune larger trees, you may injure yourself; or damage the tree, nearby buildings, utility wires or other landscape plants while pruning.

How do I protect trees during construction?

The first step is to identify the trees on your property and decide what trees you want to save. Consult an arborist so you can have the trees you’d like to protect accurately identified, their condition determined and tell you what to do to prepare the site for construction with the trees in mind. The consulting arborist can prepare a detailed plan you can use to insure that the trees will have every chance of surviving the construction process and beyond. This is the only way to reduce or eliminate tree damage. Waiting until injury symptoms from construction appear to contact a tree care service, which could typically be one to two years and sometimes five or more years after construction, will usually be too late.

Why is it necessary for a tree company to have insurance?

Tree work is dangerous and should only be done by a professional. Liability insurance is important because it protects you, the homeowner, and your property from potential risk and damage. Workman’s compensation insurance protects tree professionals while they are working on a job. When you are seeking to hire a tree company, be sure to request proof of comprehensive insurance from their insurance carrier before any work is started.

What if a tree needs to be removed, will my property be protected?

At Friendly Tree, we take every precaution necessary to protect your property and minimize any impact to the landscape. For example, our crews lay down protective material over sensitive areas when necessary. Further, our foremen and crews are extremely experienced in all types of removals and pruning. Our clients constantly compliment us by mentioning that it is almost impossible to tell we were on their property other than to perform tree work!

Why Do I need a Tree Service?

Trees are all around us, offering benefits to the environment, providing us with oxygen, medicines and shade. Like people, trees should have an annual check-up to ensure their health, safety, and continued vigor. Promoting beautiful and healthy trees requires a specific plan, knowledgeable personnel and professional equipment. Friendly Tree follows the tree and shrub care standards set by the American National Standards Institute.

What is a Certified Arborist?

A certified arborist has a broad base of knowledge about tree and woody plant care, pesticides, planting safety and related technical matters.

How often does my tree need to be pruned?

Trees should be pruned regularly, at least once per year. The best time to prune your trees is during the dormant season.

What trees are considered street trees?

Street trees are trees that fall within the public right-of-way (R-O-W). Usually these trees are between the sidewalks and curb in tree pits. However, sometimes the trees are still considered street trees when they are on the other side of the sidewalk, depending on the width of the particular street’s R-O-W. To be sure of whether a tree is a street tree, call your town Department of Public Works.

Can I trim the branches of the neighbor’s tree that hang over my yard?

Yes, you have the legal right to trim tree branches to the property line. But you may not go onto the neighbor’s property or destroy the tree itself.

When is the season for planting trees?

“Bare-root” tree planting is done during dormant winter months, most often after late November but before March 31st. You may need to do it a little earlier or a little later in warmer or colder climates. Planting “root-balled” trees is a little different. For the most part any season is OK for planting balled or burlapped trees but be sure to contact our arborists for the specifics of each tree.

How do I know which tree species is ideal to plant in my region?

Refer to the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Wizard tool for a fun and easy way to determine which tree is perfect for your home. This tool will take your hardiness zone, personal interests, and growing conditions into account when generating recommendations. Also our tree expert at Friendly Tree can help to assist you choosing a tree that is perfect for your property.

What do I need to do to maintain my tree for the first three years after planting?

The two most important ways to maintain your tree are by watering weekly in the summer and keeping lawnmowers and weed whackers away from the bark. All of the living tissue of a young tree is at the surface, so bark damage can quickly kill a young tree.

 What is my Hardiness Zone?

Check out the USDA’s interactive map here:

What is a “Shade Tree”?

A “Shade Tree” typically refers to a medium or large tree, often with a spreading canopy, which provides significant shade.

What is an “Ornamental Tree”?

An “Ornamental Tree” typically refers to a tree of a small mature size, generally 25 feet tall or shorter.  Ornamental trees often have attractive features, such as showy flowers.

Should I “top” my trees?

Topping violates proper pruning techniques and is one of the worst things you can do to your tree. Topping is the extensive cutting back of tree branches to stubs. Most people top their trees to reduce its size not knowing that topping stresses trees, causes decay, creates hazards, and ruins the natural beauty of the tree. Trees that have been topped are more prone to storm damage as well as insect and disease problems. Hiring a tree care service to recommend the best strategy without ruining the tree is the best route to go. Sometimes the best solution is to remove the tree and replace it with a species that is more appropriate for the site.

My tree was damaged in a storm. Can I save it?

Maybe; it depends on the age of the tree and the extent of the damage. The best thing is to not make matters worse by attempting to self-prune.  We can have our tree expert stop out and help direct you in the best path to take for your tree and your property.

I think that tree roots have broken into my sewer line.  What should I do?

Roots will most certainly take advantage of any existing break, crack, or separation in a line of sewer pipe, but they will not initiate a break. The problem is with your pipes, not the tree. Be sure to seek the advice of our certified arborists for suggested solutions to this problem.

Are trees a good investment?

Yes, better than the stock market!  Research conducted by the USDA Forest Service shows that for every $1 invested in trees, $2.70 worth of benefits is returned. Learn more about the benefits of trees at


Will this tree fall?

Hazard assessment is one of the many services we offer.  As trees grow and age they become subject to many stress factors that may affect their structural integrity. It is important to have a certified arborist visit your outdoor home and advise you of any possible danger from tree failure.

What if my tree falls but doesn’t damage anything?

If a tree falls down and causes no damage, meaning your house doesn’t need any repairs, your homeowner’s insurance policy typically will not help to cover the tree itself. So, if you need the tree to be removed, you’ll most likely have to pay for it yourself.

What happens if the tree that fell was on my neighbor’s property?

If, the reason the tree fell was sudden and accidental, such as a storm knocking down a healthy tree, it does not matter whose tree hits your house; your own homeowners insurance policy would help cover the damage to your home.

Am I responsible if a tree from my property damages my neighbor’s property?

The only way you’re considered responsible if your tree damages your neighbor’s property is if you neglected to care for your tree, which in turn played a part to the tree’s demise. If not, if a storm knocked your healthy tree onto your neighbor’s house, your neighbor will have to file a claim with his or her own insurance company.