General Tree Care Questions

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Recent storms damaged my trees.  What do I do?

Summer and winter storms can cause severe damage and tremendous stress to your trees.  Obviously, downed trees should be removed.  What about other damage to your trees?  What should you do?

Minor damage, small branches of the tree being broken, usually results in little or no permanent injury to the tree.  Crown cleaning to remove broken twigs and branches is all that's required to restore a pleasing shape.

However, more severe damage; large broken branches, splitting or cracking of the trunk, and split crotches can spell disaster for the tree, person, or property.  These situations require a professional. 

At Paul Bunyan we take the time and effort to save a tree only if the tree will still be healthy, attactive, and of value to the property after the repairs.  If the tree will be vulnerable to additional damage from future storms given its brittle wood and/or branch structure, we may recommend removal.

Some of the factors to consider when determining if a tree is worth saving:

  • Age
  • Vigor
  • Species
  • Value it adds to the property
  • Sentimental value

If a decision is made to remove the tree, remove it as soon as possible.  As wood decays it becomes less structural sound and may require specialized equipment to safely remove the tree, thus adding cost.


How do I know my trees will be pruned properly?

Pruning is more than just sawing off limbs.   Proper pruning is an art based on scientific principles of plant physiology.  At its basic level, pruning trees involves removing dead or structurally weak and damaged limbs which will improve a tree's health and reduce chances of limb failures which can cause personal or property damage.

Professional arborist's have the ability to make trees safer and more attractive by pruning live growth as well.  Proper pruning improves plant health, repairs damage, encourages growth, can increase flower and fruit production, and adds aesthetic appeal.  Pruning at the right time and in the proper manner is essential, since improper pruning can easily kill a tree.

Ask your tree care professional is they pruning according to the American National Standards Institute standard for tree pruning, called the ANSI A300.  This standard requires the recommended use of certain tools, cutting techniques, and pruning methods be followed, and sets the standard definitions for terms the arborist will use when writing your estimate.  Properly written estimates will be in accordance with ANSI A300 standards.  ANSI A300 also sets guidelines for basic pruning practices that should be followed.

If your arborist is adhering to the ANSI A300 pruning standard, they:

  • will not top or lion's tail trees
  • will not use wound paint
  • will not make heading cuts
  • will not leave branch stubs
  • will not cut off the branch collar
  • will not remove more than 25% of the total tree foliage in a year
  • will not damage other parts of the tree during pruning (no climbing grafs for pruning)
  • will not prune without good reason

At Paul Bunyan's Tree Service, we adhere to the highest industry principles including those set by the International Society of Arboriculture, the Tree Care Industry Association, and the ANSI A300 standards.  Contact us for all your proper pruning needs.     


Once trees become established don’t they basically take care of themselves?

While trees growing in the forest and other natural areas can basically take care of themselves, those growing in cities and suburbs need help staying healthy and beautiful. They contend with air pollution, road salt, confined roots, trunk damage, compacted or poor quality soils, improper pruning and other stresses. Your trees and shrubs may benefit from pruning, mulching, irrigating, soil management or other TLC to thrive.

Your trees and shrubs are valuable, adding both to the value of your property and the quality of your life. To live long and healthy lives, they need proper care.


Our landscaper says they do tree care. Can’t we just have them do it?

If you need heart surgery, would you go to your family doctor or a Cardiologist? So why have a lawn company care for your woody plants?  We're trained specialist in the care of your trees and shrubs. When you work with Paul Bunyan’s Tree Service, you benefit from having trained, educated and certified professionals caring for your trees. Our staff of Certified Arborists endeavor to follow the most progressive standards and guidelines in the tree care industry. We're also insured to protect you and our workers.


R. Campbell, Salem, VA

I am writing to commend Tim Hullett and the crew of Paul Bunyan's Tree Service for the prompt response and efficient handling of the emergency...

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L. Begley, Roanoke, VA

Thank you for a exceptionally good job.  Your employees were very nice and did a good job for us.