News and Blog Articles
News and Blog Articles
“Free estimate” can mean a lot of different things, and as you might expect, every company has its own standards on what a free estimate entails. Generally speaking, free estimates include a company representative coming out to your property, assessing the work you’d like done, and offering an estimated cost for that work.
Sometimes, that free estimate includes anything and everything you’d like evaluated, and sometimes it can only include one evaluation of one tree. Sometimes it can be twenty minutes long, and other times, it might take over an hour. And sometimes, “free” doesn’t really mean “free,” and you might end up paying for extra time, extra assessments, or other hidden costs.
So what do our free estimates include?
At Classic City Arborists, when we say “free estimate,” we mean a completely free estimate. No time limit, no maximum number of trees we’ll look at, and no hidden costs.
Estimate lengths are hard to pin down, because each and every one is different. When you schedule, your appointment will likely be scheduled for a range of time (like between 2pm and 4pm, or from 10am to 12pm).
Once Scott gets there, it becomes your show! Since you’re the one who knows what kind of work you’re looking to have done, which trees you’re concerned about, what foliage you’d like removed, etc, Scott will look to you to show him around. He’ll follow you from tree to tree on your property and listen to your thoughts, asking a lot of questions and taking detailed notes as you go. He’ll give you rough estimates of how much what you’re wanting will cost, and offer his expert advice.
Some examples of work you might ask about includes things like “I need this tree removed so I can put a pool here,” or “this tree is too close to our house, and it drops nuts and twigs on our roof,” or “I think this tree is dead, and I don’t want it to fall on my fence.” The length of time your estimate takes depends on how many issues you want addressed, and how much discussion each one takes.
Here at Classic City Arborists, we pride ourselves on our informative, honest treatment of our customers. Scott isn’t there to try and sell you extra work, or scam you into giving us more money; we believe in explaining to our customers exactly how much a job will cost them, if that job is necessary, or if there’s other work that needs to be done for safety or to accomplish what the customer is looking for.
This is one of the reasons we believe it’s extremely important that Scott is ISA-certified; not only can he do the work you want done, but he can tell you if it’s necessary or if there’s more work that needs to be done for you, your home, and your family to be safe.
Keeping in line with our policy of honesty and transparency, we always encourage customers to get more than one estimate on the work they want done. This helps you to get a real feel for the market cost of this kind of work, and allows you to meet other professionals in this field that might have different opinions, suggestions, and/or recommendations. We want you to get the work you need done, at the price you can afford – even if that’s not with us.
If you do choose to move forward with us, yay! We will get your work scheduled and be in touch with you on a weekly basis until the work is completed. If you choose to work with a different company, however, then kudos for doing your research and making an informed decision.
We do, however, recommend that no matter what company you choose to work with, you find someone that is insured, preferably with automobile insurance, general liability insurance, and worker’s compensation coverage. These things will add some cost to your work, but they protect you from liability in the event of an accident.
Whatever your decision, we’re honored that you chose us for an estimate, and appreciate your business no matter its capacity.
Click Here to schedule your free estimate today!
Quercus phellos, otherwise known as the willow oak, is a deciduous tree of the red oak family, native to North America.
These medium-sized trees typically reach heights of 65 to 100 feet with a trunk diameter between 4 and 5 feet, though some have been recorded growing as high as 128 feet with a trunk diameter of up to 6 feet. Despite their grand size, these oaks typically maintain a shallow, fibrous root zone, making them easy to transplant.
Thanks to their value as shade trees, willow oaks are a popular choice to line sidewalks or public parks; when young, they have a pyramid-like shape that will fill out to a more round shape as they age. This visually pleasing balance of axial and radial dominance, in addition to its full crown and delicate leaves that contrast those of other oaks, makes willow oaks an attractive addition to any landscape.
Subsequently, these trees are referred to as willow oaks, despite having no actual relation to willow trees (though they do share a similar manner of absorbing water!).
During the spring, willow oak leaves are a bright, attractive green on top with a paler, muted green on the underside. This underside can sometimes be lined with downy hair, but the leaves are otherwise hairless. The distribution of the leaves creates a dappled shade effect; if you’ve ever sat beneath one, you know how relaxing it is to have enough light to see by without being hounded by the harsher of the sun’s rays.
In summer, the leaves darken to a warmer green, and in autumn, they can turn a stunning golden yellow or a rustic, burnt red before they fall, making them even more attractive as a landscape addition. Georgia is well-known for its beautiful fall landscapes, and willow oaks are no exception!
The bark of the willow oak ranges from a muted brown to a soft grey color and is identified as chunky-scaly, referring to the irregular fissures that run along the trunk. As a kid, you probably tried to peel bark like this to see how long a piece you could get! With this color and pattern combination, willow oaks are considered attractive even when bare, making them visually pleasing even during the winter.
In addition to their expansive size, willow oaks can present stark competition for sunlight, water, soil nutrients, and other resources. Their elevated water needs when young will often have them pirating water from other plants in the area, and their rapid growth rate means they can easily deplete surrounding soil of its nutrients as quickly as it can be replaced, leaving little to no nutrients for other flora in the area. If you have a lot of other trees and plants around, make sure your willow oak doesn’t steal all their resources!
Overall, when considering adding a willow oak to your yard or home landscape, keep in mind their growth rate and size, as well as their high water needs when young; where space permits, these trees are a grand addition, so long as they are left ample room to grow to their full potential, and are sufficiently supplied with water and nutrients to prevent negatively impacting the surrounding flora.
Quercus phellos, Wikipedia.org
Willow Oak Trees, Gardening Know How
Willow Oak, University of Kentucky
Willow Oak, Wood Database
Pic 1 - Online Plant Nursery, onlineplantnursery.com/buy-willow-oak-tree-for-sale
Pic 2 - Dave's Garden, davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/53594/#b
Pic 3 - Kiefer Nursery, kiefernursery.com/product/quercus-phellos/
Pic 4 - Shade Tree Farm, shadetreefarm.com/2011/01/05/willow-oak/
Pic 5 - Nativ Nurseries, nativnurseries.com
Pic 6 - Arbor Day Blog, arbordayblog.org/treeoftheweek/willow-oak-handsome-southerner/
Did You Know Pic - American Forests, americanforests.org/big-trees/willow-oak-quercus-phellos/
This isn’t Walmart. This isn’t your favorite coffee shop. This is a small business located right in your neighborhood. We shop at the same grocery store as you. We go to your church and our children go to school with your children. Family is just as important to us as it is to you, which is why we went into business for ourselves. While this business requires lots of dedication and hard work, it allows us to spend more uninterrupted time with our children and our family.
When you give us a call, you won’t have to deal with a machine that has you press number after number to reach a customer service representative. You will be calling my personal number, and If you don’t reach me directly, rest assured that my phone is always on me in case my children do something picture worthy (which is all the time). If you reach my voicemail, please leave a detailed message. This isn’t an over-full inbox checked by a bunch of different workers. Your voicemail will be in my personal inbox, right next to the ones from my mother-in-law asking when she can come visit. The minute I see it (which is pretty quick, considering my mother-in-law likes to worry), I’ve flagged it as important and I will follow up as soon as I have a moment without crying children in the background. That could take up to 24 hours because children are unpredictable (and there’s only so much coffee you can drink in a day).
When you schedule an appointment with us, you won’t be meeting with a disgruntled worker. You will be meeting directly with my husband, a Certified Arborist and co-owner of our business. He won’t rush through your conversation trying to get to the next client, because your business is important to us. We take extra time to ensure that we are all on the same page and we’ve answered all of your questions (don’t worry, there’s no way you could ask more questions than our 3-year-old does on a daily basis!). My husband personally arrives at appointments to give estimates, and runs point on almost all of our jobs. Sometimes, appointments require additional time, jobs run longer than expected, or sick children require some attention. Please be patient with us if your appointment is delayed or needs to be rescheduled. We do our absolute best to keep you updated on any conflicts and ensure we get to you in a timely manner.
When you look at your estimate, you won’t see a bunch of legal jargon disguising endless fees. You will see a line-by-line detailed explanation of the work to be done, exactly as it was discussed during the appointment. Each line has an item number correlating to the marked trees on an aerial screenshot of your yard. If you want to remove trees from your estimate, it’s clear and easy to see which line items pertain to that tree and the pricing to go with it. If anything on the estimate seems to be incorrect or you have any questions or concerns, please don’t throw the estimate in the trash! Give us a call and we will be more than happy to review everything with you and even schedule an additional appointment if need be.
When you accept your estimate, you won’t be placed on an endless waiting list. You will be placed on our next available scheduling date, which is usually 4-6 weeks out. Every week I send out an email to keep you informed of where your work is on our calendar. We try to keep in constant contact with our customers so no one is left wondering what is going on. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out to us if we are not meeting your expectations. As I tell my 3-year-old, I can’t fix it if I don’t know what’s wrong! We will do our best to work around your schedule and complete the work in a timely manner.
When your work is being done, we won’t be secretive about what we are doing. Please feel free to stay and watch or go about your day as usual. We will complete everything as listed in the estimate in a safe and timely manner. When you return home, you will hardly be able to tell that we were there (except for the now missing tree). We strive to “leave it better than we found it” and take care to clean up after ourselves.
When your work is completed, you won’t be left in the dust as we move on to the next client. We are always available for follow up questions or concerns to ensure you are completely satisfied with your job. If you are, we would greatly appreciate it if you would take a moment of your time to leave a review. Small businesses such as ours thrive on word-of-mouth from our satisfied customers. If you are unable to leave a positive review, please let us know! Happy customers are our top priority (after safety, of course) and if we have not succeeded, then please give us a chance to make it right.
At the end of the day, your business means the world to us, and we are so grateful that you chose to support our little family business.
A Mother and Small Business Owner
Rebekah Rushing is a mother of two under four and the co-owner of Classic City Arborists. When she isn't dealing with snotty noses and dirty diapers, she manages customer service, accounting & finance, marketing & advertising, and human resources. If you have worked with us on a project, then you have undoubtedly spoken with her on the phone at least once! Check out our website, which she designed, or give us a call to speak with her directly.
Congratulations to Scott Rushing for obtaining the ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification. We are now able to offer official Tree Risk Assessments to our customers.
1. What is a Tree Risk Assessment?
A tree risk assessment, in short, is a process used to determine the overall risk that a tree, or its parts, poses to potential targets (people, vehicles, buildings, other things of value or importance). All trees pose a potential risk of some level, but that doesn’t mean that every tree should be removed. Most trees risk levels are very low and often don’t need any immediate attention to eliminate risk. A tree risk assessment is used to determine which trees pose a threat by having a high likelihood of failure within a specified time frame.
2. Why is it important to have a Tree Risk Assessment done?
Preventative care is often the best course of action when dealing with trees in the urban landscape. As home owners or property managers, you can identify when trees have obvious defects or when they have completely died easily. As an International Society Arboriculture certified arborist with tree risk assessment qualifications, Classic City Arborists can identify the indicators of potential tree failure that would often go unnoticed. By scheduling tree risk assessments once every 8 to 12 months you can greatly reduce the likelihood of property damage or personal injury due to whole tree or tree part failures.
3. What’s the difference between an estimate and an assessment?
When we are called for an estimate, which is usually free of charge, the property owner/manager already has a list of items that they want pricing on. For example: Remove this tree… Raise this canopy… Grind this stump
In an assessment, the arborist must evaluate all trees on the property for potential risks which often takes much more time and requires more thorough examination on each tree. After assessing trees for risks, a report is written and mitigation options along with pricing are listed.
4. What will the assessment cost?
The most commonly asked questions in the tree care industry are what is wrong with my tree and how much is it going to cost me? As a home owner we understand that you want to retain as much money as possible while also maintaining a certain level of safety. At Classic City Arborists, we strive to serve our customers by being knowledgeable and professional regarding the services that we provide. Having said that, we must charge for our time in the field assessing trees for risk. In most cases we charge 100.00 per hour for tree risk assessments or a 75.00 dollar minimum charge.
The oak trees shown here would usually be a beautiful part of the back yard landscape for this client, but instead they have been choked out by the ivy and are in decline. The client wants to remove the trees instead of cutting the ivy off in this case. Normally, this would be a straightforward removal but in this case the majority of the ivy needs to be removed before the tree can be safely taken down. (Ivy needs to be removed enough to where the Arborist can inspect the tree for any defects that could cause the tree to fail during removal)
In short, between extra time needed for removal and extra time spent cleaning up debris (ivy) this tree can cost 1.5 to 2 times more than the normal market price to remove. Don't let ivy overtake your landscape!
Most people don't realize how damaging ivy can be to a tree.
- it can potentially choke out the canopy of a tree, causing it to partially or completely die back
- it adds hundreds of pounds of extra weight to a tree, which could cause an otherwise healthy tree to fail in extreme weather conditions
- it can hide mechanical defects that exist on a tree such as cavities or areas of decay
- it can make a tree much more costly to remove
How can you effectively manage ivy on your property?
- Prune ivy around the base of each tree that has ivy growing on it
- Be sure not to damage the bark of the tree when cutting the ivy off
- Don't use a chopping style tool, like an axe or machete, to remove the ivy, instead use a hand saw.
- You only have to cut away ivy on the lower 4 to 5 feet of the trunk, the rest will die and fall off over time
- Ivy may try to grow back up the trunk later, but it should be easy to prevent if you add "ivy prevention and pruning" to your yard maintenance plan once or twice a year.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
Scott - 706-340-9370
Rebekah - 706-614-6782
Our customers often offer reassurances about where we drop trees in their yard. We’ve been told things like: “That fence is really old and we are going to replace it. If you hit it, it’s no big deal.” But for us, it is a big deal. We understand that our customers are trying to help make our job easier for us, and we appreciate the thought. However, dropping a tree onto anything but the ground, whether on purpose or by accident, is unprofessional and something we try to avoid at all costs.
At Classic City Arborists, we are dedicated to the protection, not only of the customer and surrounding property, but also of the environment. When we plan the removal of a tree, we meticulously evaluate the immediate area, and determine the best location for dropping the tree or limbs where there will be the least amount of impact to existing wildlife and property. Then we carefully execute those plans utilizing our skills as certified arborists.
In addition, we have to consider other potential customers. While a customer may have allowed us to drop a limb onto their fence, another customer driving past may see the limb on the fence and wonder just what kind of experts we really are. We want to present a professional image to our customers, because we are professionals doing a professional job. We have taken classes and passed the test to be considered an ISA Certified Arborist. Every year, we are required to collect continuing education classes to maintain that certification, and to keep our knowledge and skills up to date.
We want this hard work and dedication to our field to shine through with every job that we complete. Once we leave a job site, you shouldn’t be able to tell we were even there – besides the tree we were hired to remove.
Classic City Arborists is proud to now offer stump grinding services. This is accomplished by means of a disc attachment to our miniature Skid Steer that rotates at high speeds to grind the stump into small chips. All that will be left in the stump’s place, is a pile of small wood chips. This process can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the stump.
Remaining stumps in a yard can be an eyesore for the meticulous landscaper. Even an amateur landscaper will have difficulty navigating the lawn mower around the hidden stumps. While that stump may not be considered a blemish in the yard, it can still be a safety hazard. Small children and pets could trip and harm themselves revealing a hidden liability.
Removing decaying stumps from the yard will also reduce the amount of insects in the area. These pests feed off the opening left from the tree removal, and then work their way into the healthy trees, plants, and ornamental décor surrounding the leftover stump. The best way to reduce the possibility of additional pest destruction, is to remove stumps.
Leftover stumps can also sprout multiple new trees from the roots. When a pesky Sweet Gum tree is removed to eliminate all the Sweet Gum Balls on the ground, if the stump remains, it can quickly sprout multiple new Sweet Gum Trees that will swiftly grow to release their own little hazards all over the yard. Practice self-pruning in a yard by removing the stumps to limit which trees grow back.
Our stump grinding service is offered both on its own and also added to any tree removal service. Call today for a free estimate.
Back in December of 2015, I gave an estimate to a client for removing a sweetgum tree that had been dead for at least six months and it was evident that it was hollow at the base. The tree itself was not very large, but did stand about 80 feet tall with a 16 inch base and could still pose a threat to people and property due to the fact that. It was located within 5 feet of the driveway and 15 feet of the home.
Some time had passed and I figured that the homeowner had found someone else to do the job for them. To my surprise, I received an email in April asking if my price would still be honored for removing the tree. I replied to the email stating that I would indeed honor the price given during the estimate as long as there were no distinct changes in the tree or job details.
On May 4th, 2016, I arrived to remove the sweetgum tree. After evaluating the tree again, I decided that I could still remove the tree for the agreed upon price.Below are some picture of the tree before removal and during removal. I will discuss the photos in detail to better describe the process of removal and describe the importance of removing dead trees as soon as they are noticed.
(Article Continued Below Slideshow)
In short, It is of the utmost importance for safety of people, pets and property to remove dead trees as soon as they are identified. Even though we took precautions to account for the tree breaking as we removed it, sometimes accidents still happen. It is hard to predict what might happen as compounding forces act on a dead tree. If this tree had been taken out even a few months later, or not at all, it could have caused major harm to person or property. On the contrary, if the tree had been taken down in December, it might not have broken at all during removal.
If you have identified dead or dying trees on your property, please have a certified arborist give you an estimate for removal and schedule the removal in due time. It's safer for you and the workers removing the tree and it could also save you money!
-Scott Rushing, Owner, Classic City Arborists
If you need help identifying dead or dying trees please feel free to give
Classic City Arborists a call for a free consultation. 706-614-6782
When should a Tree Risk Assessment performed on your property? There are multiple factors to consider when assessing the “safety” of a tree.