The September To-Do List »
From vacation ideas to gardening preparation, check out our September checklist to enjoy the rest of summer and get ready for fall.
From vacation ideas to gardening preparation, check out our September checklist to enjoy the rest of summer and get ready for fall.
Try our top home-winterization tips and ideas to prevent major winter blues.
Trimming and removing trees can be dangerous, if not deadly. Learn how to stay safe and when to call a professional.
First, I'm not sure what cruise the other person was on, but it certainly was not the one I was on. It has always been my experience that unhappy people tend to be unhappy no matter how good or bad an experience was. Perhaps you need to reflect on all of your negative experiences and relationships and see that the only constant in all of them is you. With that said, on to the cruise. I was visiting Philadelphia from the Boston area with my wife. The person at the front desk of our hotel suggested we try the new Philadelphia Belle. We were told that it was a four course meal with live entertainment. It sounded similar to a cruise we had taken last year in Boston on a ship called the Odyssey, so we decided to give it a try. We called to make reservations, and I spoke to a reservation person named Diane. If they need to improve on anything it would be the people who are answering their phones. She lacked the polish and professionalism I would have expected from an upscale dinner cruise. I was looking to make a reservation not look for a new best friend. When we arrived to Penn's Landing we found parking to be easy and straight forward, although a little pricy. Any issues with the price of parking disappeared when we saw the ship, and I do mean ship. What an amazing sight. The Philadelphia Belle will take your breath away with her size and elegance. It looked so well maintained, when they said it was built in 1994, I did not believe it. Getting our tickets was a quick and easy process and then it on the gangway, no wait. Very efficient. They also did not have the annoying camera people trying to squeeze a twenty dollar bill out of you for a picture I could take myself for free with my phone. We saw the captain and the his crew as we boarded. We entered into a well decorated lobby are where directed up a grand staircase to the third deck. Upon entering the dinning room we where in awe again. It was such a vast dinning room, with three chandleries. This made the Other ship we had been on, the Odyssey in Boston, look like a row boat. Everything look so wonderful. The lighting was just right, and the music was that was softly playing was just perfect. We where shown to our seat and our waiter came over shortly after. We ordered a signature drink at the suggestion of our waiter ( I can't remember the name), and we where not disappointed. My compliments to the bartender, a wonderfully balanced cocktail. We ordered our meals and where pleasantly surprised at the speed and efficiency of the food service. Our appetizers where very good. Our main courses, however, were outstanding. I had the chicken and my wife had the salmon. The level of quality of these dishes would be hard to match even at a land based fine dinning restaurant where you would pay twice as much and not get a lovely cruise included. They where both perfectly cooked and super flavorful. I am getting hungry just remembering it. Our desert was good, after the dinner, was tough to impress us. The entertainment was excellent, although the volume was a little high. We got up and danced for a while, soothing I had not done in years. We also checked out the upper deck, and although it was cold, the views did not disappoint. In too soon we where pulling back in and getting off. It seemed that as we left everyone on the boat thanked us for cruising with them, even the Captain was at the gangway thanking everyone as the left. What a great last impression. I thought the cruise was great, and I would defiantly do it again.
I called city wide roofing and 2 other companies for an estimate on my roof. I picked city wide because the estimator was very thoro he took before pictures and showed me issues that were present on my roof. The estimator also took his time explaining what needed to be done and wrote out a full estimate for me. While I was speaking to the estimator my neighbor next door came out and asked if he had time could he check his roof as well. My neighbor told me he was very happy with the explaination and what he had to say. So after writing out my estimate and he already gave me a discount my neighbor asked can we have our roofs done together? The estimator said I'll do you one better so not only did they work around our schedule but they also did both of our roofs on the same day they were able to give us an even better discount which was amazing(he explained how he could do that too) I had work that day but my neighbor let me know how hard the guys were working. I was able to get out of work early and I arrived when the roofers were finishing up which included cleaning up any debris from doing our roofs. Once there, they explained it was finished and I asked if they would leave the ladder up so I could see the work on the roof. The work was perfect everything was clean and I also gave the guys a camera to take after photos for me which they did for me and my neighbor. Needless to say both myself and my neighbor were impressed. thank you city wide
Pretty cool concept this is! I work about 65 to 70 hours a week and needed to move to a larger apartment since I work out of my home a couple days a week and I was starting to drown in paperwork in my little one bedroom on Arch St. I have no time to search through a bunch of newspapers and 10 different web sites every day so after talking to Ed, one of their reps I signed up right over the phone. He gave me access to their web site and I had password to get in to my own personal site that showed me everything that matched what I was looking for. I looked every morning at 5 AM while I drank my coffee, some days there were a lot of new places to check out, some days not. I liked it because their website gives you all the information about the places so I didn’t even have to waste time calling some of them because they didn’t have exactly what I wanted. I found the perfect place in a little less than a month and finally moved in last week. I love all the room I have, a great city view and all the amenities I needed. This was a fantastic way for me to have a lot of options with no time to search. Will recommend them to my co-workers and friends. Samuel D.
Finding the right arborists for the job is just like hiring any other professional tradespeople, such as plumbers or electricians. You want trustworthy people who know what they are doing, especially since they are working on or around your home - the most expensive piece of property you own.
Don't hire the first person who claims to be a professional, but only has a chainsaw and a flatbed pickup truck.
What Kind of Work Do You Need Done?
Before you search for an arborist, make sure you know what kind of work needs completing. Do your trees need a simple trim of their leaves and branches, or do you require a more serious task, such as sawing low-hanging branches that could cause damage to your house if a severe storm occurs?
Once you know the extent of the work you need completed, make a list of tree service providers in your area. If you know you have low-hanging branches that could prove to be problematic, it's smart to find an arborist sooner rather than later. Many tree service providers get a a lot of business after storms hit, so you could be waiting for a while if you delay in calling a professional.
You have a better chance of getting a good deal on trimming or tree removal if you get any necessary work done in the winter, as opposed to busy seasons like spring and summer.
Look for Reviews and Ask for Recommendations
Start your search for a tree service by looking at the online reviews of any companies in your area. Remember your family, friends and neighbors are also trusted sources of information, so ask them if they can recommend a tree service to you. Ask them what kind of jobs the arborist performed, how much they charged and if they were pleased with the results.
Are They Certified Arborists?
Not all tree service companies feature certified arborists. If you have trees you want to keep and care for, you need a full-fledged arborist for the job. Ask the company to verify qualifications and credentials before you sign or agree to anything.
Hiring a certified arborist gives you more options. In case you decide you don't want trees chopped down, ask if there's anything he or she can do to spare any sickly trees you might have.
Remember that the landscape of your yard either adds or subtracts to the value of your home, so upkeep of your trees is very important if you want good home equity.
Ask for Proof of Insurance
Before hiring a company, you need to know it's carrying enough insurance to cover any damage done to your property or any injuries that could result from the work done on your home.
Make sure you verify the tree service is insured and for the proper amount.
Request a Walkthrough
Don't sign a contract for the work until the arborist walks you through the details of the job and explains the kind of work he or she will be doing, how long it may take and what kind of equipment will be used.
While doing a walkthrough, ask how debris will be disposed of. Will the service be responsible for clean-up? It could be you want the tree converted into mulch or firewood. If so, make sure you and the arborist are both on the same page before you make a hiring decision.
This is also a great time to ask about the service's qualifications. Ask for a list of references you can contact regarding the quality of the service's work, as well as the tyeps of jobs it has performed in the past.
Compare Estimates and Average Costs
It's always smart to request estimates for jobs from several companies before making a decision. Obtain a written bid for any work.
How much you'll pay for services depends on how tall and large the tree is and what type of job is required. This is why the average cost of trimming a tree varies widely. Trimming or pruning a 30-foot tree can cost anywhere from $75 to $400, while taller species such as oaks and pines may run from $150 to almost $900.
The average cost of completely cutting down a large tree can be well over $1,000 with stump removal. The price of grinding down the tree's stump also varies. Many tree service professionals charge by the diameter, with the average price being $3 per inch.
Keep in mind that the more dangerous the job, the more it will cost to remove or even trim a tree. If the tree is located in a hard-to-reach area or if there are power lines either near it or in the way, a tree service will charge more.
With that being said, it's important to get an itemized invoice that shows how much each part of the job will cost, from the actual chopping down of the tree to the stump grinding and disposal.
A tree service professional, also known as an arborist, does much more than chop down trees and remove stumps from your front yard. As a homeowner, you likely want some greenery on your property. However, out-of-control trees and shrubbery can be hazardous to you and anyone who enters your yard. Trees can also balloon your homeowners insurance rates if a branch falls on your home, vehicle or somebody walking on your property.
Experienced tree service providers can give you insight into how to properly care for your trees and what to do if any of them are diseased. In fact, many homeowners regularly call on arborists to diagnose the health of their trees. Many times, tree service workers must fell a tree if it has contracted an ailment.
However, just keeping track of the fertilizer you use, the soil the tree is in and the amount of water the tree needs can keep some diseases at bay. This is why it's smart to hire an arborist, who can advise you on whether you can save the trees on your property or whether you should cut them down and remove them.
Arborists can also treat the tree and possibly cure it of common diseases such as canker, heart rot, root and butt rot, sooty mold, powdery mildew or verticillium wilt. Some of these ailments attack certain species of trees via the soil or roots, and if they aren't caught soon, the plant could die.
Tree service experts not only diagnose the diseases ailing your saplings, they also provide insect control if it happens that the plants are sick due to pests. Not all tree diseases are caused by fungi, bacteria and lack of water. Some bugs burrow through the bark and damage hardwood and softwood trees. Depending on the species of trees in your yard and the region of the country you live in, aphids, the infamous emerald ash borer or other pests could destroy your healthy trees. Calling an arborist sooner rather than later can help you head this problem off at the pass before you're stuck with a treeless yard.
Not only can an arborist help you ward off tree diseases and pests, he or she can also study samples of the soil on your property to determine if the ground isn't nutrient-rich enough to support vegetation.
Tree Cutting and Removal
Felling trees and mulching them into pulp is the most common job for which homeowners need arborists. However, you might need a tree service if you plan to construct a new home or if you're adding an addition to a pre-existing residence. If a tree happens to be in the way of your plans, call a service company. They can chop the offending plant down and remove the stump from your property so you can start building.
However, if you wish to protect the trees around your home from any construction work, a tree service can also help. An arborist can prune some of the branches to ensure the tree stays healthy but doesn't interfere with new construction or additions.
If a storm hits and damages your residence, a tree service professional is usually on your list of people to call for help after first responders and your insurer.
A professional service can completely remove a tree or just prune and saw off its branches if a storm damages a tree. After sawing or destroying the tree, professionals can then remove any of the dangerous debris from your yard by hauling it off.
Planting New Trees
Tree service companies don't just get rid of sickly or dead hardwood and softwood trees, they also offer their expertise and assistance if you want to plant new ones. If you want to add to the greenery in your yard but you're concerned about the right species to plant or where to put it on your property, seek the advice of an arborist.
Last but not least, tree service companies are also great places to get your wood if you happen to have a fireplace. Many tree businesses offer free delivery and stacking of hardwoods, such as maple or birch. These can make for the best firewood because they burn slowly and don't produce as much smoke as other types.
No industry is safe from hucksters and scam artists, unfortunately, and tree service providers are no exception to this rule. Do your due diligence and always ask for proof of insurance and certification before agreeing to any work. You will also want to be on the lookout for telltale signs of scams. Be cautious of any company that: