Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service Rule #147 – Selecting a Tree Service Contractor

Almost never, ever should you choose the cheapest tree service provider.

Tree services — trimming, pruning, even removal —  do not come round as especially necessary as do other landscape services, mowing, for example, or weed eating. So you should be especially careful as you choose your tree service, most especially after a storm when many trees in your neighborhood may have been damaged. Less-than-reputable tree services will flock to a storm-damaged area with prices far too good to be true.

Be always alert for tree service companies who give vague or evasive answers to these basic questions, questions you should ask any prospective tree service provider.

Will you please show me an up-to-date certificate of insurance and a copy of your work contract?  Ask this question first and foremost Any hesitation here means that the company is not properly insured and, consequently, that you will be liable for damage, accidents or injuries. If there is not an immediate and very positive answer to this question, run. Run, do not walk away from this prospective tree service company.

What are your credentials? Try to hire a company with an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist, a Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Accredited Business, or one employing a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional (CTSP). If the tree service company you hire will be working in proximity to electrical conductors, they should probably be Approved Line-Clearance Arborists.

Do you have references, recent references? Any tree service company deserving of your business will be happy to share a list of satisfied customers. Ask to see references from happy customers dated within the past month or so. Do not be impressed by old, perhaps contrived letters of approval.

Will you give me a detailed estimate? Try to obtain written estimates from three equally qualified companies to compare prices and, even more importantly, to understand the size and scope of the job.

How will you approach this job? Can you describe a plan of attack for completing the job. What equipment will you use? You most certainly don’t want massive power equipment driving over your lawn and flowerbeds, wrecking the flowerbeds Aunt Cathy began so many years ago. Ensure that the tree service provider knows the locations of sprinkler heads or other objects that may be damaged. Photograph the area before work begins so you have a record in case there is damage. Satisfy yourself that the tree service provider will keep your property clean during and, of course, after the project is completed.

How long will the project take? Does one tree service company suggest three days while another company says “Ma’am, we’ll be out of here before you know it.”

Does the company appear professional?  Look closely at the tree service company’s equipment. Are the trucks clean, apparently in good condition. Negligent care of a tree service company’s own equipment suggests equal treatment for our trees, your surrounding property.

Does the tree service company have a website? Design and content will give you a sense of the tree service company’s professionalism. And no website at all should be an immediate disqualifier. Be so very suspicious of any tree service company attempting to operate in this day and age without a web presence. Here at Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service, we’ve taken great pride in the appearance of and the information gathered here at abeslawnandtree.com  Please think of this website as the face of our tree service business. We’re here to serve you in any way we can. At a price that might not be the least expensive of the estimates, even the quotes, you might find, but with a guarantee of performance, a commitment to your satisfaction that only a family business with a long history in Wichita can give you.

Will your crew be using hardhats and other personal protective equipment while on my property? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that personal protective equipment be used for any tree care operation. As here at Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service, any reputable tree care company will require that its workers be fully protected.

Low cost estimates can be generated in the absence of any of the above considerations. You must have absolute confidence that the tree service company you choose has the necessary skill, experience, and training to do the work safely and efficiently, to the highest standards of performance and final appearance. Any company offering these qualities will have invested a considerable amount of time and money into the training of their staff, with ingrained habits of health for your trees and safety for themselves.

And so ask to see the tree service company’s training records. At Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service, we will gladly demonstrate, to your complete satisfaction, our staff’s experience and expertise in the safe, well-equipped, practiced complete of your tree service needs.

Call us at (316)722-2348 for complete, really very nice and comforting answers to these all-important questions in your selection of a tree service company.

Using the Parallax Method for Measuring Tree Height

Measure Tree Height Using the Parallax MethodThe Parallax method has been used for decades to measure the height of a tree. The image below shows the Parallax method for measuring tree height as developed by Michael Taylor. Michael Taylor has presented versions of this method in the past. Michael’s diagram is the clearest.

This method has received little attention from NTS members, because is suspect that it is not intuitive. Also, angle and distance errors have a magnified effect. Below I have created steps for measuring a tree height using the Parallax Method.

How to Measure Tree Height

1. Establish a baseline, from the ends of which, you can see the target

2. Mark the ends of the baseline as stations S1 and S2
3. Measure the baseline as X1 and its slope angle as Z from S1 to S2
4. From S1 sight S2 and take its azimuth AZ1,1
5. Then sight taregt T from S1 and take T’s azimuth AZ1,2
6. Compute angle a1 from the two azimuths
7. From S2 sight S1 and take its azimuth AZ2,1
Measure Tree Height Diagram8. Sight taregt T from S2 and take T’s azimuth AZ2,2
9. Compute angle a2 from the two azimuths
10. Compute angle c
11. Compute D1 and D2
12. From S1, take angle A1 to T in vertical plane
13. From S2, take angle A2 to T in vertical plane
using formulas below
15. H1 and H2 are determinations of height
of T above S1 and S2 resepctively
16. Compute H3, the elevation of S1
above/below S2 so that H1 and H2 can be compared

17. If H1 differs from H2 +/- H3 by more than a specified amount,
e.g. +/- 1.5 feet, the measurements should be retaken.
18. Note that the above process is implemented in the table below.






Tree Safety

Tree Safety – Always In Your Best Interest

Tree workers suffer from injuries at a rate three times the national average for the blue-collar workforce. So says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who should know. The dangers of tree work have not led to any federal requirements for tree safety training, however, and many tree-service companies are more than content to send their employees up into the tall timber with little or no knowledge of means to prevent accidents — whether from chain saws or chippers, from falling branches, from contact with high-voltage power lines, or from direct falls from heights.

At Abe’s we’ve been following the safety protocols suggested by the International Society of Aboriculture (ISA). We recommend that, as you consider retaining a tree service, you observe the following guideline.

  • Always ask for ISA credentials up front to ensure the company is properly trained and insured.
  • Ask for references.
  • A good arborist will thoroughly inspect the work site to identify potential hazards

before beginning a job.

As a property owner, you should know that less reputable tree services — those who do not maintain high standards of safety —  are also much more likely to ignore requirements for workers’ compensation and other forms of accident insurance.

In which case, you — you the customer — could become liable.

Let nothing trouble you: call us at (316)722-2348.

Tree Service Near Me


Start by looking for a tree service that’s run by a certified arborist. After that, choose a tree service just like you would choose any other business. A tree service that has a reputation and trusted should be the first place to start.


Most tree services will not travel outside of a pre-defined service area. If your “tree service near me” search doesn’t turn up anyone trustworthy try searching in the city closest to you and putting in a call. A truly committed tree company Tree Company may be willing to help you out even if you’re outside of their normal boundaries.


Most operators have a minimum trip charge, and then use an hourly rate after that to factor the cost of the services when they are preparing a quote.

Basically, the arborist makes an educated guess on how long the project should take, then multiplies the time by the hourly rate. Average cost is almost impossible to nail down. Is the “tree service” in question a tree removal, trimming or fertilization, or something else entirely?

The number of men and amount of materials the job takes to produce will correlate directly to the price. Fertilization and stump grinding services are sometimes billed at a lower rate per day because those crews only have 1 or 2 men on the crew as opposed to 3 or 4 men on the trimming and removal crews.

But when you type “tree service near me” into that search engine, price should not be your biggest concern. You want to work with the most reputable company you can find near you, if you ‘d like to get the best value for your money.


Trimming & Pruning: What should I ask for with a tree service near me?
We get many people who call and ask about getting tree trimming. When we ask what exactly they had in mind, the client often says something like, “I was just looking to get the trees trimmed by a tree service near me. Is there more to it?”
Getting a bid for tree trimming and pruning requires talking to your arborist about what exactly you want to accomplish in your yard. Consider the following guidelines:

  • This refers to the removal of excess branches away from buildings, structures, and walkways tjat you want branches to be pruned back.
  • Crown Canopy Lifting. This refers to the removal of lower branches in order to improve access, generally for pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Again, it’s important to be specific and state exactly how high you want to raise the canopies.
  • This refers to the removal of dead branches, but you’ll need to indicate size to be removed. You might also go 1 ′ and up for a more expensive but thorough pruning.

After that, choose a tree service just like you ‘d choose any other business. Most tree services will not travel outside of a pre-defined service area. A truly committed tree company Tree Company may be willing to help you out even if you’re outside of their normal boundaries.

Is the “tree service” in question a tree removal, trimming or fertilization, or something else entirely?

When we ask what exactly they had in mind, the client often says something like, “I was just looking to get the trees trimmed by a tree service near me.”

Wichita Tree Service – Why You Should Choose Abe’s Tree Service

Why You Should Choose Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service Everytime, Job after Job, Everytime

It is with some reluctance that we report to you the findings of the Better Business Bureau about our line of work: “the tree-service industry was the sixth most-complained-about industry last year.” Folks, that drops tree service right down there with used-car sales and journalism. Frankly, we’re embarrassed for our competitors, and we’d like to immediately separate ourselves from the crowd up in the trees around Wichita town.

Finding a Wichita Tree Service.

  1. Make sure any Wichita tree service you are considering has appropriate liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. Workers comp is key. Critical. Absolutely necessary and so rarely available from the tree-service companies calling on the phone, hanging those nasty little cardboard dingies on your door. Without workers comp in place, any accident on your property finds you liable. Liable for repairs to your property and, more importantly, for any injuries that occurred as a result of the accident.
  2. B for Better Business Bureau. Only a few tree services receive BBB accreditation, and no other tree service in Wichita comes close to matching Abe’s A+ rating.
  3. Check our reputation. Check with neighbors and friends and, by all means, ask us for references. We have them by the treeful.
  4. Consider the estimated, bid, or proposed price very carefully. And, of course, look out for prices much too good to be true. Lowball bids almost always mean one of three possibilities: no experience whatsoever in lawn or tree service in Wichita; no insurance, licensing, or certifications, or; an intention to complete only part of the work you’re anticipating.
  5. Never do business with door-to-door contractors, particularly on such large projects as tree removal in Wichita. Make no snap judgments, most especially with some hungry-looking guy on your front porch.
  6. Be especially wary after a storm has damaged bunches of trees in town. Con artists follow bad weather like a second plague. If you have a tree that simply must be removed – one lying on your house, having knocked out the electrical main leading in, for example – use as much caution and judgment and discretion as you can, even though in this instance you may be forced to deal with a non-local tree service.
  7. Pay only when satisfied. No reputable company – certainly never, ever Abe’s – asks for money up front. Hold on to your money until the tree service has been completely, fully, finally finished to your complete satisfaction.

There you have them, seven considerations that will lead you to the best Wichita tree service, Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service every job, every time. Call 316-722-2348; a good person will answer.

BBB Gives Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service A+ Grade

A+ — Says the Better Business Bureau about Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service  — A+!

Again this year, Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service has earned the highest possible rating from the Better Business Bureau. Here are the requirements for an A+: at least 97 out of 100 points in every category below. Off we go.  Please call 316-722-2348 to learn more about the only A+ tree service in Wichita.


Only A+ Rated Tree Service in WichitaBBB ratings represent the BBB’s opinion of how the business is likely to interact with its customers. The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. 

BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). In some cases, BBB will not rate the business (indicated by an NR, or “No Rating”) for reasons that include insufficient information about a business or ongoing review/update of the business’s file.

BBB Business Profiles generally explain the most significant factors that raise or lower a business’s rating.

BBB ratings are not a guarantee of a business’s reliability or performance.  BBB recommends that consumers consider a business’s BBB rating in addition to all other available information about the business.


BBB ratings are based on information in BBB files with respect to the following factors:

  1. Business’s complaint history with BBB.

The BBB rating takes into account the following information with respect to closed complaints that relate to a business’s marketplace activities:

    • Number of complaints filed with BBB against the business.
    • The size of the business.
    • If complaints have been filed, whether in BBB’s opinion the business appropriately responded to them.
    • If complaints have been filed, whether in BBB’s opinion the business resolved the complaints in a timely manner to the customer’s satisfaction.
    • If complaints have been filed, whether in BBB’s opinion the business made a good faith effort to resolve complaints, even if the customer was not satisfied with the resolution.
    • If complaints have been filed, whether in BBB’s opinion the business failed to resolve the underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints.
    • The age of resolved complaints. Older resolved complaints have less of an impact on the rating than newer complaints.

BBB analysis of a business’s complaint history generally takes into account the business’s size if BBB has reliable information to establish its size. If BBB cannot reliably determine business size, it will consider the business to fall within BBB’s smallest size category.

  1. Type of business.

A business’s BBB rating is lowered if, in BBB’s opinion, the business is a type of business that raises marketplace concerns or is believed to operate in violation of the law.

  1. Time in business.

A business’s BBB rating is based, in part, on the length of time the business has been operating. If BBB is unable to obtain, from the business or from other sources, information about time in business that BBB deems reliable, BBB will consider business to have started at the time BBB opened its file on the business.

  1. Transparent Business Practices

A business’s BBB rating is lowered if BBB determines that the business is not being transparent about its marketplace conduct. This includes situations where:

    • A business does not provide complete information about products and services offered, and/or ownership.
    • A business uses false addresses or an address cannot be determined.
  1. Failure to honor commitments to BBB.

A business’s BBB rating is lowered if a business does not honor its commitments to BBB, including commitments to abide by a mediation settlement or an arbitration award.

  1. Licensing and government actions known to BBB.

A business’s BBB rating is lowered when BBB has knowledge of the following:

    • Failure of the business to have required competency licensing (i.e., licensing that requires a competency assessment or can be taken away based on misconduct by business).
    • Finalized government actions against the business that relate to its marketplace activities and, in BBB’s opinion, raise questions about the business’s ethics or its reliability in providing products/services.  Government actions may be rated as major, moderate or minor, and the rating deduction varies accordingly. However, older government actions have less of an impact than newer government actions of the same type.

BBB routinely checks required competency licensing and government actions before a business is accredited by BBB. BBB does not routinely check required competency licensing and government actions for businesses that do not seek BBB accreditation, although in some cases BBB learns of these matters through its marketplace research.

  1. Advertising issues known to BBB.

A business’s BBB rating is lowered when the business does not, in BBB’s opinion, appropriately respond to BBB advertising challenges that relate to:

    • Misuse of the BBB name or BBB marks; or
    • Questions about the truthfulness, accuracy or substantiation of advertising claims or compliance with the BBB Code of Advertising. Advertising issues may be rated as major, moderate or minor, and the rating deduction varies accordingly.

 BBB advertising challenges are made at BBB’s discretion when it receives complaints from consumers or competitors about advertising or when BBB identifies questionable advertising through its monitoring of local media.


This chart shows the maximum number of points that can be earned or deducted in each element of the BBB rating system. A business’s total score is on a 100 point scale.  Please note there are some categories in which businesses can only lose points, and for those categories a “0” is indicated as the maximum number of points that can be awarded.

Element Range of points that can be earned or deducted (maximum to minimum)
1. Complaint Volume (Weighted by Complaint Age) 15 to 0
2. Unanswered Complaints 40 to 0
3. Unresolved Complaints 30 to 0
4. Complaint Resolution Delayed 5 or 0
5. Failure to Address Complaint Pattern 0 to -31
6. Type of Business 0 to -41
7. Time in Business 10 to 0
8. Transparent Business Practices 0 or -5
9.  Failure to Honor Mediation/Arbitration 0 to -41
10. Competency Licensing 0 or -41
11. Government Action (per action) 0 to -25
12. Advertising Review (per incident) 0 to -41
13. BBB Trademark Infringement 0 or -41



This is the 100 point scoring scale BBB uses to assign letter grade ratings:

From To Letter Rating
97 100 A+
94 96.99 A
90 93.99 A-
87 89.99 B+
84 86.99 B
80 83.99 B-
77 79.99 C+
74 76.99 C
70 73.99 C-
67 69.99 D+
64 66.99 D
60 63.99 D-
0 59.99 F

If A Tree Falls In The Forest, Are You Insured?

If A Tree Falls In The Forest, Are You Insured?

Tree InsuranceTrees grow. Trees age (slowly). Trees fall over. Do you have tree insurance?

So comes the question: as a home or business owner what happens when a tree falls on your property Or on a neighbor’s home or place of business? Or on public property?

When a Tree Falls

Back to your property for a moment, what happens if the tree falls on a fence? The driveway? On a vehicle, yours or a visitor’s or a neighbor’s?

Ever wondered what happens when a tree falls on your property? How about when one of your trees falls on a neighbor’s home—or on a nearby piece of public property? Who should you call for tree removal?

Why You Need Tree Insurance

Good news: in most — we say “most”, not “all” – situations, your homeowners insurance will cover the damage caused by the tree fallen episodes above.  Most policies contain a provision protecting your home and its environs from “falling objects,” a classification most certainly inclusive of a tree. The damages resulting from trees falling from neighboring property are usually covered as well, as long as you have sufficient coverage. Careful reading of the policy and a specific conversation with your insurance agent apply here.

This tree insurance consultation should also address the potential causes of a falling tree, a set of facts your insurance adjuster will want to know in detail should you file a claim. Did a storm bring the tree down? Wind or lightning or ice? Yep, you should be covered. Earthquake? Not so much, probably not at all. How about negligence, your negligence in maintaining the tree property, your looking the other way from a dead or rotting tree? Expect some problems with your tree insurance claim.
Save yourself major headaches down the road. Remove exceptionally old, dying, and dead trees from your property immediately. The most reliable Wichita Tree Service remains always, always the number to call. Call Abe’s Lawn and Tree at 316-722-2348.

Your Trees



The removal of weak, diseased, or dead limbs can be easily completed at any time of year, however, with almost no residual effect on the tree. However, we come now to a word – related to “tree removal” – which we never use here at Abe’s. The word is “topping.”

A hateful term related to the indiscriminate cutting of tree branches, topping involves the cutting of limbs to stubs or the reckless trimming of lateral branches not large enough to assume the terminal role, that is, branches too small to allow remaining buds to grow and a new terminal buds to form. Topping is doubtless the most harmful tree-pruning practice ever undertaken, and yet it remains far too common a practice, even among allegedly professional tree trimmers. You may also hear the practice referred to as “heading,” “tipping,” “hat-racking,” or “rounding over.” Avoid topping, and anyone who would suggest it to you.



Abe’s uses injections of iron to maintain optimum tree health. We rely on a product called MIN-Jet to deliver the nutrients necessary for overall tree health, while the process of injection with its small, carefully placed holes ensures quick absorption for healthy metabolism and growth. MIN-Jet promotes development of roots, branches, and leaves, and we’ve found it effective for fruit, nut, ornamental, and shade trees.


ISA Certification

An arborist, by definition, is someone trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining individual trees.  An arborist, by certification, is something more.

The International Society of Aboriculture (ISA) has compiled a demanding set of standards involving technical knowledge and individual expertise in the care of trees. Rigorous testing follows on these standards then, and only the most experienced, most knowledgeable tree-care professionals qualify for ISA certification.

Earning this credential is voluntary, of course, but the ISA Certificate ensures you of Abe’s knowledge, Abe’s skills even as it suggests our dedication to the profession and the community at large. As ISA itself says, “Continuing education makes the world be a better place, one tree at a time.”