By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Grafton??””Trees are a big part of your property value,” and trees need care like the rest of your property, said Steve Stratton, owner and president of Templeman Tree Service.
Templeman offers a complete range of tree services in Grafton, Westborough and the surrounding towns, from emergency removal of a storm-downed tree to careful pruning of ornamental trees.
Stratton noted he's been climbing trees for over 30 years. He worked as a foreman for Templeman, which started in 1980, and bought the business in 1993. “We'se got the best guys ever, working for the company and up-to-date equipment,” he said.
“We still climb trees” to take them down, Stratton added, so that if a tree is not accessible with the bucket truck, the climbers can take it down without the need to drive a bucket truck up on the lawn.
When a tree comes down in a storm, the company can respond right away, but Stratton urges homeowners to do preventative maintenance on their trees to make them much less susceptible to storm damage.
“You need to prune large shade trees to keep them healthy and to prevent breakage.”
How often trees need pruning depends on the species and how much growth can be taken out at one time, but if major trees have not been pruned in years, they should be evaluated, he said. “Call us for a free estimate. We won's recommend more than is necessary.”
Stratton noted, for example, if trees have large limbs hanging out like big levers, they need to be pruned to take the weight off the ends of those branches so they don's break under snow and ice.
Elm trees, he warned, must only be pruned in the winter when the beetles that attack elm trees are not active. “If you make even the smallest cut in an elm during the spring or summer, even just cut off a low branch, the beetles will find their way in and the tree will be dead in a year or two.”
Ornamental trees such as dogwoods and Japanese maples should be pruned and shaped every year or two, he said. Templeman's people can also check for any signs of disease that needs to be treated. The company does not do spraying or other chemical work but can recommend reliable providers of those services.
When homeowners are considering planting ornamental trees, “be careful to plant them far enough away from your house, or at some point we will have to come in and remove them,” Stratton said. Check the mature height and spread of an ornamental tree to be sure it won's shade the house and keep the exterior damp, attracting carpenter ants, and that the roots won's threaten the foundation.
Templeman works on trees all year-round.
“We actually like to work in the winter. The ground is frozen so our equipment doesn's damage the lawn, and the trees are dormant. It's easier to see the branch structure and to clean up the pruned limbs when there are no leaves,” Stratton said.
“It's important to have someone who knows what he's doing work on your trees,” he added.
Templeman is a member of the Massachusetts Certified Arborist Association and the Tree Care Industry Association.
Templeman Tree is based in Grafton. Call 508-366-7693 or 508-839-5961 to arrange for a free estimate, or visit the website for additional information, www.templemantree.com.