Hello. I have a huge tree in my back yard that I think needs some care. I contacted three different specialists and got three answers 1) top the tree 2) do nothing 3) thin branches. As all opinions were different and all certified/bonded, I'm confused on how to proceed. Any suggestions on what to do and/or recommended arborists would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your inquiry. Here are a couple of thoughts for you:
1) If any so-called "arborist" tells you to top this tree - send them packing in the other direction. Topping is one of the most destructive things you can do to a tree. It will make this tree hazardous and cause many future problems for you. So I would discount that opinion completely.
2) When hiring an arborist, you should always be cautious. Just because someone is licensed and bonded does not mean they know anything about trees. You can hire an ISA Certified Arborist - someone who has passed an exam demonstrating their knowledge of proper tree care. Visit www.treesaregood.com for more details on hiring an arborist and what to look for.
3) it is difficult for me to tell much about this tree from one distant photo. I'm guessing the arborist that told you it needed thinning probably was thinking of wind resistance. It does have a high live-crown-ration - lots of branches to it. This could be fine, or it could be a minor problem if you're in an area of high winds.
I would suggest you get three bids/opinions from Certified Arborists and go from there. You can also visit this webpage for additional tree care information that should help: http://extensionweb.forestry.oregonstate.edu/homeowners-and-communities