Callery Pear Topping

Wrangler

Well-Known Member
Location
Woodbine
Just wondering what your thoughts are on this hatchet job? I did it in about 30 min with a 540 out of my bucket truck. The customer requested that I top it for him because so many of the pears in his development are failing ( every home has one in the front yard.... about 120 homes in development)
The neighbor had his done a couple years ago and he liked the look. So I hit him with the topping is bad speech and learned him about a proper crown reduction . He asked how long that would take and i said 2-3 hrs( im charging by the hr on this job) .
Here’s the thing ...... I can’t help but feel like I’m wasting my time doing a proper pruning on a cheep pear that’s only going to be around for another 10 years( maybe) when I can give it the quick once over and just shear it every year or two.
I s the extra time justifiable on a mature callery pear when there are other more valuable trees that need attention on the property that would actually really benefit from a careful proper pruning? What about when you have 10 or more that are about to fall apart on the same property?
 

Attachments

  • 19F5D3F4-BB07-4FE8-A999-2B1F511C489B.jpeg
    19F5D3F4-BB07-4FE8-A999-2B1F511C489B.jpeg
    1.6 MB · Views: 56

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
Why not remove instead of mutilate it?

Not sure you took enough off to reduce probability of failure.

Reducing co-dominate and poorly attached stems significantly reduces breakage. We also bolt them together every now and again when I can't talk the client into replacement.
 

Wrangler

Well-Known Member
Location
Woodbine
Why not remove instead of mutilate it?

Not sure you took enough off to reduce probability of failure.

Reducing co-dominate and poorly attached stems significantly reduces breakage. We also bolt them together every now and again when I can't talk the client into replacement.
This was the compromise, he was adamant about wanting his trees topped like his neighbors, he said he felt safer. Other tree we pruned for him was a red maple, I talked him into letting me spend the time on that tree assuring him that it was worth the investment as it was a longer lived more valuable tree. He said if the pear didn’t didn’t do well then he would remove. I also said I would have to write it up as a staged removal and he would have to sign off on it. He agreed. By the way, the guy wasn’t being a jerk, he’s a really nice guy and a good customer . He just knows he sees his neighbors tree maintained like a shrub and thats what he wants.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ATH

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
I have mixed feelings on that one. One side of me says, don’t top trees, topping is bad, one should never top a tree except to render a hazardous tree safe and keep it alive a bit longer.

However, this is a tree that will likely fail in the nearish future. It’s also not a very valuable tree, and is not likely the homeowner will spend the money to have it pruned and bolted/cabled properly.

From that perspective, sure, top it - but put on the quote the reason(s) you agreed to top the tree, and a strong recommendation for future pruning and a release of liability for the loss of the tree in case it gets windy and falls apart next week.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
This was the compromise, he was adamant about wanting his trees topped like his neighbors, he said he felt safer. Other tree we pruned for him was a red maple, I talked him into letting me spend the time on that tree assuring him that it was worth the investment as it was a longer lived more valuable tree. He said if the pear didn’t didn’t do well then he would remove. I also said I would have to write it up as a staged removal and he would have to sign off on it. He agreed. By the way, the guy wasn’t being a jerk, he’s a really nice guy and a good customer . He just knows he sees his neighbors tree maintained like a shrub and thats what he wants.
On the surface I see no harm. However you are harming your self and reputation. What if he referrers you to a friend and they want the same? What about every who saw you working on this tree? What about the other neighbors who now will want their trees to look like this guys and the other ones?
 

Wrangler

Well-Known Member
Location
Woodbine
On the surface I see no harm. However you are harming your self and reputation. What if he referrers you to a friend and they want the same? What about every who saw you working on this tree? What about the other neighbors who now will want their trees to look like this guys and the other ones?
I think about those questions often,those are the thoughts that prompted this post. This is only the second time I’ve relented and sheared a pear like this and it doesn’t sit right with me . However it also bothers me a bit to spend an extra $300 of my customers tree budget on a crappy pear to satisfy “my principles” when in fact there may be no real harm done here and money could be use to make more substantial impact somewhere else,as was the case here and often is on properties I work on.
I truly appreciate the input as always! Just trying to learn. It’s easy to learn textbook stuff but gets trickier in real life . Things like customer satisfaction, perception, ethics, money, relationships with customer s
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
This was the compromise, he was adamant about wanting his trees topped like his neighbors, he said he felt safer. ....
Compromise for sure...

We just don't top trees. Not a compromise we will make - I'd walk on the job first. But most clients can be reasoned with. I will highlight that "feeling" safer, isn't being safer. There are alternatives. How bad are the branch unions. That one looks like it actually has (had) a hint of a dominate leader.

I don't see 3 hours of proper pruning in that tree.
 

Wrangler

Well-Known Member
Location
Woodbine
Thanks for response. The way I normally do crown reduction on tree like this is remove or subordinate limbs with poor attachment, then climb to center and start making reduction cuts and work my way out to periffial, then pole pruner and ladder to aesthetically clean it up around outside. Maybe I’m slow but on a tree this size i can be there for three hrs . I don’t have before pics but this is what came off, about 10’ of height.
 

Attachments

  • A8BBDE8F-B9CD-415C-B95E-BD3655EFFCB0.jpeg
    A8BBDE8F-B9CD-415C-B95E-BD3655EFFCB0.jpeg
    2.1 MB · Views: 16

Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
Reminds me of an ex girlfriend.
I know it’s wrong, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I can’t help but find it aesthetically pleasing.
 
Kask Stihl NORTHEASTERN Arborists Wesspur TreeStuff.com Kask Teufelberger Westminster X-Rigging Teufelberger Tracked Lifts Climbing Innovations
Top Bottom