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57 Ways To Protect Your Home Environment (and Yourself)
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17. Know What To Ask A Lawn-care Company And Arborist


If you select and work with a lawn-care company that will use pesticides and fertilizers to maintain your lawn, keep a few points in mind. Make sure the lawn-care company has a state license for the application of pesticides. If you prefer minimal use of synthetic pesticides, ask the company about alternatives they provide.

Make sure the company surveys the lawn and prepares a management plan for you. Some companies may suggest more applications than are necessary, so obtain a typical lawn-care schedule for your area from your nearest Extension office. The company should tell you ahead of time when applications will be made so you can clear the yard.

treated lawn

Lawn-care companies have traditionally relied on preventative applications—putting down chemicals before a pest problem arises. The drawback is that some of the chemical applications may be unnecessary. One alternative is to look for a company that checks for pest problems and applies chemicals only when the potential exists for unacceptable levels of damage.
eco friendly ad on a car

Some lawn-care companies are beginning to provide programs in which they apply organic fertilizers. Be aware, however, that organic fertilizers do not work as fast as synthetic fertilizers. It usually takes two or three seasons for organic fertilizers to produce optimum results, but in the long run they may improve the soil’s health.

You may need to consult with an arborist before cutting tree roots to put in a new sidewalk or before doing other construction work. People also hire an arborist to do pruning. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
trees damaged by a storm

Beware of “door knockers,” especially after storms when nonprofessionals are looking for an easy way to make quick money. And don’t be rushed, even if a company says they will give you a 10 percent discount for a decision today. Do not pay in advance.
tree removal

Ask for certificates of insurance, including proof of liability for personal and property damage and worker’s compensation. Phone the insurance company to make sure the policy is current. Ask for local references—other jobs that the company or individual has done. Then look at these jobs and, if possible, talk to the former client.
tree lined street

Determine if the arborist is a member of any arborist associations. Membership does not guarantee quality, but lack of membership can cast doubts on the person’s professionalism. If arborist certification is available in your area, determine whether the arborist complies with the requirement.

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