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Your Tree Removal Experts


At Stonaker Tree Service we are here to help you with jobs big and small.  From residential and commercial tree pruning and maintence to large scale excavation projects - we can safely protect and enhance your property.  

By John Stonaker, Dec 31 2018 02:40PM

Having your trees serviced by the wrong company can risk damage to your trees, damage to your property, and possibly damage to a person. Take the time to do your research first to find a reputable, skilled, credentialed company to ensure your trees and property are cared for and people are protected. Here are some things you should look for when doing your research:

Credentials and licensing: Make sure the tree service is licensed in your state. Since different states have different requirements, the more states the company is licensed in, the more likely they are to have extra training, services, and skills than your state requires. This is a sign of an experienced, quality company.

Insurance: A reputable tree service will have sufficient liability insurance to cover any potential damage and will also carry workers’ compensation insurance. This protects, not only the employees, but also you because if an employee is injured while performing work on your home, you are protected from lawsuits.

Personal protective gear: The use of hardhats, goggles, gloves, etc. also minimizes the likelihood of injuries to employees and shows the tree service company cares about its people.

Training and experience: Ask what kind of training the workers receive and how long they’ve been doing it. They should be trained in the particular service that you need done and have extensive experience. You don’t want your trees to be practice for them.

The right equipment: This is partly on you. You need to be absolutely clear with the company about what exactly you want done, or at least what the problem is that you need fixed. If the company starts the work and you change the scope of the job, they may not have what they need to do the job right.

Estimate: Ask for an estimate, which should include exactly what services they will provide.

Precautions and care: Ask what steps they will take to protect your property and your existing landscaping, and ask them what their policy is if they damage anything. You want to see it in writing.

Contract: Ask to see the contract ahead of time, so you know what’s included and excluded, and if there are any additional fees.

Referrals: Always check for referrals. The tree service should be able to give you referrals easily. They may also have testimonials on their website. You might ask for the referral of a client who has had similar work done.

Taking these steps will give you the confidence that you are hiring a skilled tree service that will properly care for your trees, your property, and all the people involved.

By John Stonaker, Dec 31 2018 02:34PM

Maintaining the trees on your commercial property is crucial for three very important reasons: revenue, property value, and liability. You want your property to be a source of income and pride. Neglecting trees on your property can threaten both.


Beautiful landscaping is the first impression you will give to those driving or walking by. This is called “curb appeal” and for many businesses, it’s an important marketing tool.

People who notice your property and are attracted to it will be more likely to do business with you. If they don’t notice, or worse, if your property looks unkempt or unattractive, it will be a reflection of the kind of service or product you offer. So creating a very positive first impression is a part of increasing your revenue.

Property Value

Your grounds factor into the value of your entire property. You want your outdoor spaces to be attractive, as described, but also functional for the people who work there. This is even more important for properties where people live. You want your property to supply shade and space for recreation, but also be free from dangerous limbs, roots, and diseased plants that attract bugs and other pests.

Maintaining your trees will also prevent damage to your property or your equipment. Be aware that storms and drought can cause damage from healthy trees if they have not been maintained.


While a tree will often show signs of disease, there may be no visible warning signs to an untrained eye until a limb falls on a car, a valuable piece of equipment, or a person. Damage to your company’s assets will be expensive. Injury of staff or visitors, besides being tragic, will make you liable for a lawsuit, and settlement can run in the millions of dollars.

Please do not have your maintenance personnel perform tree service unless they are properly trained and have the proper equipment. Tree maintenance can be dangerous, again threatening a person’s health and risking lawsuit. Cutting trees improperly or at the wrong time can also introduce diseases that could eventually kill the tree and spread disease to other trees.

Why Maintenance Should Be Regular

There are the obvious problems: dead branches, obvious disease, storm damage. These issues need to be immediately addressed. But regular maintenance can prevent many such problems and provide other benefits as well.

A trained tree service professional will be able to avert damage before it occurs and keep your trees healthy. He or she can provide you with helpful tips and help you develop a long-term plan for future pruning and plantings to improve the quality and value of your property. And your tree service will help you avoid liability or damage and increase your curb appeal.

Tree Maintenance Service is an investment in your success. Please contact us for a consultation and see what our professionals can suggest for your particular needs.

By John Stonaker, Dec 19 2017 02:19PM

While frosty weather can turn your yard into a winter wonderland, the beautiful scene can cause long-lasting damage to your landscape. Here are a few tips for cleaning your yard to minimize damage to your trees, shrubs, landscaping, and home after a winter storm.

Be Careful!

First and foremost – be careful. If you have large branches or trees entwined with power lines, DO NOT attempt to remove them yourself. Always assume that power lines are live. Contact the local utility company for assistance and consult a residential tree service for help as well.

Also, if there are large branches dangling from a tree or a tree is leaning precariously – contact a tree specialist. A tree service company can safely remove hazardous branches and trees before they damage your home or property.

Knock it Off

Knock heavy snow off of branches and shrubs. This is especially important if temperatures are predicted to drop – as heavy snow can turn into even heavier ice. Weight-laden branches are likely to snap – not only causing damage to your trees, but to anything below. Also, heavy snow on shrubs can harm their shape and health.

But Let Ice Melt

If the precipitation falls as ice, or if snow has already turned to ice – you might do more harm than good by trying to chip away at the ice. Let the air and sun do their job and hopefully, the ice will melt quickly.

Assess Trees and Shrubs

Remove loose or loosely attached branches and limbs. Damage can increase susceptibility to disease and insects, so clean up ragged breaks with straight cuts back to a healthy branch. But, be careful not to over-prune.

Pick Up Sticks

Not quite as fun as the childhood game, this version of “pick up sticks” will have you picking up all those little branches and limbs strewn about the yard. Set them aside to use as kindling or firewood in the future.

By John Stonaker, Dec 19 2017 12:57AM

One of the most welcoming sights on a cold winter night is to see your home and garden glowing with twinkling holiday lights. There are also few more daunting tasks than getting all of those lights up without damaging your landscape or hurting yourself. Our staff has been out and about helping customers with lighting in Mercer County, NJ and we have noticed several issues with holiday lighting that should be corrected quickly.

Here are a few tips to make the process safe and smooth for you, your trees, and your home.


Survey your landscape. Do you want to light every last bush and branch? Or would one spectacularly-lit tree be a stunning and adequate focal point?

Once you figure out the look you are trying to achieve, make sure you have enough lights for the project. Running to the store to buy more lights in the middle of the project is as common as it is frustrating.


Inspect your light strands and make sure they are applicable for outdoor use by checking the UL listing tag on each light strand. Using indoor lights for outdoor use puts you at risk for early burnout, at best, and a fire hazard, at worst.

Look for frayed or exposed wires and discard light strands that have them.

Plug all the light strands in first and make sure they work.

Look for instructions about how many light strands can be linked together. It’s tempting to keep that chain going, but not necessarily advisable.


If you are going to wrap tree trunks and branches, remember that your trees are living organisms. Wrap the lights tightly enough so they won’t blow off in a stiff wind, but not so tight that you strangle the tree. (Be sure and remove lights by spring at the latest. Leaving them up all year can impede tree growth.)

If you are using a ladder, make sure it is on a level surface. And use the buddy system – have someone help you by holding the ladder and passing things up to you.

Don’t overload extension cords or outlets. If you are going to be putting up a display that can be seen from outer space – consult with an electrician for advice first.


Outdoor holiday lights are one of the joys of the season and one way that you can keep enjoying your landscape and trees even on the shortest (and coldest!) days of the year.

By John Stonaker, Nov 6 2017 05:39PM

Harsh winter weather can create havoc for your landscape. But taking steps to protect your flower beds, trees and shrubs from the extreme weather can help you avoid some of the destruction, disease, and damage that winter’s cold temps, gusty winds, and icy weather promises. Here are a few tips to winter-proof your landscape.

Tree Care for Winter

Water your trees in the fall. Especially if the weather has been very dry, water heavily before the ground freezes. Evergreens, which do not go fully dormant in winter, need particular attention, so be sure and water them down to the roots. Evergreens are also at risk for damaging winter winds. Installing a wind-break or wrapping an evergreen shrub in burlap can be helpful.

Be sure and add a layer of mulch to moderate temperature, encourage root growth, and reduce the chance of injury. This is especially critical for new trees and shrubs. Young trees are also at risk from cold stress, so consider wrapping the bark of young trees for protection.

Look around your house and note any large branches that overhang the house or power lines. Winter stress, snow and ice can cause these branches to break. Be sure and have these vulnerable branches cut back before winter.

Winterize your Flowerbeds

While your petunias may have had a glorious summer, it’s time for them to go. Out of season plants can harbor disease and insects during winter, so be sure and remove them from your flower beds. Water and cut perennials back. Remove sticks and debris from flowerbeds and consider adding a fresh layer of mulch to condition the soil and protect the roots of any shrubs or other plants remaining in the beds for winter.

Protect your Roses

Don’t cut back your roses, even the dead wood, during the fall. Cutting back will stimulate new growth that will not survive the harsh winter climate. Add mulch to cover and protect the rose’s root system. If you have shrub roses, consider a burlap cover to shelter the plant during the winter.


It’s easy to overlook your containers, but if you want to maintain their longevity, it’s best to shelter them from extreme winter temperatures.

Taking a little bit of time to take care of your landscape before the weather gets frosty will save you money and time by keeping your plants, beds, and trees healthy and viable so they can thrive again in the spring.

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