Buying a house with trees? Learn from these folks experiences!

On Tuesday night I talked on the phone with a potential customer in Worcester whose trees I had just looked at.  One big pin oak was dead, another had health problems.  Mr. M told me he had just bought the house last winter.  The trees were a selling point – one of the reasons he chose the house.  He didn’t notice any problems because it was winter and the leaves were off.

dead pin oak

Pin oak in foreground has been dead for over a year. The one behind it is chlorotic and has sparse foliage, and had a trench dug through the root zone 3 years ago.

 Then, the next morning I went to Wayne to see Mrs. H’s red oak.  She too had recently bought her house.  Her tree even came with a built-in tree house, which she thinks is very cool, and is using!  (it IS cool, I went up in it when I checked out the tree).  Same disappointment as Mr. M’s, however.  She didn’t notice health problems with the tree until she moved in.


pin oak scorched leaves

The scorch and dead tips weren’t obvious until summer.

The good news– I don’t think either Mr. M’s pin oak (the live one, of course) or Mrs. H’s red oak are hopeless cases.  Their declining conditions may be reversible.  But the surprise could have been avoided.  After all, when you buy a house you get almost everything else inspected by professionals, why not the trees?

There’s more to this story –both of these people avoided being victimized  again- watch for the follow-up tomorrow


It was hard for me to build this website.  I procrastinated for years.  I had too many ideas of articles to write or tree topics.  It would be a book… a novel…War and Peace !  Where do you start when you have War and Peace in your head?  Then I began to realize it wasn’t going to be War and Peace.  Not even a novel.  If I could manage to do it at all it would just be a textbook.  Who reads a textbook?

So finally I got the bright idea that if I could just start writing down some of the daily stories I’d eventually cover most of the topics in an incremental sort of way.  I have the rest of my life to do it, after all.

Now the problem is – I know I have to keep stories concise if anybody is going to get anything out of them.  But it is hard.  If you know me you know how hard it is to get me to shut up once I get going.

But I STILL want to share some of the stuff that doesn’t fit.  The overflow, the digressions and divergences.  The cool stuff that happens at work that falls slightly outside arboriculture.  Any maybe some stuff that might not “really interest anybody outside of a small circle of friends.”

You’re welcome to join  the “circle” – here’s how:

become a fan of Jacobs Tree Surgery on Facebook.

If you decide to check it out, I’ll tell you about the Ukranian tomato.