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Tree Care Services


Arborist Now supports the growth and development of smart pruning practices that improve a tree’s appearance while ensuring safer outdoor spaces. We maintain the highest standards of workmanship, sound horticulture practices, and artistic expression.

Tree Pruning

Even during a casual stroll through a forest, it is obvious to anyone that trees have the ability to adapt to a location. Pruning occurs naturally there. 

Tree pruning—which has several definitions—fundamentally involves removing parts of the tree to improve its appearance, health, and impact on the surrounding landscape. 

There are specific types of pruning that help trees stay healthy, safe, and beautiful. These include:

  • Cleaning: The method that removes dead, dying, diseased, crowded, weakly attached, and low-vigor branches from the crown of a tree. 
  • Thinning: Used to selectively remove branches to increase light penetration and air movement through the crown and reduces weight on heavy limbs to retain the tree’s natural shape.
  • Raising: Removes lower branches from a tree to clear space for buildings, vehicles, pedestrians, and views.
  • Reduction: A more intricate procedure that trims the height or spread of a tree by pruning back the leaders and branch terminals to lateral branches that are large enough to assume the terminal roles (at least one-third the diameter of the cut stem). As opposed to topping, this helps maintain the form and structural integrity of the tree.

Urban environments are not natural conditions for trees, so urban trees usually need some modification. Property owners must remember that heavy pruning can severely stress a tree.

Trees are living organisms that can suffer from sun damage—especially when their tops have been removed. Topping is the haphazard cutting back of tree branches to stubs or lateral branches. Other names for topping include "heading," "tipping," "hat-racking," and "rounding over." 

When tree tops are removed, the remaining branches and trunk are exposed to high levels of light and heat, often resulting in bark splitting and the death of some branches. The most common reason for topping trees is size reduction to avoid hazards; however, topping is highly discouraged as it makes trees more susceptible to the elements in the long run. Topping "starves" a tree, since often, the leaf-bearing crown of a tree is removed. Topping also ruins a tree’s aesthetic beauty. Topped trees often appear disfigured and mutilated. Moreover, they can never regain their natural form.

It is a good rule of thumb when pruning to maintain at least half the foliage on branches in the lower two-thirds of a tree.

When to Prune

Most routine pruning to remove weak, diseased, or dead limbs can be done at any time of the year. But growth is amplified and wound closure is fastest if pruning occurs before the spring growth flush. Heavy pruning immediately after growth flush can stress the tree. Pruning should be avoided during active disease transmission periods. A few tree diseases, such as oak wilt and Dutch elm disease, can be spread when pruning wounds allow spores to access a tree. These trees should be pruned when dormant.

Pruning, primarily, is a matter of common sense, though routine, proper pruning is a skill that incorporates special equipment, training, and experience, with an eye for the aesthetic. In most cases, it is better not to prune than to do it incorrectly. By using improper pruning methods, healthy plants are often weakened or deformed. Certainly, pruning is necessary to remove dead or diseased branches, improve its structure, and reduce the possibility of personal injury or property damage. No branch should be removed without a reason, and pruning should be performed with care.

Pruning large trees can be dangerous—it usually involves working above the ground and using power equipment. Arborist Now has the proper equipment and knowledge to perform tree pruning and removal work. Our arborists are experienced in the art and science of pruning. Ensure your safety and that of your trees by hiring a professional arborist to safeguard your investment in the trees on your property.

An Artfully Pruned Backyard Landscape

Artistic Tree Pruning 

Artistic pruning is the creative interpretation and expression of trees and shrubs.

Shaping trees and plants for style and function is an art and a science—a creative endeavor. It combines the artistic skill of the pruner, the essence of a tree, the client’s needs, and the plant’s locale, creating a living art form.

Ornamental trees and shrubs serve many functions in the landscape. They are focal points and shade providers; they define spaces and screen views; or they are simply a beautiful living showcase. Arborist Now uses skilled pruning techniques to ensure that your plants remain an asset to your landscape now and in the future.

Whether you prefer a natural look or clean, crisp lines, we are here to help. We adapt the pruning style to your objectives and the needs of the specific plant. Arborist Now takes pride in every branch we trim and every tree we prune. As an established tree care service provider in San Francisco, we are a meticulous group of specialists who are passionate about trees and what we do.

With a foundation in Japanese garden pruning, bonsai, and arboriculture, artistic pruning unites visual art and design to work with the plant within its unique setting. Artistic pruning focuses on trees and shrubs under fifteen feet tall.  Dedicated to the craft of artistic pruning, our skilled arborists have a long-term vision with an emphasis on beauty—making the right cuts for the right reasons.

Safe Tree Pruning Services | Arborist Now

Branches Being Removed with a Small Chainsaw

Tree Removal

As San Francisco’s premier tree removal service, we offer the security you need to know the job is done safely and done right.

Trees need to be removed for many reasons. Unhealthy, diseased trees and trees located in the way of landscaping or structures likely pose a safety hazard. Occasionally, a customer may have us remove a healthy tree for any reason, though we do not like doing it. Arborist Now provides the expertise and the equipment necessary for the safe, efficient, and complete removal of problem trees as well as healthy trees, with safety being our paramount consideration.

Our experienced staff uses these procedures for tree removal:

  • Securing permits
  • Risk assessment
  • Utilizing the latest climbing and lowering devices
  • Training in aerial rescue and CPR certification
  • Wood recycling and wood milling if possible

In the event of a tree emergency, Arborist Now has the most knowledgeable arborists ready to help. Our goal is to provide the safest possible environment for your family and your home, and when a tree becomes a threat, we safely and professionally remove it.

Our tree removal experts in San Francisco and surrounding areas are skilled in assessing the health of your trees. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

Tree Stump Grinding

Arborist Now can remove trees of any size and in any condition safely and efficiently. Whether the tree is dead or alive, cracked, leaning hazardously, or fallen, we have the experience and equipment, including powerful chippers and stump grinders to assure a clean, safe, and hassle-free job. We take special care when working on your property and promise that all safety precautions are observed.

Once your tree is safely down, we haul all brush and debris. We have the experience and expertise to handle any commercial tree removal along with accompanying services such as wood removal, chipping, and stump grinding.

Tree stumps left on your commercial property put you greatly at risk and are a serious hazard. Equally, they can harbor pests and diseases. We are fully equipped to safely grind down tree stumps below grade or farther depending on your property plan.

Tree Planting

With our tree-planting package, you can be assured you are selecting the right trees and ensure their proper planting with our professional guidance.

The tree you plant today most likely will outlive you; by selecting the right tree for the right location and investing in its maintenance, you provide future generations with a truly magnificent gift.

As a tree is a lifetime investment, there is more involved than simply picking out the loveliest tree at the nursery. An arborist can evaluate your soil conditions, the ambience of the location, and other factors so the best tree is selected.

It is a challenging task when you want to move one of your trees to another part of your property. Arborist Now provides tree transplanting services to preserve the tree’s integrity and limit shock during the process.

Whether you invest in our tree planting, tree replacement, or tree transplanting services, we develop a program that includes pruning, mulching, and fertilizing your newly planted trees so they can survive and thrive on your property.

The professionals at Arborist Now will help you choose the right trees for your property.

Soil and Root Care

Understanding Tree Root Systems | Arborist Now

A Cross-section of Tree Roots Forming in Healthy Soil

With proper soil and root care, stress can be taken off of urban trees, allowing them to thrive.

Healthy soils make healthy roots. This dynamic combination creates healthy trees that can withstand the challenges of the environment.

The soil beneath trees must be capable of holding water and oxygen and processing the nutrients required by the plants to survive. Urban soils are frequently challenged with severe compaction issues, filtration problems, and barriers that affect management of necessary nutrients.

These challenges often stress plants, which invites diseases and insects to appear and cause additional problems. It is recommended that a professional arborist evaluate the need for fertilizer feeding of trees with health problems.

Arborist Now offers complete soil testing, including both chemical and biological components. We test soil structure, composition, and bulk density to determine how your soil is functioning and if it is providing everything necessary for healthy trees. 

Arborist Now uses a method to loosen compacted soil with high-pressure air and adds a blend of organic compost and engineered soils to create a soil environment that trees can thrive in for decades.

Tree Cabling & Bracing

Cabling and bracing is an essential tree support system used in providing supplemental support to individual branches and leaders by reducing movement. 

Tree cabling and bracing helps save trees and protects people and property. You probably have seen a tree split down the middle and wondered why it happened! This structural mishap is caused by a weak crotch that sends entire limbs to the ground.

Prior to performing this corrective measure, we assess all trees for an appropriate cabling plan prior to performing work. Arborist Now uses dynamic cabling to reduce tree crown movement, as static cabling eliminates most movement and weakens the tree. In most cases, cabling must be accompanied with pruning to remove weight from limbs that need to be secured. Braces are designed to support codominant stems (also called multiple leaders). Brace rods help reduce the risk of the leaders moving sideways or spreading apart. Cables typically accompany the brace rods to provide additional support. Arborist Now utilizes synthetic cabling of hollow-braid polyester designed to be an adjustable cord for cabling limbs.

Contact Arborist Now for an assessment to determine if bracing and cabling in San Francisco, Marin County, Millbrae and surrounding areas can help restore your trees to optimum health.

Tree Protection Plan

A well-implemented tree protection plan is used during construction and can help minimize any damage and protect your landscape investment.

Are you planning to build or remodel a home? Before you start, consider the impact of construction on plants.

Trees and shrubs contribute to property values. Unfortunately, plants meant to be part of a home's permanent landscape often are needlessly damaged or killed during construction. Careful planning and coordination with a tree care specialist and your builder can reduce damage and save you the trouble and expense of treating or removing injured plants.

Every construction site has its own unique set of soil, tree species, and building process conditions. An arborist will be familiar with the growth characteristics and common problems faced by tree species in your area and can help evaluate plant health and the likely impacts of construction activities.

It's not always easy to save trees during construction, but your efforts are worth the trouble. Advance planning and simple steps to minimize damage can often prevent future problems. Take the time to protect and monitor the health of your trees in San Francisco, Marin County, Millbrae, and Larkspur with a tree protection plan. Contact us before starting a building or remodeling project on your property!

Work Zone Tree Protection

Tree Protection Area Warning Sign

A Temporary Tree Protection Fence

Arborist Now ensures that trees are sufficiently protected in various work zones in urban settings. Protecting trees during construction helps save both trees and property from potential damage. It is important to keep the crown, branches, and trunk clear of direct contact with and injury by equipment, materials, or disturbances during construction. Tree protection measures should also preserve the roots and soil from compaction and disturbance. When steps are taken to protect trees on construction sites, the risk of damaging or destabilizing trees is reduced.

Buildings and homes are often constructed near existing trees to take advantage of their aesthetic and environmental value. Unfortunately, the process involved with construction can be deadly to nearby trees. Proper planning and care are needed to preserve trees on building sites. Arborist Now can help you decide which trees can be saved. We also work with the builder to protect the trees throughout each phase of construction.


We understand that careful planning and communication are just as important as avoiding tree damage during construction. You can depend on Arborist Now for the finest and most experienced professional tree care in San Francisco and surrounding areas. Contact us today!

Originally published on October 5, 2017.

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