Serving Oak Harbor and the Surrounding Areas

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Count on Pioneer Tree Service & Landscaping Inc. of Oak Harbor, WA for all your tree care requirements. Check out a few of our frequently asked questions for a clearer idea about our various tree services.

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tree cutting

What are some of the benefits of maintaining my trees?

Pioneer Tree Service and Landscaping is a local company based in Oak Harbor, WA. Our offices and personnel are locally based. We are all members of the local community and devote many hours to supporting local organizations.

Are you a local company?

How long have you been in business?

Trees in the urban/suburban landscape have traditionally been valued for their aesthetic qualities and shape they produce. Especially in settled areas, trees have many other important benefits. Trees enhance property values. Research shows that the value of your property could increase up to 25%, depending on the size, type, location and health of its landscape planting. Mature trees are particularly valuable. Therefore, it makes sense to protect your tree investment with proper maintenance.

Landscape trees, which act as wind breaks and sunscreens, can help you save money and live more comfortably. With properly placed trees around your house, depending upon where you live, you can reduce winter heating bills up to 15%. A mature shad tree can block up to 90% of solar radiation, which could translate to a significant reduction in your home cooling cost. Trees reduce air pollution by producing oxygen through photosynthesis and are filtering airborne particles. They also reduce noise pollution by acting as sound barriers. Studies show that trees have beneficial psychological effect on humans by decreasing stress, inspiring minds and breaking emotional barriers. Around the workplace, they tend to lower absenteeism and improve productivity. Many hospitals and nursing homes have beautiful green trees around them, since evidence demonstrates that trees can speed recovery from illness and are good for your health.

We have been business since 1996. Our focus on tree care has continued through two generations of the Walton family management.

In most cases the answer is no. If you prefer to be present, we will try to accommodate your schedule. We have to be able to get onto your property and bring in equipment if necessary. It is our goal to perform tree services safely and efficiently with a minimum of inconvenience to the client.

Do I have to be home when you do the work?

The payment is due upon completion. An invoice will arrive a few days after completion.

How do I pay for the work?

Our services are charged on a job-to-job basis. Given the fact that trees come in all shapes and sizes, jobs are quoted according to the complexity and size of the clients needs. Pricing may be affected by such variables as the tree’s location, height, width, and number of branches. Factors such as power lines or any obstacles in the working area may also affect price. We offer free, no-obligation estimates.

How much does your work cost?

If you are getting estimates and a couple stick way out as really low compared to the others, beware. Some companies operate without the required licensure and insurance. They can afford to do much more for much less. You are not protected from accidents or property damage in these cases. It could end up costing a lot more in the long run. Make sure that all your estimates come from reputable companies. If you choose the lowest bid without checking it out, you may come home to an ugly, poorly done job that could take decades to recover.

Why are there such large differences in the estimates that I’m getting?

Should I just go with the least expensive?

How long does it take to get an estimate?

Usually one to three days. We can often look at your work even if you are not home. If you prefer to meet with us in person, we can set up a time that meets your schedule. Most of our estimates are done early morning, late afternoon or on weekends.

After confirmation of your written estimate, you will be placed on our schedule on a first-come, first-served basis. We offer 24-hour emergency/storm damage care. We will immediately respond to all storm damage calls and offer assistance. We work with insurance companies to help you get trees and limbs off of your house as quickly as possible. Remember it is always advised to take pictures of storm damage before work is performed.

Do I need a permit for the work?

How soon can my work be completed?

A permit may be required for some work. For example a permit is typically required for any removal of Oak trees within the Oak Harbor city limits. The requirements vary widely from area to area. Be sure to ask you estimator if you they believe one will be needed.

Will you (Pioneer Tree Service) get the permit for me?

It is normally the responsibility of the property owner to obtain any necessary permits. We can advise you about the permits you will need. We can get the permits, but there will be an additional charge for this service.

Will you remove the debris from the job?

Yes, unless otherwise agreed upon at the time of your estimate. Cleanup is an important factor in tree care, it’s advised to clearly discuss what you expect with your estimator.

What constitutes a hazardous tree?

Risk/hazard assessment is the ideology that a tree poses a risk of failure and that failure has some consequences. A hazardous tree is defined as any defective tree, or tree part, that poses a high risk upon its failure or fracture to cause injury to people or due damage to property. A hazardous tree has one or more defects which decreases its structural integrity and gives it an increased potential for failure. Defect that are visible or detectable include cracks, decayed wood, weak branch unions, cankers, poor tree architecture, root problems, and dead tree or branches.

A defective tree is not considered hazardous unless there is a nearby target that it could hit. A target could be a person, vehicle, building or any other object likely to sustain damage or injury. The term target area is used to describe an area where people or their equipment are likely to congregate. By definition, a hazardous tree = a defect tree plus a target.

Should I have my tree topped?

The short answer is no. Topping, heading back and dehorning are all terms used to describe severe cutting back of a tree’s crown. It is a poor arboricultural practice and should not be used for healthy tree maintenance.

Will heavy equipment be brought onto my property?

It is possible, that with your permission we will bring equipment onto your property. If we do bring equipment on your property we will use plywood to minimize the impact on the landscape. Please keep in mind that even with the use of plywood, there will likely be impressions on your lawn.

Why should I have my stumps ground? What is a stump grinder?

A stump grinder is a machine that has a cutter wheel specifically manufactured to grind a stump and its root flares into a mulch-like fiber. Typically they penetrated about 8” below grade.


The most obvious benefits to stump grinding are:

• Aesthetics-stumps are unsightly

• Utilization-removing a stump will allow you to use the space again

• Safety-no more tripping over the stump

• Maintenance-you won’t have to mow around it anymore


Alternatives to stump grinding are having stumps dug out. Digging up stumps is expensive and leaves you with a large hole to fill in and a big stump to dispose of.

How deep will the stump be ground?

Normally a stump is ground between 4-6″ below grade, unless otherwise agreed upon at the time of estimation. You should also discuss any surface roots or other obstructions you would like attended to. Also discuss debris removal with you estimator. A large stump can produce a small truckload of chips.

I have a stump that is standing right up against my wall; can you still get it?

We use versatile machinery that is ideal for inching right up to a wall, patio or other object that you definitely do not want damaged in any way. Pioneer Tree Service and Landscaping, Inc. can usually take out all signs of a tree literally within millimeters of any structure without causing damage.

If a tree must be cut, should the stumps and roots also be removed?

Stumps and root systems should be left undisturbed when a tree is cut on a slope. The beneficial nature of roots for erosion control has been discussed. Trees removed for foundation excavations, septic system construction, road building, or gardens should be removed during site development. Stumps remaining when trees are cut for view or hazard considerations should generally be left. They can be cut flush with the ground or be incorporated into a landscape design. In some cases stump grinders can be employed to remove the stump without causing the disturbance associated with pulling or digging the stump out.