Category: MC Tree Service

Changes to Consider During 2019 Medicare Open Enrollment

There are many changes coming to the world of Medicare in 2019.  Most of these changes will involve coverage in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D.  From more health care plans to choose from to lower premiums and added benefits now is a good time to start reviewing your current plans and future options.

An Increase in Medicare Advantage Plan Choices

In 2019 Medicare expects to see an increase of upwards to 600 new Medicare Advantage plan options varying between locations.   More than ninety percent of Medicare enrollees will have the option of ten or more Medicare Advantage plans to choose from in their area.  Medigap Plan D, prescription drug coverage is also upgrading and offering Plan D business plans in 2019.

Medigap Plan D, Prescription Drug Coverage, Premiums Decrease

Enrollees in Medigap Plan D can expect to see a decrease in plan premiums by $1 a month in 2019.  It is important to remember that when looking at coverage there is more to the cost than just the initial premium.  Some plans offer a low premium, but the cost of prescriptions co-pays is much higher than a higher costing premium plan.  A Medicare Supplemental Insurance Agent or the Medicare Plan Finder online are tools available to assist you in comparing all ten Medigap rates and plans.

Preferred Pharmacies

Medigap Plan D will include more preferred pharmacies.  When choosing a plan that offers a preferred pharmacy you can expect to pay lower premiums and decreased co-payments.  If you go outside of the preferred pharmacy to have prescriptions filled, you will be paying a premium.  If you are adamant of sticking with a certain pharmacy, you will need to see if a plan option exists with them as the planned pharmacy.  If not, you will need to change pharmacies or pay the additional cost of prescriptions.

Less Expense in The Donut Hole

The coverage gap which makes participants pay more out of pocket for prescriptions known as the donut hole, will close in 2019.  When your total prescription drug expense reaches $3,820 you will pay 25% of the cost of brand-name (37% of generic) up until you have reached $5,100 in which you will then only be responsible for 5%.

Medicare Advantage Premiums Decreasing

In 2019 the premium for Medicare Advantage will run on average $28 per month, down $1.81 from 2018.  There will also be more zero premium options available with Medicare Advantage coverage.  It is always good to note that often lower-premium policies have a smaller network of providers.  If this does not bother you than this may be a good option to help cut costs.

The experts at eMedigap Plans, powered by Omega, have all the answers you are looking for when it comes to your Medigap Supplemental Insurance needs.  More information can be found at

Steps to take in the fall season

Fall is here! Can’t even believe this is being said so soon as it seems like just yesterday the kids got out of school and now summer has happened, memories have been made and school is back in session as well as the lawns being scattered with leaves. Now is the prime time to ensure the health of your lawn, trees and landscape.

The first step it to ensure the canvas is left blank and ready to go for winter and spring. This entails cutting down trees that have died or become infected with disease or pest as well as trimming branches in trees. This leaves the canvas healthy and blank for the next year. Tree removal and trimming is best left to the professionals.

Next engage your lawn with some food. The worst thing to happen is to your lawn awakening in the spring with “feed me Semour screams”. The first application of fertilizer should be done in the middle of September with the next application happening before the frost has set in, around the end of November.

It is also important to reseed areas that have incurred damage from the sun. In order to reseed successfully loosen the soil and add seed on top of the loosened soil. Then add another layer of soil to the top. This will assist in the seed taking root.

Keep watering the lawn until the frost is here to stay. The lawn should be moist as it heads into winter but not saturated. Saturating the lawn will create a perfect environment for mold growth. Don’t automatically assume since Labor Day has come and gone that our house should be put away.

Don’t prune! Pruning is meant to encourage growth and going into a season where plants, shrubs and trees are going to be dormant the last thing you should do is encourage growth. Wait to prune until spring time rolls around. Dead wood however, is better to take off in the fall so as said before tree trimming and tree removal is best to be done now. This will prevent the perfect living environment for bugs to live and hide; dead wood.

The fall season is the perfect time to transplant items within your landscape and to divide larger plants such as ferns and hostas. This helps in allowing the root system take hold for spring growth. On a side note now is the perfect time to invite friends to share their overgrown goods with your landscape.

Mulch is an important part of fall preparations. Mulching around trees ensuring that the mulch is shaped in a donut leaving room around the trunk and not like a volcano. This allows the tree to be a less likely home and meal for small critters as it is not comfy at the trunk. Mulch is also best to be applied in flower beds in the fall before the hard freeze. It will help prevent the plant root systems and ensure they are vibrant and healthy for the spring.

Add any bulbs that are required to be planted in the fall for spring growth. Tulips and daffodils are some that add great color in the spring when the landscape is just awakening and color is still bleak and unseen in the grass and trees.

Fall landscape preparations make for an easy transition in the spring. A little preparation goes a long way with your landscape and most things for that matter.

Trimming your trees

Trimming trees is a mess most people would prefer not to have to deal with. Leaving dead tree branches on a tree however makes the tree aesthetically unpleasing and a hazard to your home and yard environment. The best time to take note of tree limbs that are ready to be trimmed is near the end of the summer season right before the leaves drop. It is easier to note dead limbs while the leaves are still intact on the living limbs. Mark the limbs and after the foliage has dropped it will be easier to maneuver in and around the tree to cut the dead limbs.
There are a few reasons you may want to trim limbs and branches that are still alive. If you note that a limb is diseased, crossing over another limb, rubbing on other branches, growing inward or over a structure the limb should most likely be removed. It sounds simple enough to cut the branches off of the tree however there is a right way and a wrong way to prune trees. A tree will recover quickly when trimmed in the correct manner however cut the limbs incorrectly and you may be creating a snowball effect of negative consequences.
Below I will present you with the proper way to cut tree limbs to ensure the health of the tree is not disturbed during the process.
The first step is to make sure you don’t cut the branch close to the trunk. Make sure the first cut on the branch is done one to two feet from the trunk and make sure to begin the cut from the underside of the limb only about a third of the way through the branch.
Next you will want to make a second cut on the outside of where the initial cut was made. This cut can be made all the way through the branch. It will break away as you saw the limb, since the initial cut was made this will allow the branch to fall off without tearing any of the trees bark away. If the bark were to tear off the tree it would make the area that is left exposed susceptible to disease and would leave an access entry way for bugs and tree pests.
The final cutting process is done by cutting the bit of limb that is left where the branch meets the trunk. This area will heal and “scab” over with new bark in the shape of a donut. This is how you know the tree is properly healing.
As previously mentioned the best time to remove limbs is after the leaves have fallen. The cooler weather that is present in the fall and winter months kills off diseases that are more prevalent in the summer months. Some trees, when cut, will ooze. This is unsightly and looks as if great harm is being caused to the tree however this is not true. The ooze is most common in beech, birch, elm, maple and yellowwood. Covering the wound with tree paint or other liquid sold as treatment in unnecessary. Trees can adapt to this condition and heal just fine if left alone and untreated.
Tree trimming and pruning limbs greatly improves the look and health of the trees and landscape. Don’t take shortcuts when trimming trees as larger problems can ensue if not done properly. If you are unsure of exactly what you should do even after reading this look into hiring a local tree removal contractor. They are equipped with everything to make trimming trees simple.

Facts In Hiring A Tree Removal Company

Having trees removed from your yard is not something to take lightly.  You will want to hire a company that sets out to do a thorough job and doesn’t leave you with a landscaping nightmare.  When hiring a tree removal service company there are a few important things to take into consideration.

  • Safety: This is the number one most important consideration to look into when hiring a tree removal service contractor.  Cutting down trees is incredibly dangerous work and needs to be done with precision.  When interviewing companies interested in bidding on your tree removal needs get a detailed description of the safety measures they take when removing and trimming trees.  Make sure the company you hire follows industry safety standards, company safety policies and that the company has a safety first philosophy.
  • Insurance:  Only allow fully insured tree removal companies to perform services on your property.  For a tree removal company to be fully insured they must hold workers compensation coverage and liability coverage.  If an accident occurs while the company is working on your property their insurance will cover damages to your home, property or to their workers.
  • Licensed and Certified:  A business license should be held in the counties in which the tree removal company does business.  Tree care companies will also have on staff at least one professional arborist on staff that can provide care for trees that are sick or damaged.  Some professional certifications include TCIA and/or the ISA.
  • Reputation:  Check out the professionals you are thinking of hiring through references before signing a contract with them. If the company has a solid backing from previous customers you are more likely to get quality services.  You will want to check with the better business bureau and companies online like Angie’s list to check client reviews as well. Check to see if the company owns their own equipment as well.  There is something to be said for an established company that has been in business a while and that owns their own cranes and equipment.
  • Equipment:  When talking about equipment it is not only important that they own the right pieces to get the job done and that they are willing and able to bring those pieces of equipment with them on your job.  Things that should be at their disposal are a bucket and chipper truck, multiple chippers, chain saws, stump grinders and trucks for hauling away debris .  You will want to check to make sure the equipment is well maintained and in working order as well.  That says a lot about the company you hire.
  • Employees:  Find out about the crew and how many men will be on your job site.  It is critical that the man power is present to complete your job in the time specified.  Find out how skilled employees are and about the longevity of their employment.  Let’s be honest who wants an unskilled tree laborer taking down a large tree that is over your house. Not me!  At least a few of the climbers on staff should have over two years experience with tree removal.
  • Payments and Services:  A company that comes knocking on your door asking for your business is most likely not a company with the above qualifications.  Actively seek out a tree removal company and seek to get more than three bids in the process.  Some companies over bid, some under bid and more likely than not there will be a few in the middle to actually consider.  Make sure that with the bid that you accept that you understand the services that have been quoted.  If you need full clean up including tree removal and stump grinding make sure that is all in a written estimate before agree to the terms set forth.

The most important thing to do when hiring any service company is to look into who they are and the work kind of work they do. Trust your gut and instinct and hire using the tips mentioned above.

Tree Removal Specialists and Stump Grinding

Hiring a tree removal service company can be an interesting process to say the least.  Everyone thinks they are a specialist when it comes to whipping out a chain saw and hacking away at the trees in your yard.  Try this, I dare you.  Go outside, start a chainsaw and I can guarantee that within fifteen minutes at least a few guys from the neighborhood will be out asking if you need help cutting the trees in your yard down.  Mind you these are not the people you want to trust with this high priority job.  If a tree falls on your house, injures someone or something you will not be covered by your insurance.  Stupidity is not covered.  Professional tree removal service companies have the proper tools, insurance, crew and machinery to ensure the job goes as planned.  When is the last time you have known a random group of men with chainsaws to have a plan?  That’s right – NEVER! Not to mention the unsightly stump that will be present after the job is complete in their eyes.

With that being said it is important to hire professionals that are insured, trained and specialized in tree removal techniques and stump grinding.  The best bet for any homeowner is to have several estimates regarding the issues within your landscape.  A professional will not try to talk you into removing trees that don’t need to be removed.  That is of course you as the homeowner have reasons to have the trees brought down.  Many healthy trees need a good trim every few years to clean up the dead limbs and branches that occur.  Every expert will have an opinion and a fee associated with it.  This is important to help you think clearly about what you actually want for your yard and space.  They often present options that home owners may not have considered.

If your decision is based solely on price alone make sure to determine if stump grinding is included in the package price.  Stump grinding is a long and tedious process for a homeowner and requires a lot of effort.  To be the most cost effective consider that each stump ground out by a professional will usually run between $90 and $150 to remove. To rent a stump grinder you are looking at about $190 for an entire day.  It will take you the day don’t think this is a four hour rental job.  Depending on the number of stumps you have to grind and the time that will be put into the job you can determine what option is most cost effective.

If you do decided to grind the stumps down on your own you can guarantee the neighbors will hide at this point.  This is not nearly as “fun” as dropping a tree. Call miss dig at least three or four days in advance of grinding as they will mark any lines to be aware of in the ground. When renting the stump grinder determine that the blade is sharp and the directions clear on how to operate the machine before leaving the rental place.  When you get the machine home there are several steps to take to ensure that a proper, safe job is done.

The first attack on the stump will not involve the grinder at all. That is correct, get ready with a shovel or mattock and begin removing rocks from all around the base of the stump.  Rocks cause the cutting wheel blade to get dull and could possible damage the blade causing a large time delay in actually removing the stump from the yard.  Make sure you are starting on a stump that has been cut as close to the ground as possible. This will help to make the process move along faster.

The wheel of the grinder should be placed about 3 to 5 inches above the stump to begin with.  It is best to start grinding at the front edge of the stump and lower the wheel into the stump, starting at 3 inches and going till about 5 inches. You will cut around the entire stump in this manner.  You will slowly move the wheel to the left and right which will cause the wood debris to begin clearing out.  If you are not worried about the root system of the tree you can stop at grinding around the tree until you have created a 4 or 5 inch deep hole.  At this point there will be a hole that can be filled with top soil, tamped down and covered with grass seed.  Hay will help hold the seed in place temporarily while it begins to sprout.

Tree and stump removal is a process that should be left to the professionals. So many things can go wrong if not done correctly including damage to property and life.  Professionals are insured and trained to take on tricky tree removal situations. They have the proper equipment to ensure a smooth, accident free job is done. Why chance it that is what I say.




Tree Removal Services Without Complications

When thinking about a landscaping design and creating a beautiful landscape you need to focus on not only what it looks like today but what it will look like in fifteen years. Think about how the trees, plants and flowers will look when they are mature. How filled out will the trees get? Will the flowers spread or are they the types of plants that stay the same size they are when you first plant them? When laying out the initial design you will need to look into the future to picture the growth of the trees, plants and shrubs that will occur.

Often time’s homeowners find that many pieces of the garden and landscape stay similar in size and shape however this is not true when it comes to trees. Trees, especially certain varieties can grow out of control and their size can get out of hand before anyone even realizes what is happening. If homeowners are not careful when planting certain varieties of trees they could be faced with the future prospect of tree removal and stump grinding which can be pricey depending on the location of the overgrown tree.

During the initial design phase there are certain elements to consider when planting. One of the many things homeowners need to consider is planting trees near retaining walls. If the design calls for a tree to be planted close to a wall of any kind make sure the tree variety is one that has a root base that does not spread beyond the width you have between the wall and the tree. If you find yourself in a situation that the tree is growing into the wall you will be faced with the pricey decision to remove the wall or to have the tree removed without damaging the wall.

Swimming pools are another landscape feature that trees can cause havoc in. If the trees roots invade the area near the pool it is potentially an expensive repair. Roots growing into the foundation of the pool could cause cracks and leaks within the pool area. When installing a new pool consider removing any trees that are within the area to avoid potential problems that can arise.

Driveways that are paved come to have issues as well with tree roots if the trees are planted to close the pavement. The trees roots are limited in growth by the pavement. The driveway will buckle and the tree roots will need to be removed. This is a costly fix. It is best to avoid planting large trees close to any pavement including driveways and sidewalks to prevent damage.

Tree roots can also wreak havoc on underground items that are not often considered when landscaping such as grinders and septic tanks. It would be a nightmare to have a large tree growing around your septic, well or grinder when it came time for repairs or replacements.

Owning a home is expensive enough on its own without causing issues that can be avoided with a little forethought. When considering a landscape design don’t just look at what the design is now but consider what it will be and the surroundings around the landscaping blueprint.

Lessons In Professional Tree Removal

Many reasons play into why trees that surround your home and make up your landscape can need to be cut down. It may be necessary for the safety of the home and the proximity of the tree and its root system. Another reason is that the tree is dead or has become infested and without taking the tree down the rest of the trees in the yard could be affected. Aesthetic value could be another reason. Whatever the reason your landscape needs to be groomed it is important as a homeowner that you interview and hire tree removal contractors to make sure they are insured, trained and have a spotless record from their references.

When the day comes and the trees are marked the professionals will come out to trim and cut the trees down that have been agreed upon for removal. Professional tree removal companies follow certain specific steps as they remove your trees as the tree removal process is one in which dangers are real. If done incorrectly life and limb are literally at stake.

Professionals will a list of equipment similar to the one below:

More than one individual is necessary for all tree removal jobs

Ladders of all types including bucket ladders when necessary



Chainsaws with several bar lengths and power levels/gas

Falling Axes

Safety Gear (and it will be on) including; a quality hard hat, eye and ear protection, steel toe boots, work gloves and often leg coverings

First Aid Kit to treat injuries on site until emergency crews, if needed, can respond

The trees that are to be removed will be accessed. The crew will be looking out for dead branches on the tree and surrounding trees as well as cracks and loose bark on the tree. They will often times “hug” the tree to see what direction the tree is naturally leaning. Observations will be made regarding how the branches are spread about; the actual height of the tree, the drop zone as well as what other branches or trees could be in the way. The base will be examined for root instability. The team will consider weather conditions and wind direction as well BEFORE any branches or trees are cut.

One thing professionals due that we don’t often think about as homeowners is the escape route just in case the tree removal does not go exactly as anticipated. Many professionals look for trees close by that can be used as cover and an exit forty five degrees from the side and back of the trees.

The actual cutting process is one of the quickest parts of the process. You will note that professionals start with a first cut that is made into the tree at a horizontal angle. The first cut will be no more than 1/3 of the width of the tree. The tree will fall perpendicular to this first cut. From here tree removal professionals will make two wedge cuts. One on top of the first cut at a sixty degree angle and one below the first cut at a thirty degree angles. After this is done a cut will be made across from the first cut and a wedge put into place acting as a hinge for the falling tree. This is the cut that brings the tree down slowly as the wedge goes deeper into the tree.

Once the tree is on the ground safely is when limbs can be trimmed and chipped and the tree cut and stacked. Depending on the client’s needs tree removal companies offer to take the remnants away with them or leave them for use by the client. Branches and smaller limbs can be ground into wood chips and again left to be used by the client or taken away and disposed of. The safest way to have a tree removed from your yard is by a professional. Trees are unpredictable and an event that is meant to be harmless could turn out to be devastating.