Truck & Chipper W Tree in background


Hurricane Arthur Batters North Shore - How To Deal with the Aftermath

How to protect your trees in severe weather!


We've received dozens of calls this weekend from people with storm damaged trees. Our crews have been taking trees off houses, driveways, wires and yards, and removing broken branches from trees. We've also had a number of calls about uprooted trees in Swampscott, Marblehead, Lynn, Lynnfield, Andover, North Andover, Revere, Winthrop, Boxford and Reading.

Recent year’s severe weather events such as the ice storm of ’08, Halloween storm of ’10, Hurricane Sandy ’12 and other unnamed storms have damaged trees across the North Shore of Boston. Trees catch the wind like sails and branches hold snow and ice; overextended limbs are most likely to break in wind, snow, and ice events. Storms can cause other types of failure as well: root plate failure, soil failure, sliding I-Beam failure, insect and disease failure, and lightening strikes!

And unfortunately, insurance may not cover trees that are not threatening life or property!

What you shouldn’t do!

DO NOT go near a tree that has become unsafe with broken limbs or uprooting

DO NOT cut an uprooted tree, the roots may be under tension still and when weight is removed from the crown (leafy portion or the tree) the tree can stand back up!

DO NOT attempt to free up broken limbs, what may look small from the ground can be very large…and heavy!

What can you do?

Like anything else, preventative maintenance is easiest…and cheaper!

Healthy trees are generally safe, so stay on top of:

  • IPM and fertilization
  • Crown reduction and thinning reduces sail volume and over extended limbs
  • Cabling helps support larger limbs

Contact one of our certified arborists to learn how to keep your trees healthy or to help with storm damage clean-up!

Request a Free Consultation


Winter Tree Care and a 10% Discount

tree_removal_bucket_truckAvoid tree loss and property damage  

Most damage during severe weather events occurs due to falling trees and limbs.  During winter months, storms with high winds can break off branches or cause trees to fall, resulting in property damage, power outages or even personal injury. The weight of ice and snow accumulations can bend and break delicate evergreens.

Now is an important time to have your trees inspected for decay, broken or hazardous branches, and weak branch unions.  There are some basic procedures that can help reduce the risk of tree and property damage.  Carpenter Costin’s certified arborists can inspect for conditions and defects that could predispose your trees to failure. In the winter you want to be sure to:

  • Clear dangerous branches away from your home
  • Remove dangerous and unwanted trees and shrubs
  • Rejuvenate shrubs and hedge to thicken and invigorate
  • Prune disease-prone fruit trees
  • Prune to improve vista

Please give us a call to arrange a complimentary appointment for a Carpenter Costin certified arborist to give your trees a thorough inspection and evaluation before winter hits.  Based on our assessment, Carpenter Costin may recommend treatments, pruning or installation of support cables.  As trees provide great value and beauty to your property, removal should only be considered only where high risk conditions exist. 

We offer a 10% discount on winter tree work between December 1st and March 31, 2013.

Don’t let your trees become casualties.  Call now to arrange a Free Tree Inspection by a certified arborist.  877/308-8733.

Click me

Tight Spaces For Tree Work in Somerville

Tight_Spaces_(1)Carpenter Costin's Tracked Lift once again makes getting into tight spaces possible! Glen Park in Somerville offers a new constructed play area with slides and all manner of climbing fun. This is a well-planned park, but unfortunately the tree work was left until the end of construction, making it almost impossible (without the tracked lift!) to gain access.

The newly surfaced play areas and fencing wouldn't allow for the use of traditional equipment, but the tracked lift was able to navigate a pedestrian walkway.

If you need tree work done in a tight space and don't think we can gain access - think again! Give us a call at 877-308-8733 or contact us here for a free consultation about working in tight spaces.

Winter Tree Work in MA - 10% Discount

It's time for winter tree work. Have your trees serviced between Dec - Mar and get a 10% discount.

Tree removal and tree pruning in the winter is ideal for a number of reasons. Firm ground, low foliage, and reduced outdoor activity make tree service easier for the Arborist. Carpenter Costin's 10%  winter discount makes tree service much easier for the property owner as well.

Tree service in the winter is also recommended for areas that are constantly used in the growing season, such as golf courses and athletic fields. Servicing trees in these locations during the winter will ensure that there is no damage to the turf.

With clear sight lines, Arborists can easily analyze and prune out dead wood and hanging limbs, and identify any structural weaknesses that can be pruned or cabled to ensure safety.

Consider Carpenter Costin's winter tree services to help improve the appeal and safety of your trees. You'll be glad come spring time.


What Causes Trees to Split?

describe the imageBetween wind and rain, Mother Nature can take a toll on your trees and put your homes, cars, and family at risk! A couple of weeks ago we got a call about an Oak tree in Swampscott that started to split on a calm day. During the month of July we had five calls for similar issues; trees or branches failing for seemingly no apparent reason. 
It's hard to remember now that we're enjoying the summer heat, but we had two significant storms this winter. Those hurricane force winds have damaged our trees, and now that the added weight of water and leaves are in the tree canopies, we're seeing the flaws manifest. 
This reminder reinforces the need to have a free arborist evaluation. A professional eye will see what you may not before you end up with a tree on your roof!

Faster and Safer Tree Work with our NEW Tracked Lift!

track lift resizedOur mission has always been to offer the best possible professional tree work, landscape design, and lawn care for our clients. We've been doing that for over 60 years and have some of the most delighted clients around. Now we can provide these services faster, safer, and more cost effectively. We're so excited for our newest piece of equipment, our Tracked Lift!

The tracked lift is so compact that it will fit thru a standard single door. The makeup of the lift allows us to move easily over soft, muddy or delicate finished surfaces without the damage that would be done by other types of wheeled equipment. It can even climb stairs!

Carpenter Costin will be using this beauty for things like:

  • Tree removal without climbing
  • Pruning large hedges without need for a ladder
  • Accessing yards that would otherwise be inaccessible because of fences and small gates

Track lift2 resizedLast week we had the perfect project for our new lift. Our client in Salem, MA had a large maple tree that was posing a hazard to a home with a slate roof. Not only do you want to avoid injury by having a tree fall on your house, but in this case it would be very expensive to repair or replace a slate roof! Like many properties in Salem, this home has a narrow driveway and two small garden gates for entry into the backyard. Without our new tracked lift, we wouldn't have been able to access the tree. Thanks to our new machine we were able to quickly and safely remove it for a much lower cost to the client.

We expect the tracked lift to be involved in a lot more projects going forward. If you have tree or yard work that needs to be done but thought it wouldn't be accessible, get in touch! We'll be happy to show this guy off!


Is Your Tree a Hazardous Tree

Trees add so much beauty to our properties and benefits to the environment.   They also require attention and care to keep them healthy and in a safe condition.  If you know what to look for, your trees may have some telltale signs that indicate a potential hazard.  

How to find out if your tree is a Hazardous Tree:

  • Are there large holes in the trunk
  • Have branches fallen from tree
  • Are branches close to a structure or interfering with wires
  • Are there splits or cracks in trunk or branches
  • Are there dead or broken, hanging branches in tree
  • Are there mushrooms at the base of tree
  • Has construction or digging been performed near base of tree


If you notice any of these potentially dangerous conditions, please have your trees inspected and evaluated by a professional arborist.  They are best qualified to advise you on how to keep  your trees in tip top shape and keep them from becoming a hazardous tree.

For more information or to arrange a complimentary arborist inspection of your trees, give us a call at (877) 308-8733.  Please note that we offer a 10% discount on tree work during the winter months.


Storm Clean Up of Local Trees

Recent high winds have caused many trees to fall or to be severely damaged in our area.  Carpenter Costin crews have been called on to remove trees from houses, driveways, yards and to evaluate trees with structural damage such as cracked branches and leaders. 

A Certified Arborist is the best person to inspect your trees for hazardous or dangerous branches, or damage caused by wind, freezing and thawing temperatures, structural weakness or snow load.  Certified Arborists can educate and guide you, not just in emergency winter situations, but in the care and maintenance of all of your trees and shrubs throughout all four seasons. 

Massachusetts Certified Arborists and those certified by the International Society of Arboriculture are individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care, through formal education, at least three years of experience and have passed a comprehensive examination. They are also required to continue their education in order to maintain their certification, ensuring their knowledge is updated on the latest arboriculture techniques.

Certified Arborists, years ago called tree surgeons, are trained to ­­­:

  • Recognize safety issues and make recommendations regarding structural problems in trees, such as weak branch unions, dangerous leaders, and other potentially hazardous concerns.
  • Evaluate the overall health of your trees and shrubs
  • Diagnose insect or disease problems and advise on treatment strategies
  • Avoid taking down trees that can be salvaged

Consulting with a Certified Arborist will give you the assurance that your trees are safe and healthy. 

For a complimentary evaluation of your trees and shrubs by a Certified Arborist, please give us a call at (877)308-8733.

Carpenter Costin's 10% Winter Discount on Tree Work continues through

March 30, 2013.

 describe the image


Tree Pruning and Removal Service for Golf Courses

Ensure that fairway trees are pruned, and any necessary removals are completed during this off-season.

As any golf superintendent knows, golf course care is not limited to keeping the fairways and greens in tip-top shape; but rather it extends to include the trees that line the fairways, tee boxes, and greens. Keeping the numerous trees throughout the course in a safe and healthy condition will not only improve the quality of the golf experience, but it will also improve the appeal of the course as a whole.

Tree pruning and removal services at golf courses are best completed during the winter months, after the ground has had a chance to freeze. Frozen ground ensures that the heavy equipment necessary for tree service makes minimal impact on the courses’ grounds.

If we have a mild winter, and the ground never freezes, a tree service provider with experienced tree climbers can still service trees without causing damage to the greens and fairways – while leaving the heavy equipment on firm ground. Ensuring the service provider has the capability to do the work without impacting the playing surface must be a priority for the course managers and superintendents.

Planning for tree removal and pruning on golf courses should begin in the fall. As the golfing season winds down, superintendents can walk the course with a Certified Arborist and determine what the tree service needs are, and develop a plan to meet the needs and budget of the course. A comprehensive, multi-year plan can be determined to segment the course, and service sections of trees at a time; which helps manage the budget without sacrificing quality.

Take advantage of the knwoledge a Certified Arborist has, and consider a free course walk-thru with a Carpenter Costin pro. Click below to get your free walk-thru with a Certified Arborist.


golf course tree service

Is it Legal to Trim a Neighbor’s Tree?

The legality of trimming or cutting a neighbor’s tree is a common concern of homeowners.

Homeowners rejoice! It is, in fact, legal to trim those branches from your neighbor’s tree that have grown frighteningly close to your house. However, ensure you abide by the law, and only trim what is on your side of the property line.

The legality of tree cutting has always raised concern for homeowners who need to service tree serviced on property linetrees that lie on or over the property line they share with their neighbors. The concern is for good reason, as some trees can be valued at upwards of $10,000 or more; and you never know what type of emotional attachment your neighbor may have to a tree. Understanding the law when it comes to servicing trees that lie on your neighbor’s property can keep you out of unpleasant situations.

The main area of focus here needs to be the trunk. Where does the trunk sit? If the trunk is entirely on your neighbor’s property, then it is your neighbor’s tree, and it is their responsibility for reasonable inspection and maintenance of the tree. Even if the majority of the tree hangs over your property, it is where the trunk is that dictates “ownership” of the tree. However, you are allowed to trim the branches up to the property line, and it should be your responsibility to ensure your property remains safe from the branches that hang over.

As a landowner with trees on your property, it is your responsibility to make regular, reasonable inspections of the trees to ensure they are safe. If, in fact, a landowner neglects to make reasonable inspections and a tree that is deemed unsafe causes damage to your property – it is the neighboring landowner that is responsible (as long as the tree trunk is wholly on their property).

When a tree trunk lies on more than one property line it is legally referred to as a “boundary tree” and it is the responsibility of all landowners involved to inspect and care for the tree. Should you remove a “boundary tree” without consent from all the landowners involved you may be in for some legal troubles should one of the owners protest.

The most important aspect of dealing with trees across property lines is communication. It is always a good idea to check in with neighbors if you’re going to service a tree that lies on their property. If you don’t have the best relationship with a neighbor, then ask your Arborist to speak with them. It doesn’t hurt to have a trained professional make the “this tree needs some care” case for you. Also, remember that it is your responsibility for safety inspections of the trees on your property.

Of course, you could always have a Carpenter Costin Arborist inspect your trees for you. It only takes 15 minutes.



Recent Posts

Subscribe to Blog