Bob Jurgens, Jones Brothers Tree & Landscape
Trees offer beauty, shade, and food and shelter for wildlife. It’s only natural we should give them the care they deserve. After all, as Bob Jurgens says, “Trees are usually the most valuable asset in our landscape and with proper care can last for generations.” And he should know since this certified arborist and owner of Jones Brothers Tree & Landscape has been in the tree business for 39 years.
Q: What factors contribute most to your success as a tree expert?
A: Continuing education, networking with educators and other professionals, and practical experience. I take a personal interest in every project, no matter how large or small, and have a passion for sharing my knowledge and experience.
Q: What is one of the most expensive or challenging home issues you’ve helped remedy?
A: The loss and removal of a mature tree is by far the largest expense a homeowner can incur. Construction stress, heat stress, drought, insects and disease, overpruning, over-mulching, and overwatering [contribute] to the loss of trees. What most homeowners don’t know is that 80 to 90 percent of these losses are preventable.
Q: How would you advise a homeowner to prevent or avoid such an issue?
A: Be pro-active and not reactive. Mature trees should be inspected regularly by a certified arborist to identify weak growth habits and defects, such as stress cracks, rot, and decay. More often than not, pruning, cabling, and bracing can correct these defects. If the tree is predisposed to windthrow due to root rot, the homeowner can exercise control and remove the tree prior to it becoming an emergency. The homeowner could have a lightning protection system installed to protect their most valuable trees. Proper culture and care of trees, regardless of their age, is essential.
Q: What’s the most valuable tool for a tree expert? And the most popular product?
A: Knowledge and experience are the most valuable tools. With them, we can do something for your tree; without them, you may be doing something to your tree. [As for products,] I am fond of the new arsenal of insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers, and growth regulators available today. We have come a long way in the last 39 years.
Q: What should consumers look for when selecting home service providers to assist with repairs/projects in your field?
A: Only a certified arborist should be retained to provide care for your trees. Ask for references and check with the Better Business Bureau. Be sure to request a current Certificate of Insurance for general liability and workman’s compensation coverage. Special projects involving land clearing and residential demolition and reconstruction should be supervised by an experienced arborist.