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Understanding Our Services

Answers to our most frequently asked questions.

When we work in a neighborhood, folks often stop by and ask a few questions. We love what we do and enjoy answering a few questions. We feel it is part of being a reputable tree company. We have put together a Q & A for our most often asked questions. Let us know if there is something else we can help you understand better.

General Questions

Do you have certifications?

Many certifications apply to tree work. We hold certifications and training in, Tree Pruning and Thinning Standards, Tree Work Using Cranes, Certified Crane Operators, and Flagging on Roadways Certification (MUTCD). All our field employees carry a Class A Commercial Driver License, are enrolled in a Random Drug & Alcohol Test Program and participate in Company Safety Meetings.

Some companies advertise being certified arborists. Certifications as such are best suited for

1.) People who want a diagnosis on the best chemical for treating a specific disease or fungus on a tree.

2.) Tree companies that perform spraying, injecting, lawn treatment and other plant health care.

3.) Companies who are new to the industry and are trying to gain credibility.

In contrast, Martin Tree Service, LLC does NOT perform plant treatments, injecting, consulting for fees, or lawn treatment. We are not new to the industry. We have been in the industry since 1990 and have been doing tree work as a full-time business. We focus on meeting our customers’ expectations to the best degree possible. We get our customers from referrals of previous customers and the fact we have been pleasing customers for over 30 years. Some companies use certifications as their banner and do not perform work that is credible. We do not have or use tree certifications as leverage to earn your business.

Why the clean trucks?

Professional people use professional equipment. Our company owner believes in equipping our crews with the best tools for the job.

Our company hires employees who appreciate driving newer trucks and newer equipment and work hard to keep it that way. We in turn will do our best to respect your property the same way we treat our equipment. When we are finished, let us know how we did. When your neighbors see us working, they will know at first glance that you hired a reputable, established, professional tree company to work in their neighborhood.

Do you sell firewood, plant trees, or plow snow?

We only sell firewood logs wholesale by the truckload. We specialize in performing tree removal, tree pruning, and stump grinding. Because we are busy with what we do best, we are not able to spare the time for other types of jobs.

What do you do with all the trimmings? Do you recycle?

We chip logs up to 10”-20” in diameter. These chips will go for mulch or compost material. Whatever we do not chip, gets shredded and turned into mulch, wholesaled for firewood, or collected, sorted and wholesaled for board lumber. Nothing goes to landfills.

Can I keep firewood for myself or my neighbor?

We prefer to finish your job and leave your property nice and clean by removing all the wood, large and small.

We can give it to you or your neighbor, but make sure you know what you are asking for. Too often when customers come home to a mountain of heavy wood, they have second thoughts and want the wood taken away. Consider that an average 18” long piece of firewood from a tree trunk may weigh up to 200 pounds.

We have our own log truck to remove all the wood in a timely fashion. This makes a clean and efficient removal. If you want a few (for example, 24) pieces for a backyard campfire, we will likely be able to accommodate this request and remove the rest.

Why Us?

We are a locally owned and operated company, not a franchise.
We work for our reputation and are known for clean jobs, clean equipment, respectful employees, and office staff that will call you back with prices that are reasonable.
We have been in business for over 30 years. Most of our employees have been Lancaster County residents all their life.
Many of our customers are previous customers or have been referred by friends or family.
We are well-equipped for large, challenging trees and often get referrals from other tree companies for these trees.

What kind of tree work don’t we do?

Injecting, treating, or work that is wasting your money and our time. We tend to pass up tree jobs that are impossible to access and pruning jobs on trees shorter than 20’, which are better suited for a landscaper.

Can you find dead tree limbs in winter?

Some homeowners worry that we will not be able to identify deadwood on a leafless tree during the dormant winter months. On the contrary, this is the best time for us to locate deadwood by looking for changes in branch color, fungus growth, cracks, and other symptoms that can help us make this determination. Since the leaves are off, the view of the entire tree’s architecture is clear and a thorough check can be performed.

Should I Top my trees?

No, removing the top 1/3 of a tree is a bad practice and should be avoided. Making cuts in the tree’s limb structure in excess of 2-5” in diameter is asking for problems in the future.

Large cuts change the tree from a well-structured crown to a bush with lots of sprouts. The wounds do not heal over the end and begin decaying. The sprouts grow off the side of what resembles a decaying coffee can. The sprouts are weakly attached and can cause problems in the future.

Topping a tree may cause:

  1. Disgrace to neighborhood
  2. Does not make the tree grow slower
  3. Does not generally make the tree safer
  4. Does not adhere to the ANSI A300 Pruning Standard
  5. Costs 2/3 the price of removal

Topping trees can possibly be a last resort when the tree hangs over your bedroom and keeps you awake at night. At that rate, a better option may be to remove the tree and plant another tree at a more suitable location.

Do you paint the wounds?

No, it is not good practice to paint over the wounds. The paints will loosen from the tree, creating a dark, damp place for insects and decay to enter. If paint is used, it should be used lightly for cosmetic reasons only.

Underground Wires?

If there are underground public utilities (UGI, PPL, Phone, Cable) in the area, where we are grinding a stump, we will contact PA One Call to locate underground wires.

Private wires, water pipes, gas lines, etc, such as those going to a shed or lamp post, are NOT identified by PA One Call. You need to notify us of issues we cannot see.


We use a dynamic scheduling system. Many factors affect when your work is scheduled. Factors such as proximity to driveway, backyard, the time of year, the type of equipment needed, our existing work load, and the location of job.

In order to reduce our time on the road and carbon footprint, we try to arrange jobs for each day that are in close proximity. Most jobs are finished the day we start them. We typically schedule a combination of jobs that will fill the entire day.

How long does it take to perform my tree work?

Average large trees are removed in 2-5 hours! Yes, that is right. We do not bring our tent along and camp out on your property. We have customized and efficient equipment, knowledge, and the manpower to do safe and neat tree work.

If you don’t believe we can work quickly, stop by when you see us working. Join the others who are watching and see for yourself. When you hire a company that has been doing the same thing (just trees) for over 30 years, you can expect them to know how to handle large trees.

About Our Services


We prefer trees to be marked. Cutting a tree is a non-reversible operation. For your clarification and our peace of mind, we prefer a positive identification of a tree to remove.

A customer may say, “Cut a tree down,” when they really mean “Take limbs off the top.” Marking a tree for removal is a step in clarifying the instructions.

Thin Out (ie. Crown Cleaning, Corrective Pruning)

Remove branches to allow better wind penetration and air movement. Remove water sprouts.
On younger medium age trees, corrective pruning encourages strong limb structure, and encourages the tree to grow.
Often accompanies removing low limbs (raising the canopy).
~ Pin Oaks – Thin suckers, remove low limbs, dead wood.
~ Sugar Maples – Thin, corrective pruning, remove parallel leaders

Dead Wood removal

Removes dead and dying wood.
In some trees with a lot of small, finger size dead wood, we say 85% of dead wood.

Top Trees (crown reduction, drop crotching, head cuts)

Take top 1/3 or ¼ of tree off.
Not generally recommended as a professional approach. Changes the normal strong limb structure and replaces it with a bunch of shoots growing on the side of a “decaying coffee can.”
On a mature or slow growing tree (caused due to stress, root issues) it can encourage the tree to die.

Raise Lower Canopy – Low Limbs

We have found that the sooner you remove low limbs on growing trees that are trending toward future problems, the sooner it will heal and lead to a well-managed tree. Limbs such as those growing toward your roof or hanging low are best dealt with when the tree is young.

Removes selective low limbs to provide better clearance for pedestrians, vehicles, and more light for grass to grow.
Norway Maples – remove Low Limbs to allow grass to grow.