K Thomas Lawson is proud to be a division of Bartlett Tree Experts, and our staff now has the backing of an international tree-care company and tree research laboratory to help continue providing excellent tree service and shrub care in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. View a complete list of professional tree services offered by Bartlett.

Do It Yourself Tree Care 
is it right for you?

If you own property, there's probably a little bit of Do It Yourself inside of you, wondering about how much tree care you can do to save yourself money and enrich yourself with new skills and accomplishments... And yes, there is quite a lot of tree care that you can do yourself.

First we must establish the boundary about what you may not do. And please, take it from the professional who sees the mistakes and the accidents of homeowners.

You can do it yourself if:

  • You can reach it from the ground –NO LADDERS!!! Too many accidents result from attempts to prune trees from ladders. Please don’t join this club.
  • You know the basics of making proper pruning cuts or are willing to learn.
  • You have prior experience with pruning tools. 
  • You are not a complete idiot –you know who we are talking about (and if this is your husband, hide the tools and don’t let him out of the house this Sunday).

Dogwood Before
Dogwood After

Dogwood before and after a light thinning. Note how natural the tree still if nothing had been done at all. The lower branches have been removed (less scarring to tree and person during mowing), and select branches have been removed to minimize over extended weight and to create a pleasing shape. This can all be done from the ground with hand pruners and a pole pruner. No chain saw required.

Don’t sign your tree up for experimentation. Incorrect pruning can mortally wound the tree or in the least, take several years to overcome.

You will want to hire a tree service if:

  • If the tree is tall or large enough to require a ladder
  • If there is property under the tree that may become damaged.
  • You are spending too much time on the internet trying to figure out if you can do it yourself!
  • You need a chainsaw and you've forgotten how to use it.
  • You sense privately that you are NOT confident--it's okay, you are great at something else! 


Learn about proper Tree Mulching techniques 

Removal of stumps--read the bottom of our stump removal page! 

New Trees:

Planting a Bare Root Tree

Planting a Balled & Burlapped Tree (B&B)

Choosing a Nursery Tree 

Choosing a live Christmas Tree and how to care for it! 

Pruning at ground level:

Get the proper tools

Coming soon--make a proper cut

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