Your best local resource is your City Forester. Call City Hall and ask to speak with them — they can help as long as you have a few details in hand: species and age of the tree, any recent disturbance to the roots or other part of the tree (such as a new driveway or other construction) and care history (watering, pruning, etc.). If it’s not possible to diagnose the problem over the phone, you might be asked to send or bring in a sample of the tree. Be sure to follow the instructions given about how best to remove and transport the sample.


In Kansas:

  • Leavenworth County Master Gardeners: 913-250-2300
  • Wyandotte County Master Gardeners: 913-299-9300 (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, April through October) or e-mail
  • Johnson County Master Gardeners: 913-715-7050 (Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, March through October) or e-mail
  • K-State Extension


In Missouri:

The University of Missouri Extension Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City serve Cass, Clay, and Platte counties as well as surrounding areas. They offer two services:

  • Telephone hotline: 816- 833-TREE
    Speak with a master gardener Mon – Fri. (9 am – 3 pm) March 1 – October 31
  • Cass County Question and Answer Desk
    Wed. 9 am – Noon, May – September
    302 S. Main St., Harrisonville 816-380-8460
  • Clay County Hotline
    Tues & Thurs 9 am – 3 pm, March – October
    1901 NE 48th St., Kansas City 816-407-3490
  • Jackson County Hotline
    Mon, Wed, Fri 9 am – 3 pm, March – October
    1501 NW Jefferson, Blue Springs 816-252-5051
    816-833-TREE (8733)
  • Platte County Question and Answer Desk
    Wed 1 pm – 4 pm, April – Sept
    11724 NW Plaza Circle, Kansas City 816-270-2141 email
  • Call 816-833-TREE (8733)

Certified Arborist

If you are looking to have a tree removed or trimmed, Heartland Tree Alliance recommends you always you a certified arborist. There are two certification programs in this area that train, test and certify tree workers on the proper techniques and principals of arboriculture. You can search and find an arborist in your area either by name or zip code.

How to Hire an Arborist

An arborist is a specialist in the care of individual trees. Arborists are knowledgeable about the needs of trees, and they are trained and equipped to provide proper care.

  • Make sure they are part of an established business in the community or nearby area with a listing in the phone book, usually under “Tree Service.” Look for “certified arborist” or other indication of professional certification (see 4. below).
  • Hiring an arborist is a decision that should not be taken lightly; tree work should be done only by those trained and equipped to work on trees in a manner that is safe both for them and for the trees. Have them provide you with evidence they are actually working for the company, rather than moonlighting.
  • Ask for current certificates of insurance showing they are fully insured for property damage, personal liability and worker compensation.
  • Ideally, they should be members of a professional association of arborists such as the Kansas Arborist Association (KAA), the International Society of Arboriculture, the Tree Care Industry Association, or the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA). Ask for proof of certification before any work is started.
  • Arborists who have received certification from their professional associations, such as ISA Certified Arborists, will have received training and access to current technical information on tree care, repair and removal. They will also carry membership cards to show their certification.
  • Get at least three estimates to ensure the price offered is competitive with that offered by others for the same services.
  • In case of tree removals, have a clear understanding about who removes the limbs and debris from the property and whether or not the price includes stump removal and clean up.
  • Check to see if the estimate has considered the possible value your tree will have as firewood or chips, either to yourself or if sold to others.
  • Do not hire contractors who go door to door. A professional tree care company typically does not do business by knocking on doors.
  • ABOVE ALL – do not respond to pressure tactics! Be a good consumer. Do your research and hire good contractors.
  • Check out the Tree Resources page to find certified arborists in your area.


Content provided by the City of Stillwater’s Forestry Coordinator, Carrie Tomlinson.