Phil Turner has over 30 years expericance as a professional arborist in the Pinellas County Area. Recently, Phil was interviewed by Florida State Homes. Here is the entirety of that interview:

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

In 1968, as a laboratory technician at West Virginia Pulp And Paper (WESTVACO), my job was testing tree pulp and wood samples for paper production along with conducting field research of trees for maximum health and disease control for the paper industry.

I relocated to Florida in 1971 and began working with numerous tree services, obtaining my Arborist Certification. I participate in continuing education courses with the University Of Florida to keep up to date with current studies, new diseases and treatments of trees. I prepare tree evaluations for private and commercial properties. I consult as an arborist for several municipalities. I prepare treatments for diseases, fertilization, assist with settling insurance demands, risk evaluations, appraisals, referrals for trimming and removals.

What are the basic points every homeowner should know about tree care?

Homeowners should have their trees evaluated for health and property damage concerns at least every two years by a ISA Certified Arborist.

What are some of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when it comes to tree maintenance?

The number one mistake homeowners make is hiring unlicensed tree services to trim or remove trees. Homeowners should not take a tree service agent’s word that he or she is a certified arborist. They should always ask to see the ISA Certification Card!! Unlicensed tree services and fraudulent arborists damage or kill thousands of trees every year! Check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints before hiring a tree service.

Can you briefly describe what pruning is and why it’s important?

Proper pruning should consist of lateral raising of the lower limbs; removal of the lower sucker growth or water sprouts; removing deadwood. Reducing the crown is usually not recommended in hardwoods. No more than two thirds of the interior foliage should be removed.

What are the basic issues to keep in mind when one wants to grow healthy trees?

One of the most common mistakes people make is crowding. They don’t take into consideration the size of the tree once it obtains adult size. Crowding creates competition for nourishment and forces deformities as the trees grow toward sunlight. Getting trees evaluated at least every two years to spot problems before they become serious is highly recommended.

What are some of the most popular trees for yards in Florida?

Oaks are by far the most popular hardwoods in Florida. The Live Oak is the most hardy and disease resistant. Palms are very popular. Crape Myrtles are a favorite landscape tree. Citrus trees have been a long time favorite. They are in real trouble with the influx of imported diseases such as Citrus Greening. The Citrus industry is in a constant fight to find cures. The local universities are also fighting the war!

Do you have any specific tips for homeowners about caring for any of those trees?

Do not park cars or heavy equipment under trees. This causes compaction, robbing the tree of water and nutrients. Trees need to be evaluated by an Arborist and pruned by a licensed tree service. Home inspections are common for new home buyers. A tree inspection should be done just as home inspections are done.

What’s the best way for people to contact your company?

727-452-5508 or

Check out our interview “
Tree Maintenance 101
” on, a leading site for Florida Multi-Family Homes Florida State Homes also serves Atlanta, Georgia condos, Rock Hill, South Realty & Seminole, FL homes