Oak tree care in houston

Hi folks,
First time posting here so be patient if I ask FAQ or silly questions. :)
I built a house last year on a 1/3 acre lot with 5 full grown oaks in the back, 2 young (10ft tall) oaks in the front and a unidentified tree (ash maybe) in the side.
My neighbors have had there trees suddendly die on them after 8 or so months of living in the house. The guy that cleared them out said it was boring insects that got them.
I trimmed a dead limb off the Ash (i think) with a rope chain and the limb had some pencil sized bore holes in it. I dug out what looked to be deab bug coons or something.
I called a profesional tree service and they quoted $350 to fertilize and treat the trees with (A) PHC for trees and super seaweed, and (B) Permethrin TC for boring insects.
They also offered a tree trimming service quote for $790 for the trees mentioned above.
Are these reasonable prices? Is there something I can do DIY to protect my trees?
The soil here is mostly gray clay and it has been very dry since June.
thanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

months
Permethrin
my
Just yesterday I was just reading about something called 'sudden oak death' that is affecting trees west of the Mississippi. Apparently it's caused by the same virus that killed off the American chestnut many years ago. As for diagnosing and treating your trees' problems, I would recommend getting the extension service or forestry people to do that. I'm not saying that the tree trimming service is dishonest or is trying to gouge ... it's just that they are in business to make money and the other folks are not. Before I let somebody put down a bunch of poisons and cut off major limbs, I'd want to know what kind of boring insects killed the trees and I would research the bugs as well as the chemicals they wanted to use. Good luck! Suz
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

More likely, the guy himself and/or the rest of the construction process trenched the root zone and compacted the soil to the point that the trees could not survive it, but it took 8 months to use up the stored energy the trees had before the construction began (sometimes the full effects of construction won't be known for 5 years).

I'm torn. Generally, I think fertilization is a good way to pay for the applicator's boat, but these guys are using organic products and might have a little sense of what trees need. I still think the best way to fertilize is to spread a layer of manure compost over the entire yard, then top off the root zone(s) of the trees with a 3"-thick layer of organic mulch. The decaying organic matter will feed the ecosystem of the soil, and the healthy soil will feed the roots, which will feed the trees and allow them to become healthy enough to recover from any seconadary insect damage that may occur. Either way, I would not bother trying to kill the insects. Again, they are almost definitely secondary to the main problem of construction damage.

Impossible to say without seeing the trees. I've charged well over $1000 to prune one tree, and I've charged $200 to prune 10 trees. Depends on size, species, health of trees and parameters of the pruning.
Visit the ISA link in my sig below to find out more about treating construction damage.
good luck, Keith Babberney IS Certified Arborist
For more info about the International Society of Arboriculture, please visit http://www.isa-arbor.com/home.asp . For consumer info about tree care, visit http://www.treesaregood.com /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.