Hiring An Arborist

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,273
    Mike Galvin with the Tree Care Industry Association discusses how to hire a professional arborist.

    Mike Galvin: Hi! I am Mike Galvin with Tree Care Industry Association. Today, we are going to talk about how to hire a tree care company that fits your needs. It may be tempting for you to hire the first tree care company that you come across, but if you do a little homework ahead of time you can avoid scams, save time and money and make the sure the work is done right the first time. This can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

    Before you begin your search, be aware that someone who calls himself by the term arborist can vary widely in the meaning behind that term. A real arborist is somebody who is credentialed, and who is trained in the science of woody plant and tree care. They perform their work in a safe manner according to national industry standards.

    Be wary of tree care scammers. Don't hire someone with a chain saw happens to knock on your door. These firms are renowned for tearing gutters off of homes, breaking fences, dropping trees and limbs on cars and other personal property. They often don't have insurance and at the first time of an accident they would fold up and head out of town never to be heard from again.

    Homeowners seeking to engage a tree care company should begin by asking for a written work proposal. The proposal should be in writing, and it should state that the work described will be performed according to the American National Standards Institute A300 standard for tree care. It should also describe specifically what work is going to be performed, the time frame the work will be performed in and how much the work will cost.

    Before you hire a tree care company, make sure they have a current certificate of liability and Workers' Compensation Insurance. Asked them to provide you with a copy of the policy, and if anything seems amiss to you, don't be shy at all about contacting the insurer to verify that the policy that you have a copy of is current and valid.

    Make sure the company has a good reputation by checking local references and ratings. You can also look for professional affiliations such as membership in the Tree Care Industry Association and by verifying that the firm has certified arborists on-site who are familiar with the ANSI A300 standards for tree care.

    There are some things to be wary of as well. If in the proposal you receive you see references to practices like topping, lacing out, or lion's-tailing, it may be an indicator that the firm you are looking to engage is not an appropriate one. These are not accepted industry practices and not in compliance with ANSI A300 standards for tree care.

    Additional red flags for you look for include things like if the firm is selling tree work door-to-door, if they offer you a better price for doing half the work now and half the work later, or ask for payment in full in advance of the work.

    Use these tips and you can avoid tree care scam artists. Do your research and you will find a right tree care company that will take good care of you and your trees.