What to Ask When Hiring a Tree Removal Service
If you want to change things up in your yard, it may be time to get things cut down and pruned up. You’ve had a year of staring out at the off-season grass and bare trees—plenty of time to go over all the plans you had to improve and beautify your home—and now you’re ready to take your home’s curb appeal up a notch or two. While going over your seasonal checklist, you notice that there is some work you can do yourself, but some tasks, like tree pruning and removal, are best left to a professional.
When it comes to tree services, it is crucial to know who completes the work around your home and what systems and lines run underneath your lawn. There could be networks of delicate underground electrical or plumbing lines to be wary of, and you may not know until it’s too late.
Discover the questions you should ask to avoid making the wrong decision when hiring a tree removal service.
Do you have a certified arborist on staff?
According to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), an arborist is specially trained to provide proper tree care. You will want an arborist that is an ISA Certified Arborist. These specialists are not only tree experts; they undergo ongoing training in the field.
May I see your proof of insurance?
This is a must. In my case, I didn’t do this at all. I didn’t even think about it. The damage caused by the tree company I hired ended up costing a lot of money that I didn’t have. A dead tree cost me the price of the tree removal (twice), the price of repairing a damaged sewer line, and the end of a great landlord/tenant relationship.
It is also vital that any company is compliant with OSHA Work Safety rules and your state’s Department of Transportation regulations. Aside from the basics, each state has its regulations. In the case of heavy equipment and underground sewer lines, the weight of vehicles and proper operation is essential. If damage does occur, a properly licensed and insured contractor carries general liability insurance to cover those damages and a flurry of other insurance coverages to protect the workers, your home, and their business.
Will my job require a permit?
Often there are permits required (and in some cases, clearance from your homeowners’ association), and failing to meet these requirements would be costly. Fines from unpermitted work can be steep, and it can cause discord in your neighborhood. Follow the law, brief yourself on the requirements in your county, and ask the company if they have applied for any required permits.
How long will you honor a quote?
Take the time to ask for a second opinion, but know how long each company you interview will honor your quote. Just like anything else, you have the right to educate yourself. You have the absolute right to explore costs. It’s your money, your home, and your time. And remember, if a company insists that you act right then and there, keep looking. High-pressure sales tactics are not a good sign.
How often do you handle this specific issue?
Ask about the specific problem you’re facing with your tree or trees. If you have a dying tree, ask if it is salvageable. Arborists are trained to bring sick trees back to health. In many cases, you can save that beautiful tree.
What is your history in the tree services industry?
When you weigh estimates and choose a company, you should know how long the company has been in business. You should ask if the company has worked in the area, whether they are a chain or multiple locations. The company’s history shows its track record with clients, and their longevity certainly hints to their business practices and work performance.