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Posted 03/02/2020 in Homeowners & Tree Owners

How to Prepare Your Property for Tree Service & What to Expect

How to Prepare Your Property for Tree Service  & What to Expect

Follow these tips before hiring for your tree service:

  • Make sure they are licensed, bonded and insured for property damage, personal injury, and proof of worker’s compensation.

  • Make sure they are not using cheap equipment, legit companies will be using genuine equipment like a hydraulic boom, wood chipper, chainsaw, and a proper truck with identifiable logos. Protective clothing and gear.

  • Get their contract of work being done in a written estimate before hiring

  • Do not be lured by deep discounts.

  • Do not make a rash decision and hire the first one, get quotes from more than one company, usually 3 estimates especially for bigger projects.

  • Make sure you ask the right questions

Always Agree on What You Require

First, before any work is done on your property, you should have already had a consultation with the company you plan to hire. This way in a written contract, they can inspect the scope of work and you can agree upon what you require. Upfront there is no confusion on you both expect to get done in black and white. For example, if you want tree removal, but in the contract estimate, it doesn't say the stump will be removed, then don’t expect that work to be done. If you want to have the stump removed, then prior to signing the contract this should be agreed upon upfront. If you suddenly decide during the job or when the job is completed, it might not be possible to do it on the same visit due to companies blocking out certain time in advance for jobs also they need to bring the appropriate equipment. That will lead to another visit, which could end up costing you more than if you would have had this agreed upon in the beginning. Take the time to discuss all options, so the work gets done properly the first time, with all your requests so both sides are clear on the work that will be done.  This allows the company to prepare ahead on what equipment will be needed to complete the job in the timeframe and price agreed upon.

Prepare Your Property for Tree Service:

Parking Spaces:  Homeowners should reserve parking for their tree service company. It’s the responsibility of the homeowner unless otherwise mentioned in your estimate. Good tree service companies will give you a list of things to prepare for prior to their arrival. In general, for any tree service job,  the crew will need about 3 regular parking spaces in front of your home for their truck and chipper. In addition, the trees they will be working on need to be free of cars underneath. It’s recommended that if work is being done in the backyard you should move vehicles in the driveway because debris can damage them when they are transporting limbs and branches throughout. As a homeowner, do yourself a favor and move all vehicles from the driveway and park a few houses down the street. 

Giving Clear Access to the Tree: The tree workers will be going back and forth from the trees they are services to the trucks and chippers for a decent amount of time.  Homeowners should make sure that there is a clear path for them to get back and forth without having to manually move things. You don’t want them trying to squeeze in tight spaces or past vehicles when they are moving large branches and wood back and forth. Which leads to the personal property next.

Personal Property & Removing Anything Breakable: Not just vehicles, but any other valuables that might be in the way such as pots, outdoor furniture, or other personal valuables that you might think could be damaged should be moved from the area that work will take place. Also, make sure the area they are moving from the tree to the truck are free from the personal property you feel could be damaged in the process. If you have questions about this and want them to move certain things prior to work being done, again make sure it's in the estimate and agreed upfront price before the work starts to avoid additional charges or these personal items being damaged.  

It’s recommended to keep your yard free of any animals, such as dogs or cats during the duration of the process as they could cause a serious safety hazard to themselves and the workers on your property, so make it easier for everyone. 

Dog Poop: This isn’t mandatory, but some tree service companies will request if you have a dog that, your yard be free of dog poo when the crew arrives as they will be running ropes and rigging gear on the ground, and they don’t want their equipment contaminated. This can cause delays in the process and in extreme cases even cancelation of work if not done prior. Companies will tell you upfront about this, crew members don’t want to be stepping in dog poop throughout the process, most crews are willing to pick up a couple of piles of poop to avoid these issues but some yards are extreme which in this case is the homeowner's responsibility.

What to Expect From a Tree Service Company:

Planned Arrival Time: If your tree work is scheduled on a certain day, a good tree service company will give you an  ETA window usually a 2-hour window of what time they should arrive at your home. If they give you a time of say 2:00 pm in the afternoon they could arrive an hour before an hour after that time. In most cases, the crew leader or someone on the team if they run their business properly will call you when they are on the way to verify ETA. If you have special needs like you won’t be there due to an emergency or you leave for work at a certain time so they need to arrive to complete the job before you leave for work. Explain these things as early as possible to make sure everyone is on the same page so they can accommodate specific situations.

The Crew Leader’s Responsibility: When it comes to completing a tree care job, one of the most important things the crew leader will do and should do is set the job site up correctly and safely prior to starting work. Be leary if a company arrives and just starts the job right away, usually the crew leader will let you know they are there, what they are going to be doing, do a good look over the property to make sure things are out of the way to complete the job safely and efficiently. If you notice the company not doing any of these things like giving you an arrival ETA time, calling when they are on the way, and a crew leader taking these steps prior to starting you might want to re-evaluate your choice next time you need to hire a tree service. 

Timing of Services and Different Arrival Times: Not all tree services might be done by the same crew. As an example, if you are doing tree removal, one crew might come to remove the tree and pile everything up on the side near the road. Then another crew that comes behind the tree removal crew will cut all the branches and limbs into firewood or maybe they will come with a chipper truck to chip up all the branches and wood to remove from the property. Then the last crew might come to remove the stump with a stump grinder. Just be aware as a homeowner that some tree service companies will run multiple crews and each crew does a specific task, these services could be performed all in the same day, some might be completed over a 2 to 3-day time frame. This is why it’s recommended to get these details prior to signing a contract and get these things written out in black and white so everything is clear upfront with no surprises. 

Being Home: Some tree service companies might now require you to be home, some will want you to be home to overlook the job prior to them leaving and then paying at the time of the job completion.  One way to significantly reduce the cost of getting tree work done is to be able to work while it is being done and to trust it will be done right when you are away. Some tree service companies that aren’t hurting for money will even send you an invoice to your email to be paid that day online or in an app as an added convenience. If you do not plan to be there when they arrive and when they finish, then you should have already given very specific instructions on how far a certain tree should be trimmed, etc. if not it’s best for you to be present to make sure things are done to your liking. 

Debris, Leaves, Branches, Stumps Left behind?

  1. Leaves: In most cases, if you get tree service done in the fall, the leaves don't have a stronghold on the branches and limbs at this time of year so many leaves will fall in the process. If you want the company to clean up leaves and other debris already on the ground or what falls during their service they might charge an extra fee for that cleanup. This is something else to verify prior to starting a job and if it's agreed upon making sure it's in the agreement. 

  2. Firewood: If you plan on keeping the wood from your project be aware that most tree service companies will charge an extra fee to cut the pieces in manageable firewood pieces. Most companies will cut pieces into 16-18” lengths. If you need another length or the wood moved to a certain area on your property you should talk about these things also prior to starting the project due to variables that can result in additional charges.

  3. Stump Grinding: After tree removal, if you want to have the stump ground into a mound of wood shavings mixed with dirt left behind this is another fee that could raise the cost of the job. The grindings make great mulch in your planting beds. Also, they can remove the ground up mulch after the stump grinding is complete if you request it, but don't be surprised if there is a fee for this.  

Completed Tree Service Work: When the tree work is completed your yard should be just as good and even better than before they arrived. As the homeowner you are the customer, you are their boss so if you are anything other but 100% satisfied to let them know about it and if you have certain things in writing they should be more than happy to make things right. Then, if you are 100% happy with the work, do the company a favor and write a review this helps people just like you before they make a decision to better get to know the company for their quality of work, communication, efficiently, pricing, and overall customer experience.  

Are You Looking for a Professional Tree Service?

If you're looking for a professional tree service then you're in the right place. At Arborists Near Me we help hundreds of homeowners every month find and connect with professional tree service companies. Homeowners report to save up to $500 with Arborists Near Me because they can get up to 3 free quotes, filling out the quote form at the top of the page takes less than 60 seconds and companies will reach out to discuss your needs. It’s recommended to get a few quotes prior to making a decision anyway, so go ahead search to call a company directly or fill out the form to get started on your next project. Hopefully, this article helps you on how to prepare your property for tree service and what to expect when they arrive. 



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