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Ultimate Guide on Hiring a Tree Service Company

In this guide you will know all there is to know about hiring a tree service company, what they do, when to hire them, questions to ask, and have an overall understanding about how they work. First and foremost, most people don’t think about hiring a tree service company unless a tree looks sick, or needs to be removed, might need trimming, or they just want to plant a new tree. 90% of tree service companies get hired due to it being convenient, their expertise, and is some cases due to the results after storms or heavy winds. It’s true that works with trees being that high up in a tree takes time, specialized equipment, a certain level of knowledge, and experience to avoid injuring people or property.

It’s recommended and much safer to hire a professional tree service company to take of your tree care need. The entire process of searching for a Tree care company can be exhausting but Arborists Near me makes it easy, because everything you need to know is all in one place. Now let’s get into what you need to know about, what to look for, and how to go about hiring a credible tree service.

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Hiring a Tree Care Company

Trees on your property need to be looked at as assets, trees have the power to increase your property values, improve the air quality, reduce your household energy costs, and improve water quality according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. Trees are always around us for the most part, they are so common, but at the same time it’s easy to forget just how significant they are to us all. Trees of the right variety that are properly placed and attended to provide a tremendous amount of economic, environmental and societal value.

Being that you are here, tells us you are wanting to become or are an intelligent tree care consumer. Always remember, without regular care, trees can move from being a valuable asset to a costly burden.

The 3 steps of hiring a tree service

Do your homework. 

Be sure to ask questions of your tree service company and of the services you are wanting. Ask them for proof of insurance, their license, what certifications they possess, and read some reviews. Watch out for low bids and tree services that offer deals that sound too good to be true.

Get an estimate.

Most trusted tree service companies will offer free estimates for the service you are requesting. On the quote, look at how and what is being charged. Is it a flat rate, are their any extra charges, are they doing it piece by piece? It is recommended to get up to 3 quotes, comparing each quote against the other not just for price but for the work that is being done.

Choose your tree service.

Once you’ve done your homework, make a decision to choose the tree service that is right for you. Going with the cheapest service isn’t always the best idea, look at quality, experience, and that they pass your vetting test.

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What is an Arborist?

You should be aware that just because someone calls themselves an Arborist, that word can get thrown around often in this industry. Don't just hire anyone with a truck and a chainsaw that knocks on your door.

Arborist defined:

An Arborist is a professional who cares highly for trees and other woody plants by pruning, fertilizing, monitoring for insects and diseases, consulting on tree related issues, planting and/or transplanting, including removing trees. Watch out for fly by night individuals that call themselves Arborists. If they don’t have an actual business and more importantly if they aren’t from your local area. Be on the lookout for here one day and gone the next type tree service individuals or even companies. In some cases tree service depending on the project could be thousands of dollars on the line, not to mention you want to keep the appearance of your property, the health of the tree, and you don't want to be put at risk from a safety standpoint. Take your time in making a decision on which company you want to hire. Unethical individuals and disreputable companies are known for ripping off gutters, breaking fences, messing up the paint from branches or limbs hitting the property, or worst trees falling on houses. Then they pack up and leave and you never see them again.

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Why Hire an Arborist?

True Arborists will specialize in the care of individual trees. They will be knowledgeable about the needs of trees, and are trained and equipped to provide proper tree care. Hiring an Arborist is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly. Proper tree care is an investment, trees are an asset that can ultimately lead to significant returns. Trees that are well taken care of and managed properly can add tremendous value to your property. Trees that are poorly maintained can be a liability and devalue your property. This is why it is high recommended to hire an experienced tree service company to prune or removing trees, especially larger trees. Tree services for the sake of the trees health and for your safety should be done by experienced professionals, those that are trained and have proper equipment to work safely in trees. Safety should be your #1 priority and choosing the right tree care service that has not been professionally trained can put you, the trees, and your property at risk.

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What is a Certified Arborist?

A certified Arborist is a highly experienced professional that has been certified by the International Society of Arboriculture. You can only become ISA-certified by passing rigorous certification exams that test your knowledge about all the various aspects of Arboriculture which is the study of how trees grow and respond to cultural practices and to their environment. Certified Arborists are individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care through hands on experience, knowledge, and by passing a comprehensive examination created by some of the nation’s top experts on tree care.

Becoming a certified Arborist is not an easy feat. To become a certified Arborists, they are required to have at least 3 years minimum of field experience or have a degree in the field of Arboriculture, forestry, landscape architecture, or horticulture. Then, once a person passes the test they are officially ISA certified, but that's not all their continued dedication doesn’t stop once certified. Arborists must maintain their certification by retaking the test or by earning the required number of continuing education units. Certified Arborists are also required to stay current on the latest techniques in their field. This ensures you are getting a professional that’s highly experienced, with the skills and the know how to property assess and care for the trees on your property.

Choosing a certified Arborist or hiring a company that has certified Arborists on staff means you can rest assured that the company knows how to perform any tree service job from tree trimming to tree removal, or any other tree care project in a way that is protects you and your property, preserves the trees health, and it will be done in a safe way.

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Services an Arborist can Provide

Trimming. An Arborist can determine the type of pruning or trimming that is needed to improve the overall health, appearance, and safety of trees for proper maintenance.

Tree Removal. Tree removal should be a last resort, however there are certain circumstances when necessary. An Arborist can help decide as to whether or not a tree should be removed in these cases.

Emergency Tree Service. An Arborist can assist in more urgent situations such as storm damage or damage to the property, this ensures tree care is done safely and minimize further damage to the property.

Planting. Some Arborists plant trees, and most can be a guide in recommending certain species, help with where they should be placed to thrive.

Plant & Tree Health Care. Preventive maintenance helps to keep trees in good health and reduce any insect or disease issues.

Other services. Arborists will provide consulting services, tree risk assessment, cabling and bracing trees, stump grinding, etc.

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The Questions You Should Ask a Tree Service Company

There are a importation questions you should ask tree service companies that you consider to hire, especially if you have never worked with them prior. They should be happy and motivated to answer questions if they haven’t already done so on their website or in a conversation.

How long have you been in business?

No one to work with a young, inexperienced tree service company that can cause problems for the property owner. It’s recommended to make sure your potential tree care company is at least 5 years old. Most tree service companies under 5 years old fail because they don’t do good business and don’t know how to market themselves well. The industry is full of rinky dinks, pop up tree service companies 1 guy in a truck, chainsaw, and a trailer that go door to door, neighborhood to neighborhood looking for business. Don’t be scammed by un-experienced individuals or companies that try to get business in this way.

Are their certified Arborists on staff?

You don’t want certified Arborists that get contracted out to do the work. Some companies will try to promote they are a big company with certified Arborists on staff, but really it's just 1 guy that part-time. Make sure they actually have at least 1 certified Arborist on staff, the more credentials a company has the better.

How do you minimize potential damage to my yard?

Any credible tree service will be able to answer this right away. Protecting your landscape is a priority to them. They should be able to explain the measures they care while handling your tree care needs. If you hear something like “what do you mean” or “we just fill in any holes or gaps we make with dirt” that might be the answer you want. Most professional will use plywood to protect your lawn from their equipment.

What equipment do you have/will you be using?

An established tree service company will have their own equipment to handle just about any tree care job themselves. Not cranes, but they shouldn't have to go to an equipment rental store to complete your project. Do they have the proper protective gear, ear plugs, glasses, gloves, vests and hard hats? If they pull up in an old loud, leaky or not well taken care of vehicle be leary. These questions matter and will protect you.

Do they have insurance?

It’s always in your best interest to hire a company with Insurance. This is the more important of all questions. If someone were to fall out of a tree and that company is not insured, then it could be bad for the property owner because it could make you liable. It should be stated in the contract of the project details or quote. Any seasoned tree service company will be happy to talk to you about the specifics related to this.

Look for their credentials & license

Trustworthy and skilled tree companies should have credentials and licenses on their website or whatever marketing they are doing. They will be proud of this fact and they should be able to tell you their license number of the top of their head. They would be able to spit out what associations they are a part of as well. As example: we are a member of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), and our license number is (such and such) and we carry a 10 million dollar insurance policy.

Do you have any reviews or referrals?

Getting referrals and reading reviews from the company eliminated any issues, some online reviews can be bias to avoid fact reviews you could get referrals, especially on bigger projects that are thousands of dollars. It is recommended to read company reviews no matter what. This can give you an idea of how they treat clients and how they provide customer service.

What if I don’t want to hire a professional?

Care for your trees needs to be done by skilled, trained and insured professionals, both for the health and beauty of your trees and for your safety and financial well-being.

For your safety, do not perform treework. Taken from published reports, TCIA maintains a monthly list of accidents to tell real life events that outlines the sad details of homeowners getting seriously injured or even killed when attempting their own tree work. If you have any doubts at all and are uncertain about what could happen trying to handle your own tree service needs, do yourself a favor and contact a qualified tree care company to help.

For financial protection, be sure to hire a company that is trusted, is established locally, has been in business for while, and is truly professional. Studies have shown that it's much cheaper maintaining trees annually with regular pruning than neglecting them. When hiring a tree service company, be on alert that if that tree service company doesn’t have insurance or is not a legal company, then you as the property owner, the homeowner could be held liable as a contractor if damages or injury were to happen.

When to Hire an Arborist?

Bonus Tip: Break with the norm and hire for tree services in the offseason.

The springs and summer months are usually when you would think of tree service, turning to the yard and landscaping, but hiring a tree service company in the offseason will give you several advantages.

  • Most reputable tree service companies will offer decent discounts in winter months. This is done to provide work for loyal employees, to stay busy and keep revenue coming in.
  • You are able to get the work done when you need it. The better tree service companies usually have a bunch of business in the summer, but can better respond and be more open in the winter months their offseason.
  • Winter is probably a good time to look at getting work done on most trees. The tree shape is more visible, no leaves, it’s dormant which makes the clean up easier as well.

Arborists Near Me

You are in the right spot. Arborists Near me makes it super easy to find and connect with rockstar tree service companies that are local to you. You can search, see details about each company, read reviews, and make a educated decision on who is best for you. In less than 60 seconds you can find the most credible tree service companies in your area.

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