Chances are, if you have trees on your property, it was intentional. You liked the shade it provided, the aesthetic appeal, or maybe you even like the additional privacy it provides. However, part of having trees on your property is dealing with the variety of issues that occur from owning them.
Overhanging branches can grow old and decay, leading to the risk of damage to your home, vehicle, and other valuable property items. Dead trees can create the risk of fires and pose a threat to the residents of that home as well. For safety reasons, it’s best not to attempt to deal with large limbs or dead trees unless you know what you’re doing. In other words, unless you have the experience and working knowledge of tree pruning, it’s a good idea to hire a tree service professional.
Here is a list of nine things to keep in mind while you are looking for someone to take care of the trees on your property:
It’s essential to be aware of the kind of insurance your tree service professional has. Not all insurance is the same and if the company you hire does not have the proper liability and worker’s comp insurance then they may not be able to cover the costs for any damage done to your home. You need to check on the company’s liability insurance so that you are covered if any damage does happen to your home under their watch. You will also want to make sure that the company has workers’ comp insurance so that you will not be held responsible if someone is injured while working on your property.
Some companies will assert that they do not need workers’ comp insurance if they have five or fewer employees, and while this is legally true, you will still want to make sure you are covered should an incident occur.
There are a lot of factors involved in the pricing of tree service. Ask for a detailed breakdown on exactly what you will be charged for; you’ll want to get it in print. If the company does not want to do this, then it’s possible they are interested in squeezing you for extra money.
It’s also important not to simply take the cheapest option. Often, the phrase “you get what you pay for” holds true here, so make sure you’ve done all your other research and don’t make any decisions based solely on the cost of the service.
Ask the prospective company what type of equipment they’ll use and exactly how they plan to go about doing the job you want to hire them for. Make sure you let them know exactly what type of service you require and then make sure they have a plan for going about the job. You need to be sure they have the necessary items they need; for example, a company might not have a stump grinder, but if you need a stump removed then that can factor into your decision.
4. Employee Credentials
You will also want to check the credentials of the employees working for the company. If your tree service professionals don’t know what they’re doing, then they can do a lot more harm than good. Make sure the company itself has a license; it is illegal to operate a tree service company without one.
Also, make sure that the employees have the proper training. You’ll want to make sure they’re experienced in the type of the work they’re doing.
Make sure the company holds themselves to a rigorous standard of safety as well. Employees should wear hardhats and comply with all OSHA regulations. Do not put your trust in any company that does not take all the proper legal steps to ensure their workers are protected.
It’s a good idea to ask the company for references from other satisfied customers. These references should be recent, and should be from customers who have had work done that is similar to the job you are looking to have completed. If the prospective tree service company is not able to furnish these references, then you should not consider hiring them.
7. Care of Your Tree
Obviously if you have any sort of service being performed for a living tree, then you will want to make sure the company doesn’t do any undue damage to it. For example, make sure if they need to climb the tree that they don’t use spikes, which can leave gouges and other wounds in the trunk of the tree. Make sure that they don’t engage in “topping,” which is the removal of live parts of the top of the tree and is also damaging to your tree’s health.
You also want to get an estimate for how long the project will take. Different companies will give you wildly different answers, so consider what seems realistic for the type of project you are looking to have done. Obviously, removing a whole tree, trunk and all will take quite a bit longer than simply trimming a few branches.
9. Any Other Questions
If you have any other questions that aren’t on this list, ask them before securing the services of any particular company! Whether those questions pertain to the specifics of the job, the cost, the employees, insurance or equipment, it’s a good idea to make sure you know exactly what you can expect from a company that you hire.
Once you are comfortable with your choice, you can rest easy knowing that your tree service professional will do the job efficiently and safely.