Charlotte-area tree service leaves customers stumped

Charlotte-area tree service leaves customers stumped

Surveying her yard after workers for Crawford’s Tree Service in Belmont, N.C., felled a 50-foot tree, Angie’s List member Susan Bormann says she didn’t know what to make of the damage.

She says the tree service crew left her arborvitae bush split down the middle and repaired it with a rope. She says it also appeared a tree limb fell and stripped a section of her crepe myrtle and broke another branch, which Bormann says they attempted to mend with black electrical tape.

“We found the damage later on,” Bormann says, adding that the tree service crew came twice to work on cutting down the tree, hauling it away and grinding the tree stump.

They cut down a second tree, which she says they never sectioned or removed even though she paid for it, and it remains right where it fell in her wooded backyard in Belmont. “If the rest of the job was done well or completely, I could’ve lived with the damage,” she says. “But not when he didn’t do the job well in first place. It added insult to injury.”

Bormann joined Angie’s List and submitted an F review on the poorly rated tree service company in November after she says the owner, Jon Crawford, quit taking her calls. She attempted to sue him in small claims court to recover the $1,000 she paid, but she says she dropped the suit because he couldn’t be served the papers.

Member reviews complain of inconsistent, incomplete work and careless damage by Crawford and his tree service crews. Crawford didn’t respond to messages seeking comment from Angie’s List Magazine.

Bill and Patricia Hardin of Mount Holly, N.C., filed an F review that landed Crawford in the Penalty Box after the company failed to respond to their complaint.

After a previous good experience, the couple paid Crawford’s about $1,350 upfront to remove two trees, grind three tree stumps and haul away a pile of rotting firewood, Bill says. He says the tree service company near Charlotte N.C., repeatedly delayed the work, and ultimately left it unfinished.

“There were just so many lies the whole time,” Hardin says, adding that the tree service company knocked down a large, healthy oak tree and cracked his driveway. Also, he says they left piles of wood chips littered around the yard instead of hauling away the logs.

Another Charlotte-area tree service customer, Nellie Coleman of Dallas, N.C., says Crawford's left her yard in similar disarray after she hired them to remove trees and stumps in 2009.

Since then, she’s been trying to collect the $1,000 judgment Gaston County Magistrate Court awarded her for unfinished work and damages, including part of the fence and several recently planted trees that she says Crawford knocked over removing equipment when no one was home.

Coleman is a creditor in Crawford’s ongoing bankruptcy case. Court records show Crawford filed bankruptcy in October 2009, claiming liabilities of $180,000, including a mortgage, several vehicles, commercial tree equipment and unpaid county taxes. As of press time, the bankruptcy remained pending, and Coleman has filed letters asking to stop any dismissal so she can collect the judgment, according to court records.

“Since then, I’ve told people, anybody who says anything about removing trees, I tell them to avoid him,” Coleman says.


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