How to find the best tree service contractors
Look around. Figure out what type of work you need done – trimming service only, or do you have dead trees that need to be removed? The most important thing to look for is low hanging or dead limbs that can fall under the weight of severe storms. As well, low-hanging limbs can provide easy access to your attic for squirrels and other pests.
Call now. If you have old trees or low-hanging limbs, don't wait until bad weather hits or you're going to wait a while for service.
Check out more than one company. Check Angie’s List reviews to find the best tree service companies in your area. Get more than one estimate for the work you need done. And, ask for references so you can check up on them.
Can they do the job? Make sure the company is equipped to do the job you need done. For instance, if you need a large tree removed, are they experienced in stump grinding and other necessary aspects of the job?
Is there a certified arborist on staff? A certified arborist can make sure your trees are cared for in the best way possible, even if all you need is trimming and pruning. And, if you have trees that are aged or diseased, an arborist can help determine what special care you might need to keep the trees and your yard in good shape. For more information on arborists, check out the International Society of Arborists.
Ask for proof of insurance. Make sure the company’s policy adequately covers property damage and injuries that could occur on your property.
Keep it safe. What types of safety measures does the company take, both to protect workers and your property? What safety gear and equipment will the workers use?
Disposal. Find out how the debris will be handled. Will the company remove it or are you responsible for removing it? Can you keep it to use as mulch?
Map out the area. Have the contractor tag or walk through the yard with you so you know exactly what trees need work and what is being removed. Map out how the areas where the contractors will be working and how they will access those areas. Make sure you’ve cleared those areas of cars and other items to ensure nothing is damaged by falling limbs.
Put it in writing. Agree to the terms and details of the project, outlined in a contract, before any work is done.
Also, keep this in mind ...
Don't assume you can do your tree trimming yourself. This can be a very dangerous task, especially if you don’t have the right equipment. It’s often a good project to leave to the professionals.
Be wary of any tree service that recommends “topping” as a first choice. Topping can greatly decrease the life-span of the tree, not to mention it looks bad. Additionally, it doesn’t reduce maintenance. A tree can regain its original height within two years.
Establish a long-term plan for your yard. As trees are removed, you’ll want to replace them. Research what types of trees you prefer – small flowering trees or do you want trees that will provide shade over time. Talk with the arborist at your tree service to get recommendations, and consider establishing a relationship with aservice, not only for trimming, but also planting and regular care.
When it’s gone, it’s gone. A tree takes years to grow, and once a tree has been removed, there’s no going back.