Top Ten Things to Consider When Hiring a Tree Company for Tree Removal & Tree Pruning; Written By Sean Lewett - Certified Arborist

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Are you in need of hiring a Tree Company to perform Tree Removal or Tree Pruning. Make sure you make the right decision on who you hire, you need to be informed about what to look for before you consult a tree company; Written by Sean Lewett - Certified Arborist

Are you in need of hiring a Tree Company to perform Tree Removal or Tree Pruning. Make sure you make the right decision on who you hire, you need to be informed about what to look for before you consult a tree company; Written by Sean Lewett - Certified Arborist

1. Safety aspects of tree removal & pruning

Safety is the most important aspect of tree work that needs to be considered when hiring a tree company. With the dangerous nature of our business, a culture and tone of safety first in a tree company is critical. Make sure that a tree company being considered has a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional on staff, follows industry safety standards, safety policy, and the company holds regular safety meetings.

2. Certified, Licensed, and Fully Insured

Another important thing to look for in a qualified tree care company is that the company is fully insured with workers compensation and liability insurance. The tree company should have a minimum of 1,000,000 each occurrence and 2,000,000 general aggregate for General Liability, and 500,000 for workers compensation. It is not wise for a home owner to hire a tree service that is not insured for many reasons, the most important is – do you value your house, car, and belongings? If so, then make sure to hire a company that is fully insured!

Being licensed and certified are both equally important. Most of the time, it is ok for a tree company to hold a business license in the City or County where they are located, but some cities & counties require licensing in their jurisdiction as well. For certification, both the ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) and TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association) certify individuals in Arboriculture. A tree care company that is being considered should have an ISA Certified Arborist on staff, and a TCIA CTSP Certified Tree Care Safety Professional.

3. Reputation & Longevity

Any service company that performs work at a residence should have a good reputation. There are “so called” tree care professionals out there that will take your money and run. Never pay a tree service up front for a job, not even a deposit. Deposits are frowned upon by the true professionals in our industry. To determine whether a tree company being considered has a good reputation some good questions to ask are these: How long has your company been in business? How many certified Arborists does your company have on staff? Can your company provide references? Does the company own its equipment, especially a crane? Another way to determine the reputation of a company is to check out websites such as Angie’s List or Consumer Checkbook. A most favorable way to determine a reputable tree service is to talk to friends and neighbors – chances are they have stories to tell, both good and bad! A company like JL Tree Service Inc who has been in business for over 35 years and has worked for both homeowners, businesses, and municipalities is most likely going to provide quality tree service.

4. Employees

Ask how many employees a tree company has. Since tree work is very dangerous, and takes special talent, it is critical that the right guys are there to do the job right. Who wants an amateur or unskilled laborer taking down a huge Oak tree over their house? Not me! A good and reputable tree company should have at least a few top climbers with over 2 years experience in large removals. A company like JL Tree Service Inc has over 18 top tree climbers with many years of experience in large removals and crane removals, 3 certified arborists & 1 certified safety pro on staff – this is what to look for.

5. Equipment

Remember the old expression; it is not the arrow but the Indian! Well, this is definitely true since tree work takes a special talent. However, good equipment is absolutely necessary to get the job done efficiently and safely. Make sure that a tree company has equipment such as bucket & chipper trucks, chippers, flatbeds, chainsaws, etc that are relatively newer and well maintained.

6. Location

How far a company is to a job address may not seem very important, but it is. A tree company estimator must figure in the cost for travel time as a portion of the cost. If the company is close to the work address, naturally the cost should be better since travel time is less. A tree company located within 10-15 miles of a work address is probably sufficient. Fuel prices are not cheap these days!

7. Industry Standards

The tree care industry has OSHA and ANSI standards to follow as guidelines for safety, general work procedures, tree pruning, and more. Make sure that a tree service being considered for hire follows ANSI standard pruning. There are many tree men that improperly prune trees and recommend poor tree maintenance. There are many different tree species, and each tree responds differently from a diverse set of tree pruning methods. Make sure a certified arborist, or tenured professional provides their professional opinion. Topping and cutting back trees too hard are examples of improper tree care.

8. Accept all forms of payment

Tree cutters that drive by asking for business most likely are not insured, only accept cash, and are not professional. Many tree companies will provide a free estimate. Tree Service estimates will most likely range in price greatly. For example, it is very likely there will be a low bid for $1800, a very high bid for $4000. A few other estimates will be in between with a price of around $2800 and $3200 – these are most likely the two companies to highly consider. It is not best to always go with the lowest bid for tree work, as there are many factors as discussed in this article. Look closely at all bids and ask questions! A company like JL Tree Service Inc accepts all forms of payment including all credit cards.

9. Services offered

If a customer has a significant amount of tree work to be completed, make sure to hire an actual tree company. There are many ‘tree cutters’ out there, who do not have the correct insurance for tree work. Be careful and selective of a tree care specialist, especially for the larger and more dangerous tree removals. Most of the professional and reputable tree companies provide services related to tree or landscaping, such as emergency tree service, tree removal, tree pruning, tree stump grinding, tree fertilizing, tree planting, tree preservation, landscaping, grounds maintenance, snow plowing, etc.

10. Recycle wood & debris

Many customers are looking for the best price for tree work, of course. However, when obtaining an estimate, ensure that the proposals are compared 'apples to apples'. There are tree companies out there that purposely do not specify all of the job details on the proposal. Make sure that hauling or leaving all of the wood & debris is clearly and written on the proposal.

JL Tree Service Inc is a complete tree removal & pruning company. JL Tree Service Inc always specifies whether the debris will be hauled, and 100% recycles all debris and product they collect from customers. This is accomplished with a horizontal grinder that reduces all wood & debris producing double shredded mulch and firewood in a recycling yard. It is also a great advantage for JL Tree Service Inc to process their own debris because dumping fees are very expensive and are another factor of increased pricing for tree work.

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Sean Lewett
JL Tree Service Inc
(703) 359-4444
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