Trees may be the most overlooked part of your landscape: You can’t move them, and they’re often as old as the house itself – so the entire landscape is built around them. Most people only realize the true value of mature trees after they’re gone. That’s why a good tree service is so important: It does more than remove dying trees; it keeps them healthy and beautiful so they can remain in place. But not all tree services are the same.
Here are 5 questions to ask before hiring a tree service to ensure the gentle giants of your yard get the right care:
1. How long has the company been in business? Narrowing your search to companies with an established record of tree care – not just tree removal – provides confidence that you’re paying for a time-tested, businesslike operation.
2. Is there a certified arborist on the crew? There’s more to tree care than you may realize. Certification by the International Society of Arboriculture requires specialized coursework, testing, several years of field experience and ongoing education. It assures the person in charge of the job has knowledge about the full lifecycle of your trees, and is dedicated to being among the best in the industry.
3. What specific precautions will be taken to protect the entire landscape? Are the company’s practices healthy for your whole yard? For instance, using foot spikes as a climbing aid can injure otherwise healthy trees. Using heavy equipment on the lawn can damage underground root systems. Even if you’re hiring a company to remove a tree that’s already dead or dying, make sure the work won’t harm your landscape’s other life systems.
4. What kind of training do the workers have? A well-trained crew is safer, less disruptive and better at the job. Ask what type of training they receive and how often they get it. Whether workers are part-time, full-time, seasonal or permanent, you should have confidence they’ve been trained to do the job safely and correctly.
5. Is the company fully insured against worker injury and property damage? It should go without saying that a tree service needs to be protected in case of any damage to your property. But what about the workers? How would you feel if someone sustained a serious injury while working in your yard? Are you certain the company is run well enough to assure the worker will be taken care of without any legal exposure to you? Ask to see proof of current coverage.