Frequently Asked Questions Answered
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- Safety- 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
the tree company you hire has a Certified Tree Care Safety
Professional on staff, follows industry safety standards,
safety policy, and the company holds regular safety meetings.
- 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
you are hiring should have a ISA Certified Arborist on staff,
and a TCIA CTSP Certified Tree Care Safety Professional.
Reputation & Longevity.
- Any service company that performs work at a residence
should have a good reputation. There are “so called” tree
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 the company you are
considering has a good reputation some good questions to ask
are these: How long have you been in business? How many
certified arborists do you have on staff? Can you provide
references? Do you own your own equipment, especially your
- Another way to determine the reputation of a company is to
check out websites such as the BBB. The best way though is to
talk to your friends and neighbors – chances are they have
stories to tell, both good and bad! A company like Discount
Tree Service who has been in business for over 20 years and
has worked for both homeowners, businesses, and municipalities
is most likely going to provide quality tree service.
- 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 Discount
Tree Service has over 5 top tree climbers with many years of
experience in large removals and crane removals, 2 certified
arborists & 1 certified safety pro on staff – this is what you
want to look for.
- Equipment- We all remember the old expression;"Perfection
is not an Accident"! 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.
- Location- How far a company is to your location 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 your residence, naturally the cost
should be better since travel time is less. A tree company
located within 10-15 miles of your home is probably
sufficient. We all know fuel prices aren’t cheap these days!
- 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 the
tree service you 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
- Accept all forms of payment-Be careful of who you hire.
Some tree cutters who drive by asking for your business most
likely are not insured, only accept cash, and are not
professional. Many tree companies will provide a free
estimate. If you receive 3 or 4 estimates, they will range
greatly. For example, you may receive a low bid for $1,800 and
a very high bid for $4000. A few others will be close and in
between around $2,800 and $3,200 – these are most likely the two
companies you will want 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 Discount Tree Service
accepts all forms of payment including all credit cards.
- Services offered- If you are a customer with a good amount
of tree work to be completed, make sure that you are hiring an
actual tree company. There are many ‘tree cutters’ out there,
who do not have the correct insurance for tree work. Be
careful of who you hire, especially for the larger and more
dangerous trees. 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. Recycle wood & debris I can’t tell you how many times I
have received a phone call from a customer or municipality
saying – “Can you go give me a price to haul the debris that a
contractor left on the curb?”. Yes, a random tree cutter cut
down a tree and did not include hauling the wood and debris
with their price but did not tell the homeowner – that is why
the price was so good! Now the home owner has to deal with
removing the debris because the City or County will not pick
up debris that a contractor leaves behind. Make sure that
hauling or leaving the wood & debris is clearly and written on
the proposal. A company like Discount Tree Service 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 their
recycling yard.. It is also a great advantage for companies to
process their own debris because dumping fees are very
expensive and are another factor of increased pricing for tree
- California Contractor License;