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Arborist Corner

9 Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Tree Service Company

Before you make a decision to entrust your beautiful trees and shrubs to any company, make sure to ask these questions about your tree service company:

1. Do they have specific training in tree care?

An ISA Certified Arborist has passed a certification exam demonstrating knowledge in all aspects of tree care and has specific training and experience in arboriculture. A tree service with just a landscaper’s license may not have specific training or experience in caring for trees.

2. Do they have the proper safety equipment?

Staff should be using safety glasses, ear protection, hard hats, and chain saw protection. Worker safety is very important to a professional company.

3. Are the teams trained to work together safely?

Taking down a tall tree safely requires team work, training and discipline. Are the tree climbers certified? Certified tree climbers have passed an exam on the proper ways to care for your trees safely. Ask what safety training the staff receive.

4. Will they give you a written estimate and contract for work?

Getting your estimate and contract for work in writing is the only way to assure that you know what the job will actually cost and what is covered or not covered. It is a good idea to get more than one estimate. Beware of an estimate that is a lot lower than others. It may not be such a great deal when you look closely.

5. Are they insured?

The company should have Workers Compensation and Property & Casualty insurance to protect the homeowner and their workers.

6. Are they licensed in the State of California?

If the work is over $500, the company must have a contractor’s license, usually C27 Landscaping Contractor.

7. Do they get proper permits?

Cities and towns in the Bay Area often require permits for removing a tree. In many communities, heritage trees are protected. Always check with your city before you have a tree taken down. And make sure to get the proper permits.

8. Do they have references?

Don’t just ask if they have them, call the references and ask about their work. Did they arrive on time? Did they clean up well after trimming or removing a tree? Was the homeowner happy with how the trees looked?

9. Are they going door to door after a big storm?

Professional tree companies never do this! Beware!

Click or call us for a Free Consultation: San Jose (408) 654-9806, Peninsula (650) 477-8995, Bay Area (415) 515-9907.

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