All About Tree Service Daily

What to look for in a tree service

Aug 10

Hurricanes and thunderstorms can be common weather in Florida. When they happen your trees can take a beating. Even a brief storm can take leaves from branches or bring a dead limb down onto your property. If you want to prepare your trees for the storms, you should have a tree service company look them over before the season begins.

Why have your trees looked at or even trimmed? According to The Tree Feller, an arborist and owner of the The Tree feller of Pinellas in Clearwater, Fl. there are a few reasons. Having your trees looked at by a professional tree service company that has an arborist on staff will give you the peace of mind during storm season that your trees are ready. If they have to do trimming, that will reduce the risk posed by any dead or damaged branches hanging over a busy area, like your roof, driveway, pool area or walkway. Trimming will create space when a tree starts hitting your roof or gutters. Regular tree maintenance can prevent trees from dropping on or brushing into overhead electrical lines as well. (In many areas, homeowners are responsible for utility lines between the main pole and their home.) It will improve your view and with healthy tree pruning of young trees let them grow and mature into strong ones.

If someone is removing a dead or fallen tree from your property, they should have some knowledge of tree care. For tree maintenance, such as pruning, a certified arborist like The Tree Feller, should know what the tree needs is important to avoid damaging the tree. Finding someone who won’t damage the health of your trees, mess up your yard or damage anything in the path will take some research. Here’s how to get started.

Credentials matter. Just like a lawyer has to pass exams to practice law, so does an arborist for tree service. An arborist specializes in both tree care and overall health of the tree. Certified arborists must have a minimum of three years of experience in the field and/or a degree in a related field before applying for the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist exam, and they must recertify every three years. Testing covers soil management, tree biology, pruning, diagnosis and treatment of disease, safe work practices and more. An ISA Board Certified Master Arborist has an even higher level of knowledge. Arborists also stay current with local regulations. Tree care companies may also be accredited through the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). It really is important that a tree care company have an arborist on staff. “If you find a good tree service company with a certified arborist on staff, you will be in good hands.

States and local municipalities license individuals and businesses, but that doesn’t mean they passed any tests to get it. In Florida not everyone has to pass exams or carry workers compensation insurance to be a licensed tree service, The Tree Feller does. Just an FYI, being licensed may mean the tree service simply has a valid business license. Do the research to learn your state’s licensing requirements.

Check reviews. “You want a tree company you can trust,” says The Tree Feller, a certified arborist in Clearwater who has more than 20 years of experience. Also ask friends, neighbors or look on local platforms. Good reviews and referrals are how good tree companies get business. You can also search the ISA and TCIA websites for certified arborists and accredited companies in your area. With social media, good companies are not hard to find.

Get a few prices. If price is an issue, understand that the lowest (or highest) price doesn’t always mean you’ll receive a quality job, says Allen Willingham, at Allen's Tree Works in Clearwater, Florida. Every estimate is based on the company giving it, and getting multiple bids gives you idea of what the average price is. One company may say, “They can't do this” and another may say, “If we damage something, we will repair it.” so be careful and review and compare estimates to find the right one. With any tree work, never pay upfront. Wait until you’re satisfied with the service before you right a check.

Check license & insurance. Seriously!! Ask for proof of their workers comp insurance. This will weed out half the companies you call, if not more. Before you hire them, request a copy of their liability insurance in case they drop a branch on your home, as well as their workers’ compensation coverage, so if someone gets hurt on your property, they don’t go after you. Don’t just accept a piece of paper; it could be outdated. The certificate should come from the insurance company. If the company sends you documentation, contact the insurer whose name is on the certificate for confirmation of current coverage.

You may have to wait. Unless it’s an emergency, it may have to wait to get an appointment. If a tree service company is reputable, they will be really busy during season.