In the tree care industry it is easy to mistake a reputable company for one that has all of its certifications, and is also licensed and insured. It is important to carefully select the company that will be working on your property because if they are not insured, you could be liable for any damage or injuries that occur on your property. Some homeowners are just looking to save a couple bucks by paying the less reputable companies cash, however they quickly find out it ends up being much more expensive.
In addition to the risk of being liable for any injuries and damages, the lower scale tree companies will not have as much experience or the resources as the higher level companies. Having a certified Arborist on staff is also a very important thing that homeowners should consider while choosing the right company. If a company’s sales team has no background in tree service or tree care, how would they even be able to properly diagnose your beloved trees? Unfortunately, it there has been many instances that we have arrived to an estimate only to find hundreds of trees that are alive and well marked up with orange paint signaling the removal. Every day companies of all kinds go out to estimates and tell homeowners trees should be removed just to pocket the money. This is simply unjust. Saving the tree is always our priority. Removals only occur based on the homeowners preference or if the tree is completely dead and cannot be healed.
So how can you protect yourself and your home?
VERIFY INSURANCE COVERAGE
An insurance certificate dated for a full year of coverage can be easily obtained with one down payment. Don’t settle for a piece of paper. Call the insurance company directly to verify CURRENT coverage. Liability and especially worker’s compensation insurance in the tree care industry is very expensive. It is also required by law. This is the dividing line between a professional tree service company and a “fly-by-night” operator. An uninsured tree care company often provides the lowest estimate, but at what cost to you as the homeowner?
Ask for a list of references from local satisfied customers and BE SURE TO CALL.
ASK ABOUT THE COMPANY’S SAFETY POLICIES
Tree trimming and removal involves the use of chainsaws and chippers and is extremely dangerous. Ask about the use of safety equipment (hardhats, chaps, safety glasses, etc.). What are their policies about drugs in the workplace? Ask for and verify professional affiliations the company might have, such as membership in the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) (toll free 1-888-472-8733) or the Better Business Bureau.
LOOK FOR THE FOLLOWING WARNING SIGNS:
Disreputable companies tend to:
Solicit work door-to-door.
Sell jobs without producing a written estimate or work order.
Offer prices good only for immediate service.
Demand payment in advance.
There are many different credentials a company can carry to prove their dedication to providing safe and effective tree care, some of these are listed below:
TCIA Members - TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association) is a respectable accredidation program that requires companies and employees to carry a certain set of standards through tree care to become members. They are dedicated to educating homeowners of the proper care of trees and training employees to incorporate safe business practices. They have been striving to improve the tree care industry since 1983.
ISA Certified Arborist’s - To become an ISA Certified Aborist, you must be extremely knowledgeable in every area of arboriculture. You must also have a minimum of three years work experience in the industry, as well as a degree pertaining to any field of arboriculture. To be ISA Certified, you must take a very long extensive test that requires dedication and months of studying.
At North American Tree Service, we have been licensed and insured with workers compensation since we started back in the 90’s. We have a staff of certified Arborist’s who can properly diagnose and treat your trees the correct way. We have always put the homeowner and our employee’s safety first, as this is a very dangerous line of business. Our employees and customers feel safe knowing that if any injuries happen while on site, everything will be completely covered by us.
Call today for a free estimate!