For the average person, hiring a tree maintenance company can seem like a daunting task. Most people only have a cursory knowledge of trees and even less of the tree maintenance industry. Even if you don't much at all about trees, though, you can find a great tree maintenance company with these simple questions.
Can I see your insurance certificates?
Before hiring any professional service that will come onto your property, you should first make sure they have liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. If a company doesn't have these insurance policies in place, and there's an accident on your property while they're working, you may be held financially responsible. When a company is properly insured, their insurer will usually cover any accidents that happen while they're working.
It's especially important to make sure the tree maintenance company you select has a liability insurance and a workers compensation insurance policy, because the industry ranks among the five most dangerous industries in the United States. There's a higher chance of an accident occurring when workers are up in the air with chainsaws and other power tools, so you'll want to make sure the company is protected if something happens.
When asking about a company's insurance, request a copy of their certificates. It's easy for companies to supply these, and they'll serve as proof that you were told the company was insured if something happens.
Do your employees have any certifications?
Certified arborists have proven their expertise and are highly qualified to work on trees. They're among the top professionals in their field.
According to Reader's Digest, there are several organizations that certify arborists:
- the International Society of Arboriculture
- the American Society of Consulting Arborists
- the Tree Care Association
- other state and local associations
By selecting a company that has employees who are certified by one of these organizations, you'll know you're hiring a true tree expert.
Will you need to use any heavy equipment?
If one company plans on using heavy machinery but the other doesn't, you might want to go with the latter. Heavy equipment is sometimes necessary, but it can chew up lawns and destroy gardens. If at all possible, look for a tree maintenance company that will be able to do the work you need done without using anything larger than a chainsaw. If heavy equipment is required, ask the company you hire if they can do anything to reduce how much the machinery will impact your landscaping.
Also, you'll need to know ahead of time if heavy equipment will be used so you can get your property ready for the equipment. Depending on where your tree is located, you might need to move a picnic table, trailer or other items in your yard. Additionally, if you have a sprinkler system, you should let the equipment operator know where the sprinkler heads are so they don't accidentally damage them.
How long will the job take?
Any tree maintenance company you hire should provide you with a written estimate of the work before you sign a contract with them. In addition to stating how much the job will cost, the estimate should also include how long the job will take and when it'll be done.
When getting estimates, you might find that one company will do the job much faster than another, but also charge more for the work. If this is the case, you'll have to decide how pressing the work is and how long you're willing to have a company work on your tree. Sometimes, saving money is more important. Other times, reducing the time a job will take is worth the increased cost.
For more insight, start comparing your options by calling companies like Destiny's Tree Service LLC.