Fall and winter storms often bring out the best in a community. Neighbors, even strangers, help each other cope with aggravations and property damage left in the wake of a storm.
Unfortunately, storms also bring out the worst in a community – fast-buck artists looking to profit from the misfortunes of others. How can homeowners protect themselves when they need to hire a tree care company to clean up after a storm?
Hint: It’s not by performing the tree work yourself, like the homeowner in this picture! Instead of risking harm to your person and property, learn how to recognize quality tree care and business practices, so you can hire with confidence.
“With thousands of dollars at stake, not to mention the integrity and appearance of your property and your personal safety, make sure you investigate before deciding which company you should hire,” warns Tchukki Andersen, Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA), Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP) and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).
If the “professional arborist” you hired to remove a tree drops it on your house instead of your lawn, it’s too late to confirm the company is insured.
“Disreputable companies are renowned for ripping gutters off, breaking fences and bird baths, and even dropping trees on houses,” says Andersen. “Then they typically fold up and leave, never to be seen again.”
When looking for a reputable company, start with the arborists listed in the phone book or on the Internet. Don’t place much emphasis on the size of the Yellow Pages ad or complexity of the website – some of the most reputable firms rely almost entirely on word-of-mouth advertising. Look instead for what the ad or website tells you about the company: number of years in business, professional affiliations, licenses, Accreditation, certification, etc. Avoid companies that advertise topping, an injurious and unacceptable practice. You should be aware that the credentials of someone calling himself or herself an arborist can vary widely. Don’t just hire someone with a chain saw who knocks on your door. Look for the company displaying the credentials of a professional.
Find a professional! A professional arborist can assess your landscape and work with you to determine the best course of action to care for and maintain the trees and shrubs in your landscape. Click here to search for qualified tree care in your area.