When it comes to tree care, some jobs are too big and too dangerous, or just need professional expertise to keep the tree healthy. Working at height requires proper training and protection due to a number of risky variables such as electrical wires, nearby fences, buildings or homes. To get your money’s worth and protect your interests, you need to ask your tree care professional these important questions and make sure you understand and agree with their answers.
- Are they State Licensed and can they provide an up-to-date certificate of insurance: This should be your first and most important question. You want to ensure they are properly insured and state licensed to provide tree work in the state of California. Otherwise you could be liable for damage, accidents or injuries.
- What are their credentials? Try to hire a Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Accredited Business or one employing a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional (CTSP).
- Can they provide a list of references? Any quality company will be happy to share a list of satisfied customers. Ask for customers that they have done work for in the past month or so; you don’t want ancient history.
- Will they give you a detailed estimate? Get written estimates from three equal companies to compare prices and understand the scope of the job.
- How will the job be approached and what equipment will they use? If they are going across your lawn, make sure they know the locations of sprinkler heads or other objects that may be damaged. What is their policy if they damage something and is it acceptable to you? Make sure you understand how they will clean up during and after the job.
- Does the company appear professional? What does their company truck look like, is it well taken care of? Is the truck clean and in good shape? If they don’t take care of their equipment, do you think they will take care of your tree and property? Do they have a website? Design and content can give you a sense of their professionalism, as can the appearance of the vehicles they use on jobs. That can give you an idea of how they run their business.
- Will the crew be using hardhats and other personal protective equipment while on your property? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that personal protective equipment be used for any tree care operation. A reputable tree care service will require their workers to be protected.
It’s important to protect yourself and your property by hiring a tree care professional for all tree jobs. It’s equally important to protect yourself and your “tree investment” by asking these important questions. For more information, including resources to help you find a tree care service, visit treesaregood.orgor www.treecaretips.org.