How to find the right tree service company.
So you’ve finally decided to get your trees trimmed. Now all you have to do is find the right tree service company. The Yellow Pages offers lots of choices, but you’re not really sure how to tell which is the best company for your project. Here’s what we suggest. Before you hire any tree service company, ask them these three qualifying questions.
Do you carry both workmen’s compensation and general liability insurance?
This is the question they pray you’ll never ask. Because even though the tree service industry has an occupational fatality rate that is three times higher than policemen and firemen, less than 1 out of 9 tree service companies in Pinellas County carry both workmen’s compensation and general liability insurance.
If a tree service worker is severely injured on your job and they don’t have workmen’s compensation coverage, the injured worker will likely seek compensation from you. Insist that your tree service company provides you with a Certificate of Insurance from their insurance company showing both workmen’s compensation and general liability coverage. (If you don’t, some tree service companies may just claim they have this coverage, when they really don’t.) Also make sure that they list you as the certificate holder.
Do you have an ISA Certified Arborist on staff?
An ISA Certified Arborist is a person with extensive knowledge in the science of tree care. To be certified, an arborist must pass rigorous tree care examinations and complete ongoing continuing education classes. Some tree service companies say that certification is “just a piece of paper” and that they know how to care for trees. Of course there are knowledgeable tree service professionals who have not been certified, but there are many more who are uncertified that simply lack the knowledge and skill necessary. Remember just one bad pruning can destroy your trees! To protect your valuable investment, always choose a tree service company with an International Society of Arborculture Certified Arborist.
Do you have the equipment to do the job right?
There are a number of fly by night tree service companies that are little more than two guys, a chainsaw and a pickup truck. They just don’t have the equipment to safely and properly care for your trees. Make sure the tree service company you hire offers high production tree service equipment like bucket trucks, log loaders, tractors, stump grinders and wood chippers.
Learn more about Tree Safety Tips here.
Jon Wilbur is an ISA Certified Arborist and co-owner of Pinellas Tree Service, operating in St Petersburg, Clearwater, South Tampa, Safety Harbor and Palm Harbor.
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