10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Tree Care Provider
Know what to ask prospective tree care experts before signing on the dotted line
When hiring a tree care provider, wading through all the options can seem daunting. Just like asking the right questions of your snow care partner is important, asking the right questions of your tree care provider is essential. If you received satisfactory answers to the questions below, you have found a reliable and professional team.
1. How long have you been in business?
Experience, a strong safety record, and longevity in the industry are good indicators of a tree care company's qualifications.
2. Do you have proof of proper insurance for tree care?
Comprehensive personal and property damage insurance specifically for high-risk tree work gives you the broadest protection.
3. Can you supply a written scope of work?
Ask for a detailed written proposal including references, before/after pictures of work done on other properties, and a schedule of the work to be performed.
4. How safe are your crews and their equipment?
Requiring employees to purchase their own climbing gear and personal protective equipment is a recipe for disaster. A professional tree care company provides all of the proper tools so that employees can do their job safely. Ongoing training is also critical. Be sure your tree care provider is in full compliance with all national and local safety regulations and takes the extra step to provide their crews with everything they need to minimize risk and injury.
5. Can you provide proof of professional qualifications, including licenses and training for your staff?
Active memberships in the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) ensure your tree care provider has the necessary expertise and most up-to-date knowledge and training.
6. Do you have certified arborists who manage the tree care work?
Arborists are uniquely qualified to fully evaluate a tree's condition, look for dangerous situations which pose safety risks, and provide recommendations to ensure optimal health and long-term value.
7. Can you produce multi-year management plans?
If your property has a large quantity of trees, a proactive program encompassing regular inspections, preventative maintenance, scheduled pruning, and timely fertilization can help you mange your property's trees and minimize safety hazards.
8. How can I get a handle on my extensive tree population?
Using global positioning technology (GPS), your trees can be inventoried, including information such as the amount, type, location, and condition of each tree. With GPS, you can plan, budget, and better manage these important assets while minimizing liability.
9. What about emergency services?
When an emergency does happen, you want a company equipped to respond 24/7 with the necessary manpower and equipment resources to quickly assess property damage and provide timely clean-up.
10. What kind of dangerous tree conditions should I look for?
Anytime you see clearance issues with buildings or electric lines, a tree professional should evaluate the situation. Also, look for broken, partially attached, or dead branches, which should be removed to prevent safety hazards.
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