Choose the Right Arborist

Posted February 17th, 2010 by admin

Arbor First is the best choice for your tree removal, pruning or care project. But we understand new customers often get more than one bid for a job. Any reputable arborist will provide a bid in writing that includes the project details and price. Don’t just accept the low bid. You should examine the credentials and the written specifications of the firms that submitted bids and determine the best combination of price, work to be done, skill, and professionalism to protect your substantial investment.

Some questions you should ask about the job itself:

  • When will the work be started and completed?
  • Who will be responsible for clean-up?
  • Is this the total price?
  • If I would like more to be done, what is your hourly rate?

Some questions you should ask the arborist you are considering for the job:

  • Are you a member in professional organizations such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), or the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA)?  Such membership demonstrates a willingness on the part of the arborist to stay up to date on the latest techniques and information. Certified Arborists are experienced professionals who have passed an extensive examination covering all aspects of tree care.
  • May I see proof of insurance? (and then phone the insurance company if you are not satisfied.) A reputable arborist carries personal and property damage insurance as well as workers compensation insurance. Many home owners have had to pay out large amounts of money for damages caused by uninsured individuals claiming to be tree experts. You could be held responsible for damages and injuries that occur as a result of the job.
  • Does this project require any permits? Are you licensed by the state and city/county? Any reputable arborist is licensed by the state and should have a local business license. They will also know about permitting requirements in your area.
  • Can I speak to other customers who have hired you to do similar work?  Don’t hesitate to check references or visit other work sites where the company or individual has done tree work. Remember, tree care is a substantial, long-lasting investment; you would not buy a car without a test drive!

Other Things to Keep in mind:

  • be wary of individuals who go door to door and offer bargains for performing tree work. Most reputable companies are too busy to solicit work in this manner. Improper tree care can take many years to correct itself and, in some cases, it can never be corrected. Are you willing to take that risk with your valuable investment?
  • keep in mind that good arborists will perform only accepted practices. For example, practices such as topping a tree, removing an excessive amount of live wood, using climbing spikes on trees that are not being removed, and removing or disfiguring living trees without just cause are unnecessary.