Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Tree Service:
1. Will the company provide you with a copy of the work contract? No one likes reading the fine print, but you should have a copy of it just in case. Do not hire any company that refuses to provide you with a copy of the work contract.
2. Is the company licensed and insured? It is imperative that you request to see a company’s license, proof of insurance, and certifications. Some certifications to look for include ISA certification and TCIA accreditation. Any tree service company that is reluctant to provide its credentials should be avoided at all costs, especially since it is illegal to own and operate a tree service company without a license.
3. How much experience do the employees have? A wealth of experience does not always correlate with skill, but it certainly enhances a company’s credibility. Find out how long the tree service company has been in business, and how long its employees have been in the industry.
4. Can the company provide customer testimonials? The only answer to this question should be a resounding, “Yes!” Companies that are unwilling to supply previous customer recommendations should be avoided for obvious reasons.
5. How long will the job take to complete? You deserve to know how long a job will take to complete. Shopping around can also help you determine which company can get the job done in the shortest amount of time for the best price.
6. Can they provide a written estimate? These days, some tree service companies provide estimates for popular jobs on their websites. Even so, you should always ask for a detailed, written estimate for the specific job you need to be completed. An itemized estimate would be ideal. You may want to avoid asking for an estimate over the phone, as this can be more difficult to dispute if there are any discrepancies in the final amount.
7. Does the company expect money up front? If so, steer clear. You should never pay any money upfront before a job is completed.
8. What other services does the company offer? Even if all you require is a standard tree removal, you should do your research. Find out what other services the company you are looking to hire has to offer. Certain practices, such as cutting down the tops of trees, using spikes while maintaining live trees, and over thinning, are harmful to tree health. Even if you are not looking for any of these services, companies which offer them do not adhere to good tree service practices and should be avoided.
9. Is the company the best fit for the job? The company’s answers to the above questions may be able to provide a partial answer to this one. Don’t be afraid to ask the company you hope to hire whether they think they’ll be the best fit for the job. Tree service companies are required to acknowledge when they are unable to perform a job due to lack of expertise or improper equipment. While you would expect a company to be upfront about whether or not they will be able to perform a job, it’s always better to ask than assume