See these profiles of tree service businesses in your backyard. When deciding which tree service to hire, you should look for an arborist who is certified through the International Society of Arboriculture and the Tree Care Industry Association.
In most cases, you'll want to hire a tree care company when you need:
- Tree ailments diagnosed
- Pruning, tree removal and leaf removal services
- Tree stumps removed
- Soil analyses performed
- Emergency help when a tree has been damaged in a storm
- Assistance with insect and disease control
- Help with planting new trees
- Fire wood
- Post-construction tree maintenance
Because an unqualified tree service company may cause more harm than good, the Tree Care Industry Association recommends the following:
- Ask to see verification of current certification before you allow work to begin.
- Compare estimates
- Insist on securing a signed contract that outlines the services to be performed, the time period in which they will be performed and the cost.
- Don't pay for any services until they are completed.
- Ask that tree spikes not be used unless necessary.
Generally, the best time to have tree work done is during the cooler season. With little leaf cover, a tree's structure is most accessible during those months. Because most tree companies' clients begin thinking about their trees in the spring and summer, many companies will offer discounts and provide faster service in the winter.
Beware of hucksters
The Tree Care Industry Association advises that consumers never work with a tree company that advertises door to door. Do not choose a company that demands payment prior to delivering services or will not provide a written estimate.