The Complete Guide to Hiring Tree Removal Services for Homeowners
Do you have a tree in your yard that’s old, diseased, dead, or just a nuisance? Falling tree limbs can be dangerous, and if you have a tree that’s growing into your foundation or rubbing on your roof, it may need to be completely removed. But how do you find the right company to safely remove your tree?
Hiring tree removal services can seem daunting, but it’s all about asking the right questions. Read on to learn more about what you should look at when you’re trying to decide who to hire to handle your tree removal needs.
Why Tree Removal Services Are Important
Before we dive into all the things you should consider when hiring a tree removal service, let’s talk some about why they’re important. You might think you can remove a tree yourself, especially if it’s a small tree. But removing trees requires specialty equipment, experience, and safety gear in order to do it properly.
Tree removal can be extremely dangerous if you don’t have the right training and equipment. Not only are you working at extraordinary heights, but you’re dealing with falling limbs and, eventually, the trunk itself. Then you have to get the stump itself removed, which can involve heavy-duty grinders.
Common Service Offerings
In addition to removing trees, many tree services can help to maintain your landscape in a variety of other ways. Oftentimes, these companies will remove limbs that are damaged or broken in order to save a tree or make it safer. They can also prune trees to prevent them from becoming damaged and to promote healthy growth.
Some tree services may also grind stumps from trees that have already been removed. They may cut up and haul away trees that have gone down in storms or because of other natural disasters. Some of these companies will even trim shrubs and perform other such landscaping services to keep your lawn safe and beautiful.
How to Find Companies
When you’re first trying to find a tree removal service, sorting through the list of available companies may seem overwhelming. How do you know what’s available in your area, who offers what services, and who will be reliable? While you’ll have to go through some more extensive vetting later, there are a few good ways to start building your short list of companies.
Talk to friends and neighbors who have recently had trees removed and ask who they worked with. Check the Better Business Bureau site and other such resources for lists of available services. You may even know a few options in your area by reputation, and you can always run a Google search for tree removal services.
One of the first things you need to consider when you’re picking a tree removal service is what sort of experience they have. Removing old trees properly and safely takes a lot of training and practice. You want to make sure your tree removal company has the know-how to get the job done right.
Talk to your potential tree removal services and ask how much tree removal experience they have in the business. Tell them about your project and ask if they’ve handled other such removals in the past. It’s also a good idea to check into the individual experience of the people who will actually be removing your tree.
Another important factor to look at in your tree service selection process is the company’s level of professionalism. While a crisp suit and a firm handshake are no guarantee of good service, they do say something about the experience you’ll have with this company. You want to be sure you’re working with someone reliable who will follow through on what they promise and get the job done right.
Pay attention to how the company interacts with you and whether they respond promptly and knowledgeably. When they come to do your consultation, check whether they’re wearing uniforms and if they’re polite and professional. Steer clear of services that take a long time to call you back, show up late for appointments, and act like you’re inconveniencing them.
With all the expertise and training it takes to work with trees, it may come as no surprise that there are industry certifications. While these accolades are not required to run a tree trimming business, they do signal that the company you’re working with cares about delivering the highest quality of work. They’ve invested time in money in training to learn the best practices in their industry so they can do your job right.
The International Society of Arboriculture offers a certification for arborists that covers best practices in all basic tree removals. Some tree removal also involves working around power lines, and the Electrical Hazards Awareness Program offers a certification for arborists planning to perform this kind of work. Check if your potential companies have these certifications and keep them up to date.
We’ve mentioned that tree removal can be very dangerous, so it’s incredibly important that your tree removal service uses proper safety procedures. If one of their arborists falls out of a tree in your yard, you could find yourself the victim of a liability lawsuit. Even though you didn’t cause them to fall, they were injured on your property, which technically makes you liable.
Ask potential tree removal services what sorts of safety practices they use to keep their employees safe. This should include using harnesses and backup ropes, as well as personal protective equipment like gloves and eye protection. Employees may also be required to take regular safety courses to keep them up to date on the proper safety procedures.
No matter how careful a company is, accidents will happen from time to time, and people may get hurt. A limb may break or fall unexpectedly, or someone may lose their footing when working in a tree. Not only could this leave the arborist injured, but these accidents could also cause damage to your property.
In order to protect you from these losses, tree removal services should maintain an insurance policy. This policy should cover any worker’s compensation needs, property damage, and general business liability. Ask if your tree trimming service maintains this insurance and, if so, how much it covers and if you’ll be responsible for any accidents.
Beyond the practical considerations, it’s also a good idea to pay attention to a company’s reputation. A business may have a beautiful website, uniforms, insurance, and even the proper certifications. But if they don’t treat their customers well, none of that will matter to you at the end of the day.
Ask friends and neighbors if they’ve heard about this company and what they know about their reputation. It’s also a good idea to check the company’s listing on the Better Business Bureau website. An A+ rating or a BBB accreditation is generally a good indication that a company will provide a positive experience and excellent service.
Company reputation is a great general indicator of a company’s performance, but it’s also a good idea to look at specific feedback. A company may have a good overall reputation, but they can still have some specific problems that will impact your experience. Take a look at customer ratings before you settle on which tree removal service you want to use.
Start by reading online reviews and look for any recurring themes. Disgruntled customers are more likely to take the time to write a review, but if the same problems keep showing up over and over, it may be a solid indication of a problem. Ask any friends or neighbors who have worked with this company in the past what sort of experience they had.
Of course, price is one of the biggest factors you’re going to need to look at when hiring a tree removal service. Tree removal costs can vary widely depending on the size of your tree, its species, its location, and other such factors. In general, you should expect to pay somewhere between $150 and $2,000 for tree removal.
Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and you should be suspicious of prices that are far outside this common range. If the price you get quoted is way more than you expected, ask the company to walk you through their price breakdown and get a few other estimates. Likewise, if the price is far lower than you’d expected, take a look at where this company is cutting corners.
During the tree removal service selection process, it’s a good idea to get a few different estimates. For one thing, this will give you a good idea of what to generally expect from this process. You can get a sense of what sort of price, professionalism, and timeline you’ll be working with during your tree removal.
You should plan to get estimates from at least three different companies before you settle on your final service. One company may be an anomaly, and two estimates won’t tell you who to believe. But with three estimates in hand, you can see who, if anyone, is the outlier and which company offers the best fit for your needs.
When you’re comparing tree removal costs, it’s important that you consider all the factors that go into them. Yes, one company may have a lower price than another. But does the more expensive company offer extra services, experience, certifications, or insurance coverage?
One good thing to check on is if the company you’re hiring includes cleanup as a part of their baseline fee. If they do offer any extra services, especially ones that you don’t need, see if you can forego those for a cheaper price. And if a company won’t give you a breakdown of their costs, run in the opposite direction and find a different service.
It should almost go without saying that a tree removal service should give you a free consultation and written estimate before you ever pay them any money. Each tree removal is different, and they can’t know what will be involved with yours until they see it in person. This estimate should also give you details about what the service will cover, and it should be written down in black and white.
It’s also a good idea to pay attention to if and how this estimate changes throughout your dealings with this company. If you get a ballpark estimate when you first contact the company, see if it lines up with the official estimate. If a company changes its estimate after sending you the written copy, work with a different company.
In addition to price, it’s a good idea to take a look at the payment arrangements a tree removal service has. For one thing, ask about what methods you can use to pay that bill. Can you pay by credit card, or will you have to write a check or get cash?
You should never pay for your service before it’s completed, especially not in full. Be suspicious of companies that require non-refundable deposits or any money paid before they start work. And ask how billing will work, including when they’ll send you the bill and how long you’ll have to pay it.
Learn More About Hiring Tree Removal Services
Hiring a tree removal service can be an important part of keeping your yard beautiful and safe for your family. Make sure you check on a company’s experience, certifications, and reputation before you hire them to remove your tree. It’s also a good idea to look into their safety procedures, insurance, and price before you sign on the dotted line.
If you’d like to learn more about hiring tree removal services, check out the rest of our site at Green Topps. We provide commercial and residential tree trimming services in the North Port, Florida area. Request a quote today and start working with the certified arborists you need to keep your home safe and beautiful all year round.