How to Hire the Best Tree Service in Venice, FL
Trimming trees to prevent damage to homes and property is a requirement in Florida. The last devastating hurricane, Michael, changed the landscape from how many trees that fell. If you have any trees near your home, you need a reliable tree service to prevent a worst-case scenario.
Choosing the right tree service in North Port, FL may seem confusing. There are so many competing companies, with similar prices advertised. Hiring a professional for tree trimming or tree removal comes down to trust and qualifications.
This is a dangerous job that should not be taken lightly. If you're just looking for the cheapest rates, then you end up risking costly fines, lawsuits, or worse. Protect yourself from fraud, incompetence, and legal trouble by doing your homework.
This guide can help you narrow down the list of candidates and scare away scammers. Take your time, ask questions, and set expectations.
Researching Tree Service Companies
Before you call up anyone, look for some information online. You can do a quick background check before moving onto things like pricing and contracts. Here are other things to do as well.
Read Their Reviews
Most reputable tree services have online reviews and testimonials from customers. This is where you're going to get details about their work that won't fit on their flyers and descriptions. If there is no paper trail online at all, avoid doing business with that company, no matter how cheap they are.
No new business starting out should have zero feedback. At the very least they should have family and friends starting them off. Zero reviews or testimonials means this is a fly-by-night business who is woefully unqualified.
Better Business Bureau
The BBB review and score can be helpful, too. It's not necessarily something you should rely solely on when making a decision. Some small businesses don't have a BBB rating yet.
Being accredited is definitely a good sign that this business is reputable, professional, and experienced.
Local Street Cred
Ask around your community if they've ever heard or used the tree trimming service you're considering. It's always nice to get a second opinion and see if anyone else has used them. See if your company has a membership with trade organizations.
Have they done any work for big businesses or local government? The more established they are with your local community, the better.
While shopping for the best deal, you should be careful about relying on what gets advertised. For quotes that undercut the competition by more than 10%, keep a critical eye. Sometimes the lowest prices indicate the least amount of experience.
Unbelievably low prices could also mean they're not legal, too. This means more risk for you getting ripped off.
On the other hand, don't get sold on the idea that the most expensive services are the most qualified. There's a certain threshold where the quotes just don't make sense, but the guy on the phone is really good at selling their "premium" service. If it sounds too high, just tell them you'll consider their offer and move on.
Get Multiple Quotes
It doesn't matter what the first offer is, whether they're within your budget or not. Get multiple quotes from at least 3-4 different companies. There are a ton of tree trimmers in Venice, don't sell yourself short.
Use this opportunity to pick apart pricing methods and how things get itemized. You can then use this knowledge to negotiate for a better deal. Oh, and try to get multiple estimates in person, not just over the phone.
Let them show you exactly what you're paying for, then get everything in writing. The costs of tree work can vary based on how big the trees are, number of trees, and if any of them are diseased, for example.
If you need more than a basic trimming of limbs, you need to consider each company's offerings. Many tree services fall into the category of trimming and removal, but not all of them remove whole trees. Those that do remove trees, may do it in gradual chunks or attempt to chop it down in one go.
Depending on your yard and proximity to the home, this process can get really dicey. Experienced tree removal providers should utilize various heavy machinery, a team of arborists, and have a clear order of removal. This service isn't cheap, so don't expect to bargain much here.
Service at Your Door
If you get a visit to your door about providing tree services, you should avoid doing business with them. No reputable company is going to waste money on door-to-door solicitations. This is an attempt to pressure people into using their service, whether they need it or not.
These companies are unknowns, with most falling into the category known as "storm chasers." They show up at the doorsteps of emotionally-rattled, desperate, and vulnerable homeowners after major storms. Without the proper experience, credentials, and reputation, these businesses would never get customers.
If someone has a tree laying in their property that they need to be removed as soon as possible, they might use a D2D service. It will cost them, of course. The quotes will be higher and the quality of work could require more time to get done. Never rush to sign one of these contracts unless it's an emergency.
If your home is cut off from the street from a downed tree, then you really don't have much of a choice.
Paying Upon Completion
You have to be firm and unwavering when it comes to tree services. If you have everything you want to be done in writing, then you should never compromise on work done. You don't pay them anything until the job is up to your standards.
The best way to avoid being strong-armed to pay for an incomplete or shoddy job is to have someone else with you to reaffirm. It's much easier for untrustworthy companies to attribute your concerns to inexperience. When they have a second person there confirming what you are seeing, then the jig is up, so to speak.
Another tactic they like to use is to claim hardship or gain sympathy for their workers. Don't let them tell you that they need to pay their staff or can't afford supplies to finish the job. Their problem with their payroll is not your issue.
Some companies may even trick you into paying them early and leave with the job unfinished. That's why you need to make sure they are legally bound to completing the job and have no incentives to cut corners.
Once you've done your homework and researched a few service providers, prepare yourself to get the best quotes. Plan everything out for exactly what needs to be done to your trees. How many trees/limbs need trimming, the location of the trees, if they are diseased, and if you need trees planted in their place.
This information is going to help you ask the right questions and get more detailed responses. This will help determine which is the best quote for your needs.
Besides asking about prices, start with questions on their experience level, reputation, and techniques. Asking these questions isn't being unreasonable or difficult. Write them down and preference each call with your Q and A.
How Old Is Their Business?
If you can't find any specific information online, ask them how long they've been in business. What is the average level of experience of their team? Try to stick to businesses with over five years of business and over 10 years of experienced trimmers.
Because this industry is so competitive, you'll probably find a lot of young companies. Sort through them and look for the seasoned veterans.
What Types of Precautions?
When it comes to trimming and removing trees, there should be a number of safety precautions taken. Any tree service provider worth their weight will be able to detail any safety equipment, protocols, and clean up methods. How will they secure your home's perimeter?
Will their equipment get in the way of accessing your home? Find out how they will set up boundaries, tarps, and barriers to prevent the risk of injury or damage.
All crew members involved in the tree trimming service should have hardhats and personal protective gear while on your premises. This is something that is mandated by OSHA and it is not optional. It is your responsibility just as much as theirs to make sure everyone has proper safety equipment on.
What Trimming Methods?
Find out how they will be scaling your trees to get to touch branches. Do they climb trees using shoe spikes? This could be really bad, as spikes can hurt the tree and expose it to pests and diseases.
Do they practice topping? This involves cutting large sections of healthy tree limbs at the top. You don't want them to do this either. Topping leaves gaping wounds that are slow to close.
If a tree can't heal fast enough from topping, fungus and insects could make their way into the trunk and kill it. Topping doesn't even reduce the amount of trimming over the span of its life. It gives the illusion that fewer branches will be reaching over your home.
Are They Certified?
Alongside examining the BBB rating of a tree service provider, you may likewise need to get some information about their accreditation. The International Society of Arboriculture, or ISA, gives extraordinary confirmation to experts in the tree trimming industry. By having ISA accreditation, a tree trimming company has demonstrated that they utilize measures and practices that are recognized by the leaders of the tree trimming industry.
Insurance and Liability
Tree servicing is hazardous work, so it is vital to ensure that the organization that you decide to do business with is completely authorized and legally liable. Confirm their insurance protection over the phone and in writing. A reputable tree evacuation organization will have no issues confirming that they are responsible for any mishaps that may happen amid the tree expulsion process.
A certificate of liability insurance gets delivered to you before, not after or during, the work on your tree. This should happen through their insurance provider. This is the only way to ensure it's valid.
Without it, your insurance has to cover any injuries on your property.
Finding the Right Tree Service for You
Don't equate a simple trimming of the tree limbs with a lawn mowing service. Tree service companies have to adhere to a higher standard of landscaping. The stakes are much higher for you, the tree, your property, and the workers.
If you have a lot of trees on your property that needs maintenance, then you need a trustworthy partner. It's preferable to have someone who operates in Venice, FL, who knows the city ordinances and has all their ducks in a row. An experienced landscaping company will make sure your trees continue to provide plenty of shade after trimming.
Get the Full-Service Treatment
At Green Topps, we'll do more than cut a few limbs or remove dead trees. We will add value to your property by beautifying your trees. We offer a wide range of tree services, including tree removal, transplantation, and planting.
We know how to fully clear stumps and restore the soil to its original state. We can reinforce and brace trees. If you ever have a major storm roll through, we can help with the cleanup and clearing of large branches.
You can contact us anytime and ask us about any of our tree services listed here. We also offer tree service planning for land clearing permits. With more than 20 years under our belt, Green Topps can transform your yard from an untamed jungle into a home-selling feature.