It’s not often you need to look for a tree service, but when you do need limbs trimmed or even entire trees removed, there are a few specifics to look for when you’re combing the internet or asking friends for referrals.
Today, we’ll go over a few of the “whats” to look for, and in the next post, we’ll be sharing important “who” elements to cover in your interviews & initial calls.
If you’re lucky enough to be planning ahead in terms of tree care and service, and not facing an emergency, these tips will make sense and some of them may even seem obvious.
If you’re in an emergency and facing lots of stress about tree damage to your property, house or even car, you’ll want this list as a kind of checklist to help you ask good questions. Good questions will yield good information, so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family, even while under stress and worry.
Let’s dig in:
- Is the company licensed?
The work an arborist does off the ground is dangerous work. You’ll want a trained professional, with a company that’s serious enough to know this is a business. Will the technicians be wearing hardhats and personal protection gear on site? What is the company’s training program like for the crew members?
- Are they properly insured?
Ask them to bring a certificate sharing their current status of insurance. What you don’t need is to be liable for accidents, additional damages or injuries while they’re working on your job.
- What are their reviews like on Yelp, Facebook or Houzz?
Part of your due diligence, is to see what others are saying about the service company you’re considering. What’s the overall score? And how were the descriptions on the most recent few reviews?
- Are they familiar with the specific laws and regulations for your neighborhood?
This is a critical component to ask about. The laws with regards to trees on properties in Bellevue are radically different than those in West Seattle. Tree services must work within compliance with the local authorities when it comes to pruning, removing and other tasks.Check out our Links & Resources page for details about your local area. And be sure that the company has knowledge of the laws in your neighborhood.The above questions are easy ones to ask prior to having someone come out to give an estimate.
- Will they be issuing a detailed estimate, in writing?
So important. Ask questions about the estimate (and consider getting 2 more from other companies too). You’ll really want to understand the scope of work before they begin.
- How will they be approaching the project?
Negotiating driveways or back alleys with a crane or large truck can be tricky. Your understanding of the scope, based on the previous question, will help you understand their approach to taking care of job at hand.
- Estimated time the project will take? And, hey, how about a start date, too?
Another really important element, how soon can they start? This should be spelled out on the estimate. One company may say 5 days while another may be ready to go in a few hours.Consider asking about ongoing maintenance for the larger trees on site.With the tech onsite, ask “How often should this tree get a cutting service?” or “What other limbs should I be keeping an eye on?”Getting a sense of regular care will help you not only budget for this work, but will also help you understand how to be a great steward for your trees.
Has a storm just passed through?
If it’s an emergency, you’ll definitely want to say so on the phone when you call.
If it’s been stormy and windy recently, don’t be surprised if it seems like all of the tree companies in the whole area will be busy. When it gets stormy in the PNW, trees and branches start to give. So companies will all be fielding calls, driving to locations to give estimates and making sure the crews in the field are working efficiently, safely & quickly.
We’d be happy to come to your property and see the trees at your location.
Give a call or email and we’d love to come by and talk tree care with you.