Feb 15, 2016

Considerations Before Hiring a Tree Service

In late October, we took part in a Twitter Chat with a handful of professionals from around the country to discuss fall home maintenance.  It was an opportunity for companies highly rated by Angie’s List to educate members and answer questions about their respective industries.   One of the other companies that took part was a horticulturist from Ohio that had been in business since 1880.  An Angie’s List member posed a question about the pricing structure within this industry for the various services offered.   Since Twitter’s 140 character count maximum that favors brevity, we thought it best to dig deeper into the topic.  Here’s what we found out.

Elements that Impact Pricing: Expect to pay more the taller and wider the tree is.  Healthy trees take more work to remove than dead & decaying ones and therefore, cost more.  Where a tree is located on your property also makes a difference.  If the specialist has to be cognizant of buildings and power lines, extra precautionary measures that take additional time will need to be implemented.  If a tree is being trimmed back, the higher the branches are, the more a company can charge you.

Get an Estimate: While a service such as tree removal or trimming can seem straightforward, it’s in your best interests to get a written estimate prior to the work being performed. This ensures that you and the company are on the same page.  It also allows you to take the time to understand their pricing and be comfortable with the charges prior to incurring them.

A La Carte: Be sure to review the proposal in its entirety so there are no surprises after the services are rendered.  One line item to carefully check for is who is responsible for the removal of the tree and/or branches once they have been cut.  If this is something you personally don’t want to facilitate, request that it be done on the day of the service.  The same goes for log splitting and tree & trunk removal.  Be advised that these services will most often come with an additional fee.

Proof of Insurance:  When hiring a tree service, always ask for a copy of their insurance policy to understand what type they have and if the coverage is enough to protect your property and any employee injured while working on your project.  Going with a company without insurance or with a lackluster policy, can leave you liable for any accidents or injuries that happen to their crew.

Ask for References: Written & verbal references allow you to get a sense of what others experienced while working with the tree service.  Be sure that the work the references had performed is similar to the project you are asking them to do for you.  We still recommend checking online reviews from reputable sources like Angie’s List & the Better Business Bureau.


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