Spring wind storms, though damaging, can often bring out the best in a community. Neighbors, even strangers, help each other cope with aggravations and property damage left in the wake of a storm.
Unfortunately, storms also bring out the worst in a community – fast-buck artists looking to profit from the misfortunes of others. How can homeowners protect themselves when they need to hire a tree care company to clean up after a storm?
“With thousands of dollars at stake, not to mention the integrity and appearance of your property and your personal safety, make sure you investigate before deciding which company you should hire,” warns Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP* and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).
If the “professional arborist” you hired to remove a tree drops it on your house instead of your lawn, it’s too late to confirm the company is insured, warns Andersen
“Disreputable companies are renowned for ripping gutters off, breaking fences and bird baths and even dropping trees on houses,” says Andersen. “Then they typically fold up and leave, never to be seen again.”
Disreputable companies tend to:
- Solicit work door-to-door
- Demand payment in advance
- Advertise tree-topping pruning practices
- Sell jobs without producing a written estimate or work order
When looking for a reputable company, start with an internet search of tree care companies in your area. A good place to start would be TreeCareTips.org. Don’t place too much emphasis on the complexity of the company’s website – some of the most reputable firms rely almost entirely on word-of-mouth advertising. Look instead for what the website tells you about the company: Number of years in business, professional affiliations, licenses, TCIA Accreditation, certification, etc. Avoid companies that advertise topping, an injurious and unacceptable practice. You should be aware that the credentials of someone calling himself or herself an arborist can vary widely. Most arborist credentials can be verified by the organization that holds the certification. It is strongly advised that you not just hire someone with a chain saw who knocks on your door because you are desperate. Too often those people turn out to be untrained and disreputable Look for the company displaying the credentials of a professional on business cards, vehicles and work order forms.
When you meet with the arborist:
- Ask to see current certificates of liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Certificates of Liability need to come directly from their insurance agent and list you as a certificate holder.
- Ask for local references, and check on the quality of their work and level of service.
- Verify professional affiliations the company might have, such as membership or Accreditation with the Tree Care Industry Association.
- Don’t be lured by a bargain and don’t pay in advance.
- Insist on a signed contract as to cost, dates when work is to be performed and exactly what is to be done.
- Insist that climbing spikes are used only if the tree is to be cut down; they can damage the tree.
- Get a second opinion if it will add to your comfort level. Make sure that a complete diagnosis of the potential for tree failure is performed before a tree is removed.
What can you do?
Find a professional. A professional arborist can assess your landscape and work with you to determine the best course of action to care for and maintain the trees and shrubs in your landscape.
*Board Certified Master Arborist, Certified Treecare Safety Professional
Fall is a great time to plant trees. It gives them a chance to establish roots without the heat issues of summer. Resist the urge to start fertilizing until the tree has a good opportunity to establish roots though. Most soils have sufficient nutrients to get the tree started and until the tree has a chance to increase root/soil volume, your fertilizer is wasted. Fertilizer at this time can also increase the salinity of the soil and hinder the trees ability to take up water, which is a much bigger factor in tree mortality at this point in it’s life.
We would like to take a moment to wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas.
The end of 2017 marks over a decade of offering professional tree services to Marion and surrounding counties.
We would like to thank all of our customers over those years.
We appreciate the opportunities we have had to help you maintain the health of your beautiful trees so that your children's children can enjoy these majestic monuments of time.
As 2018 begins, we will continue to prioritize increasing our knowledge of proper tree care and safe work practices.
We will also continue to give back to our environment by planting more trees and educating our youth. Our goal is to plant as many trees as it takes to replace all the trees we have had to remove.
Last but not least, we are taking big steps to improve our communications and overall customer experience. We hope these improvements will reinforce your trust in the quality of our services.
Again, we hope you have a safe and Merry Christmas and that the New Year brings an exciting new chapter into your lives.
Fred and the Kantzer Tree Services family
Flying Squirrels and other wildlife setting up residence in your trees are just one sign to look for when assessing the risk of tree failure and resulting property damage or personal injury..
We all take risks every day. Just getting in a car and going to the grocery store puts you at risk of being in a car accident. The list of daily risks goes on but we also take steps to minimize the risk of personal injury. Seat belts and and following traffic laws are a few of the ways we can reduce our risks to an acceptable level.
We offer Tree Risk Assessments based on the International Society of Arboriculture's Best Management Practices standards. These assessments will give you, the tree owner, the information to make informed decisions to enhance your tree's health, benefits and longevity while reducing the risk of personal injury and property damage to an acceptable level.