Tree Service Company - What to Look For

by: Wesley A Barras

You are thinking about hiring a tree service to cut down a large branch hanging from a tree in your front yard. The tree you like. Who does not like trees? The branch you hate. Not only is it a safety as hazard high winds could knock it into your living room window but it blocks the sunlight from getting into your house. What company do you go with and what do you look for?

We live in a sue happy society and I would make certain that due to the inherent risks any tree service I would hire have a general liability insurance policy and a workers compensation policy. The liability insurance policy should be at least $1,000,000. This is to protect you and them. If you need to make a claim (hopefully you will not but you never know) you know they are covered. If they mess up your neighbor's yard or cable wires you know they are covered for that as well. The work their employees are doing is dangerous as the heights they have to climb to cut branches can be tens of feet high. If a person falls the workers compensation policy kicks in. Without it, and with a good personal injury lawyer, they can come after you because the accident happened on your property.

Ask if the owner and his subsequent employees have been trained a licensed through the state apprenticeship program. The state of Washington it takes 4,000 hours and 144 hours of classroom time to get a "Power Line Clearance & Tree Trimming" apprenticeship license. You want to make certain the people cutting your branches have this. The course trains people in safety first but also teaches them about various tree types and how to cut them without damaging them. Again, considering how demanding and high risk this activity is you want people who are doing it for you to be fully trained to do it right.

Get three quotes from three different tree service companies. When you call a company like this they will send an estimator out to bid the job. Make sure you get them to put everything in writing and exactly what you are getting for the money you are spending. When this happens you can make accurate comparisons. Note this: the cheapest bids are not always the best way to go. And, extremely low bids may give you a clue that they do not have all the insurance they should. Tree service companies pay some of the highest insurance rates in the country and this businesses have to pass a lot of those costs on to their customers.

Look online for reviews about a tree service you are considering doing business with. If they have been around for several years they will have some sort of reputation. You need to find out what they reputation is. Is it good or is it bad? Have they produced substandard work? Have they overcharged or did not do what what agreed upon? Online reviews of a particular tree service will tell you this.

Follow these suggestions and you should be able to weed the bad tree cutting companies from the good ones.