February 9, 2018 4:06 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Hiring a tree care professional to do work for you is like hiring any other contractor or professional: you want to make sure they know exactly what they’re doing and that they’re going to deliver value to you. But while it might be easy to vet someone like a plumber or electrician, it’s not always so simple to vet someone performing tree maintenance in southern Louisiana. How do you know you’re getting honest work from a qualified professional?

You don’t have to be a tree care expert yourself to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. All it takes are a few well-posed questions and some insight into what separates a top-level tree care service from a second-rate wannabe:

  • What are your certifications and licenses? The quickest way to know what you’re working with is to get to the bottom of any accreditations, certifications or licenses. Affiliations with a few organizations can immediately exude trust and quality, including someone recognized by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) or the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). Be sure to also look for Certified Arborists or Certified Tree Care Safety Professionals (CTSP), who have passed rigorous training in the ways of proper tree care.
  • Are you insured and/or bonded? Working with trees can be dangerous if bucket trucks, ladders and heavy equipment are involved. You want to make sure you’re protected against any incidents. Hiring a company that’s properly insured/bonded means you’re not held liable if something goes wrong.
  • Do you have references or reviews? One of the best ways to gauge the quality of work you’re about to get is to see what a company has done in the past. Ask them for referrals or for examples of work they’ve done recently, so you can physically see for yourself what their level of quality is.
  • Do you provide estimates for time and budget? This is extremely important to ask, because every job is different. Basic tree maintenance in southern Louisiana may just take an hour or two with minimal costs, while intensive tree services can be ongoing for weeks and incur multiple bills. Get estimates up front if offered, so you know exactly what you’re dealing with.
  • Do you subcontract? Many companies subcontract work out to other individuals. This might keep your costs lower, but it also means you’re not working with the person you interview most times. Ask about subcontracting up front. Subcontracting isn’t a bad thing, but it might warrant follow-up questions about accountability, management and communication.

With the health and wellness of trees at stake, it’s important to make sure you’re hiring a qualified professional to care for them. It can be tempting to pick your service provider on a pure cost basis or by a word-of-mouth recommendation, but it’s worth your time and money to go the distance to fully vet each company you’re thinking about hiring. Your trees are sure to thank you, and you’ll have peace of mind in knowing you’re getting your money’s worth.

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