First and foremost, Beware if a tree service does any of the following:
- Offers a discount for finding them other customers.
- Pressures you to make a decision immediately.
- Asks for an upfront payment and/or only accepts cash.
Offers a very low price.
- Is vague about its formal arborist credential.
- Doesn’t have any bid forms, letterhead or other printed materials.
Natural disasters such as Storm Sandy result in numerous concerns for the boating community. They can also bring the best out in people, with strangers reaching out to help others who are in need of assistance. Unfortunately, our experience also informs us that crises can also bring out individuals who will attempt to take advantage of victims.
One of the more common post-disaster scams involves damaged trees. It might sound simple enough. However, it is essential to consider tips from a long standing tree removal business for homeowners who have trees that have suffered damage in a storm:
Contact your insurance company to find out what your policy covers and what your specific requirements are.
Consult the BBB’s Accredited Business Directory in order to look for a trustworthy business. These business are fully committed to ethical and honest practices, and also the licensing requirements have been checked by the BBB, so in case anything goes wrong, the businesses have made the commitment to respond whatever concerns you might have.
Ask if they have certified arborists on staff who have certifications and professional training or check their website: http://www.treeserviceri.com
It is especially important to have an experienced arborists on projects that involved removing substantial branches from established tress or any situation involving large trees.
Be sure that each of the tree services that you are thinking about hiring carries workers compensation insurance and liability insurance. All insurance certificates should be sent directly to you from the tree service company’s insurance agency. Otherwise, the certificate could possibly be fraudulent.
With anybody you hire, make sure to have a written contract agreement. Include the person or business name, phone number, address and license number (where applicable) are all included in your contract.
Read and understand the entire contract, and never sign a contract that is blank. At the time of your signature, a copy of this signed contract should be given to you. Don’t assume that the contract includes tree stump removal unless it is specified.
After you have selected a tree service you are comfortable with, don’t ever pay for any kind of tree trimming or tree removal service until you are completely satisfied with that work. Only pay with your credit card after the job is done. If you pay using a credit card it will give you some time of recourse if the job isn’t completed as specified in the contract.
You may be eager to get everything back to normal, however don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Don’t let anyone pressure you into having to make a quick decision. Be very wary about door-to-door solicitations and be sure to find out if they are required to have solicitation permits from your local community.
Ask how they will do the job, if their work will be performed according to the industry standards. The company doesn’t follow industry standards if they mention anything like “using climbing spikes for pruning a tree, “topping a tree.” “Topping” is the practice of drastically cutting back a tree’s major limbs to reduce its overall size. This involves a major stripping out of most of a tree’s interior branches. These practices can skill or seriously injure your tree.
Some of these techniques will be marketed as a way of saving money, like removing more at one time from a tree. However, when one of those methods are used to prune a tree more costly restoration work is usually required in the future to save the tree.