ARBORIST NEAR ME
How to find the best arborist and what to look for when hiring an arborist
If you have trees in your yard, they are generally fairly low maintenance. Once they pass the sapling stage, they often don’t need much regular maintenance other than clearing the leaves and watering every now and again. However, there are times when trees need a bit of extra help, and that’s where an arborist comes in.
An arborist can provide the following services:
Emergency Tree Care
Plant Health Care
Hiring someone who knows how to take care of trees...
can be the difference between you having healthy, strong (and beautiful trees), and you dealing with decaying trees and falling branches. An arborist, therefore, acts like a doctor for your trees. Their role is to help the tree stay healthy or to remove it safely when it’s beyond help. Many arborists act as sole traders, working for themselves, whereas others work as part of a local, or national, company. Finding and selecting the right one can be tricky when there are so many options available.
In order to pass the ISA examination, an arborist not only has to demonstrate a commitment to quality and demonstrate their knowledge through an extensive examination but also to commit to staying on top of current knowledge and best practices, therefore ensuring ongoing learning. The examination tests prospective arborists on all aspects of tree care and maintenance.
On top of that,
You wouldn’t visit an unlicensed doctor, or take your pet to an unlicensed veterinarian, and hiring a non-certified arborist follows that same logic. Most arborists will be happy to display their certification, either in their office, or on their website, or with a physical copy they can show you.
If they don’t, you could be liable for any medical expenses or property damage they cause. If an arborist falls out of the tree or cuts a branch that falls and damages property, their own insurance will be able to deal with the financial implications.
All reputable arborists will have the following insurance policies:
Some other forms of insurance that they may hold, depending on the circumstances include:
In the case of a tree service, you can ask to speak to previous customers. Ask the company to provide you with a phone or email address. If they are unwilling to do so, it’s usually a bad sign.
If they do, call or email them asking them the following questions:
This should help to cover you for most eventualities and to be sure that there’s not something too major that you’re missing.
You can also check references by looking at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. The BBB gives member companies a score based on their performance and customer service. Not all companies are members of the BBB, so don’t assume that a company without a BBB rating is necessarily bad.
On a similar logic, you can look at the Google Reviews for an arborist – although you should be wary of believing negative reviews. Generally, if a company has 10 or more Google Reviews you will get a good sense of its performance.
Since arborist work is almost always tailored to the specific tree in operation, it’s important to get a unique quote for your specific role. This will usually involve a site visit. Have arborists give a specific quote and a plan of attack; ideally, this will be in writing (including via email). You could also ask the arborist to present in the proposal what makes their company unique, or a better choice than other arborists. This will help you to directly evaluate the difference.
Don’t be tempted to simply go with the cheapest bid, as this doesn’t always indicate the quality of the job.
You should think about the payment for services as an investment; you need to make sure the money you spend is well-considered as you’re investing in the long-term health of your trees and your yard. It’s a false economy to go only with the cheapest option and not considering any other factors.
DON'T ALLOW ARBORISTS TO CLIMB YOUR TREES USING SPIKES
Spikes or spurs used to be a common tool in the arborist industry to help with climbing trees. These spikes pushed into the tree to allow the arborist to grip as they climbed (think like the claws of an animal). However, these spikes cause large holes in the tree which function like wounds.
When getting quotes from an arborist...
you should ask them about their use of spikes or spurs; any arborist who does use them should be cut from your shortlist. It’s now far more common for arborists to use ladders to climb the tree (despite it being less convenient than spikes). Ladders also tend to be safer to use than spikes, so demonstrates than an arborist is thinking about safety on the job.
This is a relatively small detail, albeit one with big implications. Generally, an arborist with ISA membership should be aware of this (since they are compelled to stay up to date on best practices) and therefore this shouldn’t be too much of a concern. However, it’s an important question to ask.
There are a lot of arborist companies operating within the United States. As of 2015, there were 141,796 arborists throughout the country, employing around 205,000 people. These statistics show not only that there are a multitude of options available, but also that most arborist companies are one- or two-person operations, rather than big national chains. This makes selecting an arborist that little bit trickier.
However, using the guide above, it’s possible to find someone reliable, safe, and with expertise.