Need 24/7 Emergency Storm Services? 1-888-827-4802 Customer Portal

When hiring an arborist, it’s important to make a well-informed decision. That begins with knowing what exactly a certified arborist is. A certified arborist designation is a program offered through the International Society of Arboriculture and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). A certified arborist must be trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of arboriculture to provide safe tree trimming practices to residents.

To obtain their certification, a certified arborist must have at least 3 years of full-time practical work experience in arboriculture or obtain a degree in the field of arboriculture, horticulture, landscape architecture, or forestry from a regionally accredited educational institute.

When choosing a residential tree service company, they should only recruit certified arborists to get the job done. These 7 tips will help you choose the right arborist and tree service company for your property.

Do Your Research

The most important thing you can do is research the company you’re looking to employ! During your hunt for a company, be sure that “arborist” or “tree service” is listed as a major part of what they do. The ISA – or International Society of Arboriculture – is an organization that was put in place to ensure high standards for tree care companies. Finding a company that is an ISA certified arborist is essential to ensuring the job gets done right.

Check Credentials

Determine if the residential tree service company is a member of any professional association(s), such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) or TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association), and that they employ certified arborists. Membership and or certification will not necessarily guarantee quality but can help distinguish more reputable companies from fly-by-night companies.

Get Multiple Estimates

Just like most things in life, it’s best to shop around and obtain multiple estimates when searching for a tree service company for your home. Although you may have to pay for an estimate or consultation from some companies, this investment can be worth it in the long run. Always be wary of companies who insist you pay in advance, as this can be a red flag that they are just looking to earn some quick money. After a storm hits, beware of door-knocking sales people who may come to your home; as these are often non-professionals.

Ask About Permits and Licenses

Depending on what state you live in, some governmental agencies require contractors to apply for permit and/or a license before they’re able to work in the community. If a pesticide or fungicide application is being made to treat trees, the company is required to have a current applicator license as well. So, it’s important to ask prospective tree service companies to show you proof of these permits and licenses.

Verify if Bonded and Insured

Arboricultural companies should be bonded and insured when working on your property. When researching a tree company, ask for their certificates of insurance, including proof of liability for personal and property damage (for you and your neighbor’s house) and worker’s compensation. This can save you from headaches later on in the event of an accident. A final step to take is to phone the insurance company to verify their current policy information.

Avoid Climbing Spikes

Not all residential tree service companies employ practices that keep the health of your trees in mind. A certified arborist will not use climbing spikes on any healthy tree to remain in the landscape. This can cause damage to the tree and provide a potential opening for diseases and insects to enter the tree. Ask about what practices they employ and stay away from those that use this method.

Topping Trees

A certified arborist may recommend topping, but only under rare circumstances. A couple of examples of these instances would be to save a tree after severe physical damage, or if working on the crown of the tree for decorative effect. Pollarding is a severe form of topping that produces knobs at the end of branches, often used in formal settings and restricted spaces.

Protect your trees. Protect yourself. When choosing a tree service to take care of your yard, use this guide to make a well-informed decision.

For over six decades, Townsend has provided vegetation management and power line clearance services to local communities. For trustworthy tree trimming services, contact Townsend Residential today!

Learn more tips and insights