Factors To Consider When Choosing an Arborist
Hiring an arborist is a decision you should always put some extra thought into—after all, your trees’ health depends on it.
When tree work is performed incorrectly, it can leave your trees and property worse off, causing further issues to the surrounding vegetation, not to mention pest and insect infestation. That’s why ensuring the team you choose knows what they're doing and does the job right is essential.
What's more, an unqualified arborist may not possess adequate insurance and licensing documents, putting the liability burden on you. In that case, you run the risk of being on the hook for thousands of dollars in the event an accident happens—every property owner's worst nightmare.
Along with avoiding any of these catastrophes, there are many benefits to taking the extra time to thoroughly vet arborists so you can find the best one. Here are factors to consider when you’re looking to hire a qualified arborist. When you’ve concluded this article, we hope you’ll be ready to put a professional to work for you and your trees!
Ensure They’re Bonded, Licensed, and Insured
Unbeknownst to many, some states require tree companies to possess valid registration to operate legally as a business that offers professional arborist services. What's more, some communities within municipalities further require arborists to prove they have a business registration and valid license before they can offer their services to the community residents.
If you need clarification on your local laws around legal tree service, you can check with the governing agencies for clarity. Whether or not licensing is enforced, you should always be diligent and ask the tree service company to show you their valid licensing certification. We advise against choosing a company without a license to avoid heft liability fees. Here at Brents Tree Service, we are always happy to offer proof of licensing and business registration to satisfy customer inquiries.
Request References and Read Reviews
Like any service you pay for, the best way to know a company will deliver on its promise and meet your expectations is to choose one that has a proven track record of success and ethical work practices. The best way to do this is to inquire about references and read any available reviews. You’re looking to answer questions such as:
- Did they show up on time?
- Was their service quote honest and accurate?
- Did they deliver on their service promises?
- Were you happy with the results?
- Were they respectful of your property?
- Would you hire them again?
Remember that an arborist is a tree doctor, so be as thorough and selective in your search as possible.
Ensure They’re Knowledgeable and Reputable
The best way to test a potential company's level of knowledge is by asking questions about their services, such as what method they’ll use to inspect your tree(s), how they’ll remedy the situation, and how they’ll determine if the tree is too sick or damaged beyond help.
If you're satisfied with their response and the arborists appear confident, this is the green light to move on to the next qualifying step.
What Is Their Public Reputation?
This is the single most crucial factor to consider if you're basing your decision on reputation and work history alone. You can analyze a local arborist’s reputation in multiple ways. Here are some of the more common tools to help you:
- Google business reviews
- Facebook reviews
- Company website reviews
- We urge you to be skeptical as it is common for companies to select favorable reviews to display publicly.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating
- Yelp reviews
Keep in mind that every highly reputable company can experience disgruntled customers now and again who take their issues to the internet, even if the company acted professionally and delivered on its promises. If you find a few companies with overwhelmingly positive reviews and just a few negative ones, you can likely consider them as outliers and give no weight if the complaints are nothing of significant concern.
Be Wary of Overly Generous Promotions and Discounts
While we all love a generous discount, a general rule of thumb is to question why a company is trying to push their service on you by reducing their fees to far below market rates. If the discount is too good to be true, be wary.
Before agreeing to the terms of their service, do a quick review of the company to get an idea of their reputation and abilities. If you’re satisfied with their details, then, by all means, enjoy the savings! If they’re relatively new with no track record of success and have yet to establish a customer base, consider looking at other companies. A discount is great, but don’t let it get in the way of choosing a reputable arborist who will get the job done without causing more issues.
Request Estimates from Multiple Tree Care Companies
When you've created a shortlist of top companies based on reputation and operating credentials, choosing one that will satisfy your budget is next. When you ask them to provide you with an estimate, ensure they include the following details:
- Total service cost
- Service date and timeline
- Scope of the service
We also encourage you to analyze the team's professionalism during this step. You’ll be much more satisfied paying a company that engages with you professionally and takes you seriously.
There they are—our top tips for choosing the best arborist company. When you ask the right questions and know precisely your needs, it makes the quest for securing excellent service much more straightforward.
Here at Brents Tree Service, we believe in transparency and honesty and are an open book for potential customers asking questions. If you call our offices to inquire about our arborist service, we’ll happily provide you with answers to all your questions. The most important thing is your tree's health, and we always keep that a priority.
Would you like to learn more about our service? Give us a call at (512) 310-8789.