Why Hire A Certified Arborist?
To make sure you get in touch with the right company, I would recommend contacting only those who say they are Certified Arborists. This can be verified through the International Society of arboriculture website. I would go a few steps further and check www.angieslist.com and the Better Business Bureau. These three litmus tests should tell you all the information you need to know. Once you have checked these two websites a couple times, you will be able to do the research in about three minutes — three minutes very well spent if it helps you avoid some of these tree services that follow a business model Don Corleone would envy. If you are really in a hurry, then just check angieslist.com. It is an awesome resource
Make sure any Certified Arborist you hire will be on the job when your work is being completed. This may seem obvious but it is much more common for the Certified Arborist to be nothing more than a glorified salesman who will never be seen once he convinces you to sign on the dotted line. The ideal would be a Certified Arborist who actually was planning to climb your trees and prune them. That is an exceedingly rare find.
Many people are turned away from arborists who are certified because they think they might be expensive when compared with “Hank’s Chop a Tree and Lawn Service.” You may be pleasantly surprised. Hank likely is lacking in the expensive equipment that makes tree work run smoothly. Loading branches into the back of a pickup can be a nightmare. Often this kind of amateur outfit will bid higher because they know what they are in for, or they have no idea what they are getting into.
Doing tree work without a chipper and dump truck is extremely arduous. If you want to compare bids between the certified and the non-certified, go ahead. If Hank is bidding significantly lower because he doesn’t know what he is doing, don’t be surprised if a more legitimate arborist who has paid his dues won’t match his price. Let’s compare apples to apples at least. One of the easiest ways to recognize the “Hank” business model is to look for an ad that says, “We top trees.” This is akin to a doctor saying, “We remove the wrong limb.” Avoid the tree toppers like the plague, because topping a tree is the worst thing you can do.
On the whole, a Certified Arborist will be much more prepared to help the consumer and, as a general rule, more dedicated to quality and ethical behavior. A Certified Arborist has paid his dues, and if you find the right one who actually has time to spend on your project, (delegation is extreme in this industry) hang on to that arborist. He’s not as common as you might think.