Tips on Choosing your Arborist.
Hiring an arborist deserves careful
consideration. A qualified arborist will do tree work
properly and safely. An unqualified person may actually
damage the tree. Unqualified persons may not have
proper insurance, leaving a liability burden to the
customer that could run into the thousands of pounds.
Remember the following points when hiring or contracting
with an arborist:
Be cautious of any arborist that advertises
"topping" as a service. "Topping"
is not an approved tree maintenance practice under
normal conditions and will seriously damage the tree.
Ensure your specialist is reccomended by a directory
or yellow pages which offers no gaurantee but does
show some permanence.
Ask if the arborist is certified by
either a local professional arborists association
or an equivalent.. The certified arborist has passed
a comprehensive written exam showing the ability to
do good tree work. Certification is not generally
required but it does indicate that the arborist has
a high degree of knowledge. Certification does not
guarantee good tree work.
If the arborist you are considering
is not certified, determine if he/she is a member
of any professional organisations, such as the Arboricultural
Association or a local or state organisation. Membership
in these and other professional organisations does
not guarantee quality, but does indicate professional
Ask for certificates of insurance, including
proof of liability for personal and property damage
and employers liability. Then, contact the insurance
company to make sure the policy is current. Under
some circumstances, you can be held financially responsible
if an uninsured worker is hurt on your property or
if the worker damages a neighbour's property.
Ask for local references. Take a look
at some of the work, and if possible, talk with former
clients. Experience, education and a good reputation
are signs of a good arborist.
Don't rush into a decision just because
you are promised a discount if you sign an agreement
now. Be sure you understand what work is to be done
for what amount of money. It is not generally a good
idea to pay in full until the work is completed.
Most reputable tree care companies have
all the work they can handle without going door to
door. People who aren't competent arborists may solicit
tree work at your door pointing out a condition that
needs "immediate attention" or the "tree
will die." If a tree is that close to death there
is probably nothing that you or anyone else can do
about it. These kinds of people are most active after
If possible, get more than one estimate.
A conscientious arborist will not use
climbing spikes except when removing a tree. Climbing
spikes open unnecessary wounds that could lead to
Good tree work will not be inexpensive
by any means. A good arborist must carry several kinds
of insurance as well as pay for expensive and specialised
equipment. Beware of estimates that fall well below
the average. There may be hidden costs or the arborist
may not be fully insured or trained.
A good pruning job is often one that
cannot be noticed after the work has been done.
Some urban areas require council permission
to carry out tree work (conservation areas and trees
covered by a Tree Preservation Order). If you are
unsure contact the local council's tree officer to
see if such permission is required.