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The Risk of Using an Uninsured and Unlicensed Arborist

August 20, 2020
Topics

When it comes to caring for your trees, credentials matter. Not only do you want to ensure your tree is in good hands, but you want to feel confident that you’re working with a credible company.

So, what exactly does “credible” mean? In the tree care world, a credible company is bonded, licensed, and insured.

In other words, the company has a:

  • License to perform tree service.
  • Insurance to cover a potential accident or damage.
  • A “bond” from another company (like a bank or insurance provider) which is an extra layer of insurance that protects customers if they have to file a claim against the tree company.

How dangerous is tree work?

Tree care, particularly tree pruning and removal, is a job for a trained arborist. A number of risks come with tree work, for example, the need to carefully maneuver around overhead power lines or underground utilities, or the fact that arborists deal with powerful and sometimes dangerous equipment. Plus, the sheer height and weight of a tree puts arborists at risk whenever they’re climbing, trimming or removing a tree.

Warning signs of a dangerous arborist

Never assume you’re dealing with a licensed and bonded tree service—always ask! This is crucial, because if you hire a company or individual without these credentials, you could be held liable for any on-the-job injuries or damages to your tree and property. A reliable tree service should have no problem providing you with license and insurance information before taking on a job.

In addition, be wary of working with an arborist if they:

  • Recommend topping as a way to reduce the height of your tree. Here’s why you should never top a tree.
  • Don’t provide a detailed description of their services. Not only should the price be clear and concise, but the arborists should be able to explain what service they’re recommending and why.
  • Need to climb the tree and use spikes. If work requires an aerial lift and it cannot reach, ask how they will climb the tree. Spikes can cause damaging wounds and should not be used

Why you should hire an accredited and licensed tree care company

Accredited and licensed tree care companies have put in the extra work to provide quality service. Particularly, companies that are accredited by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) go through a voluntary review process to demonstrate that they use professional and safe standards. TCIA recognizes companies that put safety training into practice, from safe equipment use to cautious tree climbing.

Questions you should ask when hiring a tree care service

Ask these four questions right off the bat to decide on the best tree service.

  1. Are you licensed and insured? It’s been said before, and here it is again! Inquiring about license and insurance is one of the most important questions to ask a tree removal service or other tree care service.
  2. What are your credentials? Working with a TCIA accredited company means you’ll get quality service. TCIA accredited companies are equipped with industry knowledge and safety procedures.
  3. Can you provide references? A reputable company should have customer referrals and reviews on hand.
  4. Are your arborists certified? Similar to the process tree companies go through to earn accreditation, arborists can become certified through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

Why hire a certified arborist?

ISA Certified Arborists® undergo a lengthy process that includes reference checks, multiple verifications and a rigorous exam to earn certification. So, when you hire a certified arborist, you’ll be working with a professional who has gone the extra mile to be the best s/he can be at the job. Read up on the benefits of hiring a certified arborist from Davey.

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