February 3, 2020

Why Should I hire a Certified Arborist Versus a Tree Guy?

When you are considering having a tree removed or evaluated for its overall health, a quick google search for “Tree Removal” or “Tree Service” will bring up a list of companies in your area that provide this service.  And perhaps your friends may “know a guy” who can remove a tree from your property.  But how do you choose the right person for the job?  What is the difference between Tree Removal and Tree Service?

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The first thing to consider is the level of professionalism a company provides.  Look through their website, is it professional? Read the reviews, are they mostly positive? Call your friends and neighbors to see if they have heard of the company and what have they heard about their quality of service and employees? In many cases, especially for large projects, it's advisable to speak to more than one company so that you can compare both prices and recommendations.

As is the case with most other services, in the tree care industry a very low price for your project probably means that there are hidden costs or risks you should be aware of

The first hidden cost is that you may be removing a perfectly healthy tree that could be preserved with treatments or care.  If a company is only interested in removing trees, they will not even offer you the option of saving your tree.  A Certified Arborist is trained to evaluate tree risk and can discuss the difference between perceived risk and actual risk. It might not be necessary to remove an entire tree to mitigate your concerns. A quality tree care company will discuss all of your options so that you can make an informed decision about whether to remove your tree.

Secondly, an untrained “tree person” may recommend services that could be harmful to your trees or could increase their risk of failure. An example is when a company recommends topping your trees. This method is not recommended because when you cut the top branches of a tree (not properly pruning) it sends the tree into a state of shock.  In efforts to overcompensate for the loss of a significant source of energy, the tree uses all of its resources growing tiny “watersprouts” or “shoots” off the branches to increase food production, leaving the tree defenseless against decay or insects or other stressors.  There are many resources available to learn about why tree topping is bad, and many tree ordinances regulate against it.  A professional Certified Arborist will not recommend or perform tree topping.

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Finally, what if an accident occurs? We all know that tree care can be dangerous. A professional company invests in safety and training standards to decrease the likelihood of an accident. Beyond that, what if damage to your property occurs? Who will pay for that damage? Does the company you are using carry insurance? Insurance costs can be prohibitively expensive for small businesses. Some companies are willing to take shortcuts that may reduce the price tag on a tree removal, but could ultimately end up costing the homeowner if an accident were to occur. Professional affiliations are a good indication that a company carries appropriate insurance, but it is important to always request and verify an insurance certificate before the work is completed on your property.

What professional certifications should you look for? The most common industry credentials are ISA Arborist Certification and TCIA Accreditation. Ask whether a company employs ISA Certified Arborists. Is the company TCIA accredited?

The International Society of Arboriculture is a professional organization that holds individuals to a high standard of care. In order to become a Certified Arborist, an individual must complete years of training and pass a rigorous test. While all of this knowledge may not be required to safely remove your tree, it imparts a certain level of care, respect and a dedication to safety.

The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) provides Accreditation for companies only after a thorough audit to ensure they carry the right insurance, provide professional service, have trained staff, and apply the requisite safety standards.  TCIA has already performed the hard work of researching tree care companies and identifying the best and most trustworthy ones.

One of the core values at NUF is that we are “Beyond Capable.” Our team is complete with ISA Certified Arborists, we are accredited by TICA, and we invest in our crew with the best equipment, weekly safety training meetings and procedures.  We can remove your tree efficiently, that’s no problem. Where we excel is in our commitment to leave your property better and healthier than it was before we arrived. We take care to minimize lawn damage, clean up debris, and share important tree insights with our clients. Most importantly, we stand behind our work, and if problems arise we fix them. We take pride in providing the best quality service,

Lots of “tree guys” are capable of removing a tree. At NUF, “Beyond Capable” means that before we remove a tree we’ve evaluated it’s risk with our clients and discussed alternative options to removal. It means that during the tree removal we’re respectful of our clients, their property and the general public. And it means that when the project is complete, the property is clean.