Monday, April 6, 2009

How to Hug a tree? Hire Professional Tree Care

Say for instance you hire the “tree guy” with a saw and a pickup truck to take down the huge tree in your yard. Chances are he won’t do it alone. He’ll call a couple of buddies to help him out. In this scenario, say the buddy breaks his leg or suffers a severe head injury while working at your house. If the “tree guy” doesn’t carry worker’s compensation insurance for his buddy, chances are the buddy will have to sue someone to pay for the medical bills. Well he isn’t going to sue the “tree guy,” because what is he going to do with a saw and an old pickup truck? He is going to sue you.

Or same instance different scenario, you hire the “tree guy” and things don’t go quite as planned and the big dead tree is now occupying the space that was once your upstairs bedroom, hallway, and bathroom. When you find out that the “tree guy” doesn’t carry liability insurance to perform pruning and removals of large trees, you are going to want to sue for damages. But then you ask yourself, “What do I need a saw and an old pickup truck for?

My reason for writing is not to instill fear and distrust in the homeowner looking to hire a tree service, nor is it to destroy the reputation of several small legitimate tree services in our region. Rather, I write to offer an explanation for why the estimates you receive for services tend to vary a great deal; The playing field is not always level. Further, I write to expose the risk and liabilities involved for both homeowner and individuals involved in tree related services performed without sufficient coverage in the event of an accident.

This current economic climate sets the conditions for a race to the bottom. As buyers of services we seek out the lowest price, the bargain, even if that price carries risks. On the other side of the transaction are a growing number of guys with saws and pickup trucks laid off from companies that had always handled the details of indemnity. Work that involves pruning or removal of trees carries inherent risk. Don’t make matters worse buy bargain shopping. You hire the dentist and the electrician because your life and property depend on it. Make a point to hire a professional tree service, because the same is true. Look for companies that are accredited by the Tree Care Industry Association (formerly the National Arborists Association) and staffed by arborists certified by the International Society of Arboriculture. Doing so will help insure that your trees and property are cared for safely, efficiently, and in a manner that follows the best practices standards developed by the tree care industry.

Jon Schach, ISA Certified Arborist PD-1580A
Jon is an arborist representive for Good’s Tree Care Inc. of Harrisburg.

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