Monday, April 6, 2009
How to Hug a tree? Hire Professional Tree Care
GUEST COLUMNIST: Jon Schach, ISA Certified Arborist PD-1580A. Jon is an arborist representive for Good’s Tree Care Inc. of Harrisburg.
Tree Guys are Not all The Same, Buyers Beware
In a down-turned economy we are all out for a bargain. If it’s not a bargain, most of us will walk away from the table. We’ll put off buying the new car or the new couch until we get through the slump, or until that year end bonus comes in. Some purchases can’t be put off however; a painful toothache, faulty wiring in the basement, or a large dead tree towering over your property. In the first two instances most of us will hire a professional. We look for the letters DDS or DMD at the end of the name on the door before we let someone take a drill to our mouths. We do some research to make sure that the electrician that we hire to repair faulty wiring in our home is a certified journeyman with a reputable firm.
Unfortunately, the same rigor is not always applied when we hire a tree service to remove the large dead tree in the yard or for other tree related services. Instead, many look for the bargains in the kid that mows the lawn, the handy-man neighbor with the reciprocating saw and a ladder, or the wife’s uncle who worked for a couple of years as a logger in Maine in the 1970s. More commonly, we sign up for the bargain offered by the “tree guy” that comes in with the lowest price out of several who stop by after you blitz the yellow pages for free estimates. Buyers beware.
Tree guys are not all the same. In the state of Pennsylvania you need a license to cut hair professionally, but you don’t need a license for cutting trees in the same capacity. Anyone with a saw and a pickup truck can respond to your call for tree work, and say, “I am the man for the job.” It is up to you to decide if that is indeed the case. So what should you look for in a tree service? At a bare minimum, you should ask for proof of workman’s compensation insurance for all employee’s working on your property, as well as, sufficient liability insurance specifically covering tree care related operations before you allow a tree service to perform work in or on your trees.