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TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE PROPER TREE CARE SPECIALIST

Hurricane season is going to start on June 1. Does your trees need to be prune? Trees are a valuable asset and long-term investment that can increase your property value and gave it to you many benefits. It only takes a few hours for an untrained person to destroy a tree! In order to avoid that, here are some tips to help you find the best arborist for you

Car damage after hurricane Irma. Credit: H. Mayer

 

South Florida is Hurricane Country. Credit: NOAA

  1. Ask questions! Ask for local references. If possible, look at their work. Ask about their experience, education, and qualifications.
  2. Do they have a Certified Arborist on staff? Certified Arborists, through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), have passed the test of knowledge and experience regarding proper tree care and industry standards. You can learn more about ISA certifications at https://www.isa-arbor.com/ and find an arborist at https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist/findanarborist or verify credentials at https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist/verify
ISA How to find an arborist. Credit: ISA website

ISA website, how to find an arborist

3.-Ask for certificates of insurance, proof of liability, and workers compensation. This is important and should not be overlooked.

4.-Beware of the door-knockers mainly during the weekends. Reputable tree companies rarely need to knock on doors for business.

Hat-racking example. Bad pruning practice. Credit: H. Mayer

Over-lifting is the removal of the lower branches. Bad practice! Credit: H. Mayer

5.-Sometimes it is better to ask for a second opinion. Pruning trees is an art!

After 10 years, a weak tree with no pruning Vs. a strong tree with pruning. Credit: E. Gilman

Structurally sound live oak in the front vs. a weak one at the back. Credit: E. Gilman

6.- NEVER pay upfront, NEVER! Unfortunately, complete payment upfront may not guarantee that the work will be completed. Have the work to be performed written in a contract before the work begins.

7.-Always get a starting date and finish date in the contract. The work to be completed needs to be documented. For example, the price of removing a tree may not include the price to haul off the debris, or what size branches will be cut, how many branches and what kind of cuts are going to be used.

8.-Take pictures before, during, and after the work is complete. This will be helpful in case of a dispute or damages occurring from the job.

In summary, trees are long-term investments and valuable assets to your property.  A good tree company can improve a tree’s overall health and safeguard your trees from bad weather and other environmental stresses. When shopping for a tree company, ask questions. Take the opportunity to educate yourself about the basic principles of tree care. For more information, contact your County Forester with the Florida Forest Service, UF/ IFAS Cooperative Extension office, local municipal forester, utility arborist, or local tree-advocacy group.

Structurally sound trees with nice canopy. Credit: E. Gilman

Sources:

Florida Urban Forestry Council (FUFC). 2019. Issue three, http://fufc.org/downloads/councilquarterly19v3.pdf

Trees are Good. International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), https://www.treesaregood.org/about