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5 Steps to Choose the Best Tree Service

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Finding a good tree service company to care for your trees can be a tough decision. 
How can you be sure that the company you hire will do what you want, care for your trees and leave property safe and clean?  

“It’s important to do your homework, says Lou Giroud, President, Giroud Tree and Lawn and ISA Certified Arborist. Homeowners need to ask questions.  It’s the only way to accurately judge if a tree service company has the ability to do the job.”

To help you compare companies, Giroud has put together a “How to Hire a Qualified Tree Service Checklist” that covers the issues that can make or break your experience.  Use the Checklist and follow the 5 key steps below:

Step 1: Knowledge is golden—Use an ISA Certified Arborist.

Much like the human body, trees are a complex biological system.  An ISA Certified Arborist knows trees.  He will do a root to crown inspection, zero in on health or safety problems, and give you the best solutions. 

To be certified by the ISA, International Society of Arboriculture, requires several years of field experience and passing a rigorous exam on all aspects of tree care.  All Giroud Arborists are ISA Certified.  

You can check our credentials as well as other companies and get a wealth of information on tree care from the ISA at Trees Are Good or by calling 217-355-9411.

Step 2: Tap your resources.

Ask your friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. Check the reviews on sites such as Google or Angie’s List.  Compare your findings with the list of ISA Certified Arborists and pick your top companies.

Step 3: How’s their Customer Service?

ISA Certified Arborist, Rob Nagy, evaluates tree service needs with Giroud customer.

You can learn a lot about a company and the quality of its service from the first phone call or email.  The following questions can help you to evaluate each company’s customer service.

  • Does a real person answer the phone during office hours or do you get a machine?
  • If you leave a message, does someone return your phone call? 
  • When you send an email, do you get a prompt response?
  • Does the representative arrive on time for your appointment?
  • How does the company handle problems and ensure you’re happy?  

Step 4: Get the facts! 

Make the most of your meeting with the Arborist.  You need to discuss more than tree care.  You want to find out if  the company is solid, ethical and safe. 

  • Insurance: Ask for a certificate of insurance that is issued directly from the insurance carrier and check for liability coverage of at least $1 million.  A reputable arborist will have personal and property damage insurance as well as workers compensation insurance.  There are too many horror stories about homeowners who had to pay out large amounts of money for damages and injuries caused by uninsured tree companies.
  • Security: Does the company do criminal background checks and drug test their employees?
  • References: Ask for references and then don’t hesitate to check them. 
  • Memberships: Is the company involved in any professional organizations such as ISA or the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA)?  Such involvement demonstrates the company’s interest in staying up to date on the latest techniques, research and information.
  • Tree Care Practices: ISA Certified Arborists will only perform accepted tree care practices. For example, topping trees, removing an excessive amount of live wood or using climbing spikes on trees other than for complete tree removal are not acceptable practices.

Step 5: Select the right tree service company for you.

Tree breaks in a storm and Giroud Tree Service Crew cleans up the damage.

The lowest bid may not be the best deal.  Be sure to compare credentials and written specifications for the work and determine the best combination of:

  • Price
  • Ability to do the job
  • Track record
  • Customer reviews
  • Professional credentials 

We’ve boiled down these steps into a handy guide to help you find the tree service company that’s right for you.  Download our free guide now:  “How to Hire a Qualified Tree Service Checklist” 

Author: Cindy Giroud

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