As clean up from Hurricane Isabel continues, many residents are dealing with
fallen and damaged trees. To avoid further damage to trees and property a
professional arborist should be hired. An arborist is a specialist trained
in the proper care of trees. Professional arborists are properly equipped
to provide services such as pruning, tree removal, bracing and cabling,
aeration, spraying, and installation of lightning protection systems.
The removal or pruning of large trees can be dangerous and should not
be taken lightly. Healthy trees are an asset and investing in proper
tree care can add to the value of your property.
Here are some tips for selecting an arborist:
Look for established businesses within the community or surrounding area.
Check in the yellow pages under "Tree Services".
Make sure the arborist you choose is fully insured to cover liability
for personal and property damage and worker compensation. Ask to see
current certificates of insurance. You could be held liable for injuries
or damages that occur if the firm is not properly insured.
Ask if the arborist has any arborist certifications or belongs to a
professional arborist association such as the International Society of
Arboriculture (ISA), National Arborist Association (NAA), or the American
Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA). These memberships or certificates
do not guarantee workmanship, but do indicate a professional commitment.
Make sure you are dealing with a reputable tree care firm. Ask for local
references from recent clients that contracted for similar services. Call
references and ask them if they were satisfied with the firm's performance.
Get more than one estimate and understand what services will be rendered.
Ask questions and have them explain what they will be doing, how the debris
will be removed, whether or not stumps will be removed, when payment is required,
and scheduling of the work. If you don't feel comfortable with the recommendations
they give, ask if there is an alternative or contact another firm for an estimate.
Finally, make your decision carefully. The low bid may not always the best
for your trees. Compare credentials and written proposals to see if you're
comparing oaks to oaks. Get it in writing! Your contract should detail everything
you agreed upon.