Hiring an arborist is a big decision. Your landscaping is one of the biggest assets associated with your home, accounting for as much as 30% of your home’s value, so you want to ensure you give it the best possible care.
Before you hire an arborist, ask questions:
Are they TCIA Accredited?
Companies that complete the rigorous application and audit process for TCIA Accreditation represent the most credible sources for expert, professional service.
Do they have ISA Certified Arborists on staff?
To earn an ISA Certified Arborist credential, individuals must be trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of arboriculture. ISA Certified Arborists have met all requirements to be eligible for the certification exam, which includes three or more years of full-time, eligible, practical work experience in arboriculture and/or a degree in the field of arboriculture, horticulture, landscape architecture, or forestry from a regionally accredited educational institute.
Do they follow applicable safety standards?
The individuals completing the work on your property should have the proper personal protection equipment. Depending on the project, this could include safety glasses, ear protection, hardhats, or even chainsaw protection. Ask what kind of safety equipment will be used during completion of your project and what safety training the company’s employees receive.
Can they explain the work to you? Do they feel comfortable completing the work?
Don’t be afraid to ask an arborist what process they will follow to complete the work, or what experience they have with similar projects. Here are a few more tips to help you maximize your investment:
- Make sure the arborist has insurance.
- Seek more than one estimate, but be wary of simply hiring the lowest bidder.
- Make sure you have a written bid and contract for the work.
- Request (and check) references.
- Be sure the arborist you hire follows all applicable local and state laws regarding their work.
And finally, be careful of individuals who offer unsolicited work. This is especially true after storms. Reputable companies and arborists do not have to go door to door to obtain customers.