When you find yourself in need of tree work, or plant health care, here are some words of caution. Many tree services drive into the Twin Cities from out-state to find work by going door-to-door, follow storms, etc. Often times, they show up with a pickup truck, a chainsaw and little else. They usually have no ISA Certified Arborist affiliated with their company, may have little tree knowledge, typically are not covered by Workers’ Comp or General Liability and often do not charge/or pay MN sales tax. They talk a good game and encourage you to do the work right on the spot, “while they are in your neighborhood”. Unfortunately, the homeowner is the one who can suffer the result of agreeing to have tree work performed by such a company. There are some horror stories that involve being charged too much, being given bad advice on what should be done, paying in advance of the work being completed and being left with a partially removed tree, or logs stacked on the boulevard with no way to contact the workers, etc. Then, Shadywood gets called to “fix” the situation. Being an aware consumer can save you money and ensure that the proper work is being done for you. For example, there are many issues that a local company will be conscious of that an out-of-towner may not, such as not transporting any ash lumber outside the county to try and limit the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer, or not leaving firewood for you, if the tree is infested with Dutch Elm Disease. Any number of scenarios have been described to us and the homeowner is the one who suffers and ends up spending more money in the long-run. With this in mind, when you need a tree professional, take these precautions:
- Don’t make a decision impulsively, when someone knocks on your door and suggests tree work you haven’t solicited
- Ask for proof of insurance (General Liability, Workers’ Comp)
- Ask for referrals, if needed to ease your mind
- Check their reputation with the Better Business Bureau and/or Angie’s List
- Is there an ISA Certified Arborist doing the bid and the work?