Whether it’s time for your trees to be pruned or you need a stump removed from your lawn, you need to hire an expert. A tree services company will be able to provide your trees with the care they need with the right skills, proper tools and knowledge. To find out more about tree care companies and their services, we spoke to tree care expert Johnny Corner, an ISA Certified Arborist and owner/operator of Northshore Tree Experts Inc. Read on to learn about the benefits of hiring an arborist for all your tree care needs.
What Services do Tree Care Companies Provide?
When it comes to caring for the trees on their property, many homeowners think that a landscaping company will take care of this for them. What you might be surprised to learn is that you actually need to call in a pro that specializes in trees. These pros are known as arborists and they work for companies that provide tree care services. Northshore Tree Experts is an example of exactly that. As a full-service tree company, they do everything from tree removals to planting and everything in between. They also offer services for pruning, cabling, and stump grinding, just to name a few. If you’re concerned about the health of a tree on your property or want to know how to best care for them, they can help you with this as well.
Why You Should Hire an Arborist
When it comes to tree care, one of the biggest misconceptions is that you can do it yourself. Johnny warns that “this is not only incorrect thinking but dangerous. There’s a reason why loggers have the highest mortality rate in Canada.” Being an arborist requires a high level of skill, proper training and continuous education. Arborists work at high heights with tools that can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Proper licensing and training is required to ensure the best and safest results. Never attempt to DIY cutting down a tree – instead, call in the experts.
Like most home improvement projects, there are many factors that go into quoting tree care work. An arborist will first come to your home to see the scope of work. This will include the time it takes to complete the work and also the level of skill required to get the job done. The arborist will take many things into consideration, including the location of the tree, whether special equipment will be needed, and the level of decay. Johnny notes that “dead trees are extremely dangerous to arborists and require a high level of skill to remove safely.”
For all of these reasons and more, getting a quote for your tree service must be done in person. In fact, Johnny warns that homeowners should be cautious of tree companies offering completely virtual quotes. He adds that the only service that is safe to assess with a photo is stump grinding, as the quote is usually based on the size of the stump.
For homeowners that are worried about having pros over to their homes, the good news is that contact-free quotes may be an option. Since the start of COVID-19, Johnny and his team have been offering contact-free quotes where they speak to the homeowner over the phone while on their property. This way you can safely distance while still getting a quote for your tree care needs. When you’re speaking with a company about getting a quote, ask if they can also provide you with a contactless consultation.
Many companies, including Northshore Tree Experts, offer a free first quote. Pricing for tree services varies greatly due to the complexity of the work, so it’s always best to have someone look at it in person. This way they can explain to you exactly what you’re paying for. Remember, an arborist is more than just a guy with a truck and a chainsaw. They’re ISA certified and very knowledgeable about trees. You’re paying for their skills and know-how so you want to make sure you hire someone who knows what they’re doing.
Day of Service
There are a number of things homeowners can do to make a pro’s job easier on the day of service. The biggest help is making sure the work area is clear before the crew arrives. This includes moving outdoor furniture, removing lawn ornaments, clotheslines and any bird feeders that are attached to trees, including the nails and screws. Johnny also notes that having access to your driveway is helpful as this is usually the main staging area for most of their work. Having a clear driveway allows them to set up and get to work right away.
Who better to ask than the experts when it comes to hiring tips? Johnny recommends that when researching a tree service company, ideally you want to find someone who is well-rounded. By this, Johnny means “a company that is reputable, ISA certified, insured, but also involved in their community both commercially and privately.” Additionally, there are three key things to look for:
Proper Licensing and Credentials
Having the proper licensing and credentials are extremely important when it comes to any trade that requires them. Make sure that the arborist you are hiring is certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Keep in mind that there is a difference between being a member of the ISA and being certified by them. According to Johnny, the ideal situation is to have the crew completing the work to be led by an ISA certified arborist on site. “You can also ask if the arborist you’re looking to hire has gone to school and has a graduate certificate in arboriculture at an accredited college,” he adds.
After you have confirmed the company’s ISA certification, ask about insurance. Having insurance is very important, both commercial liability and WSIB. There are a lot of risks for homeowners that don’t hire a fully insured company to perform their service. Pro tip: Never pay for a job in cash, as doing so negates the insurance coverage. When you pay in cash, you do not get a proper receipt. You will not have a paper trail or documentation to prove you hired the company and paid for their services.
Should anything go wrong while the company is completing the work, not having a paper trail could mean that you are responsible for the damages, even if the company is insured. This is why at Northshore Tree Experts, they don’t accept any cash payments. Johnny explains that as a homeowner, you should feel reassured that you are getting the full benefits of hiring a company with integrity and can feel comfortable in the work that is being performed. Ensuring the company has proper licensing, insurance and payment methods will help you with this.
Johnny also encourages homeowners to check a company’s reviews prior to hiring. “Red flags to avoid are obviously someone with many strong, negative reviews.” He also cautions homeowners from hiring anyone who makes you feel rushed or pushed into a decision. As initial quotes are often free with tree service companies, don’t feel obligated to do work you don’t need done. Also, don’t allow a company to push you into a cash only deal the same day as the quote.
Now that you better understand the work involved and what exactly an arborist does, it’s clear to see why it’s important to hire a professionally trained and ISA certified company. Failing to do so can put you and your home at risk. Follow expert Johnny’s advice and be sure to read reviews and ask about licensing and accreditations before hiring. When you’re in need of an arborist, be sure to search HomeStars for a company near you. Remember Johnny’s advice so you can ensure your tree receives the proper care it deserves!
Northshore Tree Experts Inc. is a family-owned and operated company that has been providing full tree care services since 2018. They take pride in being an ISA certified and insured company. The foundation of their company is simple and is based on two things — honest work and quality care. They commit to providing only the best service to their clients in Simcoe County. Read their reviews to see what their clients have to say!