When looking for tree removal services, you shouldn’t just hire the first company that comes up in an online search. This type of work is highly technical. In the wrong hands, it can result in serious problems. The same thing goes for hiring a tree cutting company. Without the right training and experience, an arborist or tree cutting professional could butcher your tree and leave it in really bad shape. Learn more about how to find the best services for your tree removal, stump removal or grinding, tree cutting or tree trimming needs.
Skip to an FAQs section:
- General Tree Services - Information tree owners need to know about hiring any kind of tree service, including removal, cutting and trimming professionals.
- Tree Removal Services - Questions tree owners need to ask every tree removal pro before they consider hiring them and extra research to do before picking the right one.
- Tree Cutting Services - Frequently asked questions for tree owners to pose to tree cutting services and how this service relates to tree removal.
- Tree Trimming Services - Common questions to pose to tree trimming services, what to do when branches are near power lines and nailing down the best season for tree trimming and pruning.
Information to Know about Any Tree Service
When spring and summer come around, tree owners need to have maintenance done on their trees to ensure new growth and prevent any damage to the home or backyard. While some are willing to take on the responsibility themselves, it’s sometimes easier and safer to hire professional services to do the job, especially when it might mean felling a tree and removing stumps. However, it’s hard to decide which service to hire as there are always at least 10 in the city to choose from. So here are the essentials all tree owners should take into consideration when hiring any kind of tree service.
It’s easy for someone to buy a small amount of equipment and bill themselves as a tree cutting professional. To ensure that you get the highest level of service possible, you should stick with established companies and hire a company that has a proven track record. Ask for references and follow up on them. Make sure that the tree removal company is licensed and insured as well. There are plenty of honest, experienced companies out there, but there are also plenty of dishonest ones so you should never just take a company’s word for it.
Get Down to Specifics
Each person’s needs are different, so you should ask plenty of questions before hiring a company to perform tree cutting or removal services for you. For example, ask about the following things:
- Pricing – This is a big deal, and the way in which a company charges for its services depends on a number of different things. Some companies’ fees are based on tree height while others charge hourly rates. Some companies charge extra for travel, so make sure to ask about that as well. See our Tree Removal Cost Guide for more information.
- What’s Included? – Always find out what’s included with your tree removal or cutting service. Some companies will cut down your tree, chop its trunk into manageable sections and even haul them away for you. Others will leave the trunk where it lies, and you will have to handle it yourself. In some instances, a company may offer to do extra work but charge more for it. Get all of this on paper before proceeding.
- Extras – It’s often worth it to pay a little more to have extra work done. After cutting down a tree, for example, a company may offer a discounted price to grind away the stump. It’s something you’ll probably need to do later anyway, and you might be able to get the work done for less by having it handled at the same time. Some tree removal companies will also chip up your branches and either haul them away or leave them for you to use.
Tree removal is hard work. It’s not something that should be handled by inexperienced people. If you want the landscaping of your home to look as nice as possible, you should invest the extra money in hiring a tree cutting company. It may cost more, but it will be done in a safe and effective way.
Information on Hiring a Tree Removal Service
Tree removal is a major process that tree owners have to do every now and again when a tree has died during the winter, gotten infested with pests or becomes a danger to the home or public right of way. It’s one of the most expensive tree care services to pay, averaging anywhere from $560 to $800. As such, you want to be sure and only pay for the service and not additional costs in lawn repair, fence repair or home repairs because it was done incorrectly. Consider this imperative information when hiring tree removal professionals.
Questions to Ask a Tree Removal Service
You should always ask a professional tree removal service questions before hiring them. Moreover, these should be questions you pose to at least three or four tree removal services to gauge their work history, expertise and how much you’re going to pay for each company’s services. By asking these questions, you will get the best service from the most qualified pro in the shortest amount of time without endangering your home, property or family members.
Here are the essential questions you should ask tree removal service pros:
- Can they provide a copy of their license and insurance? If the professional isn’t willing to show you these, it should be an immediate red flag and you should hang up the phone. All tree removal service professionals should have both of these documents to show they’re certified by the state to practice their professional and to protect their team in case of injury.
- Do they have a list of references? Even if you found them online or in the phone book, ask for references. Knowing they did a good job on other people’s homes will give you peace of mind and reinforce they’re the right person for the job.
- Will they be able to give you an estimate? Every company you call should be able to give you a detailed estimate of how much tree removal will cost based on what you tell them. You will also need to ask them how much stump removal will cost, whether it’s included with the cost of the tree being taken down or separate.
- How long will the tree removal process take? Part of the tree removal process estimate is the length of time it will take. By asking every company how long they say they’ll take, you can find out which is the shortest. It’s also why asking for references is important, though. They can confirm if the quoted time and price given to them by the pro was accurate for their job as well.
- What kind of equipment will they use to remove the tree? They should be bringing out equipment like axes, grinders (for the stump, if needed), chainsaws, safety gear, trucks and so on. Listen for items like that to be listed off when you ask the question. If it sounds like they’re missing paramount equipment, then you should reconsider using their service for your tree removal.
- Are they asking for money down? If they ask for any money down before the job, hang up the phone. Homeowners should never pay for the service before the job is done.
After calling all four of these tree removal businesses and getting these answers, tree owners need to look into them a little bit more before settling on a service. Check their websites to see how professional they are, and see if they have ratings and reviews or recommendations from past tree owners who used their service. Look at review services to see what others have said about them. See if any of your neighbors have used their services before. Make sure you get a service you can really trust, as you don’t end up in a situation where the tree could potentially fall on your home or in the yard and ruin your flower beds, lawn or the fence.
Information on Hiring a Tree Cutting Service
Although many tree owners may consider tree cutting to be the removal of entire limbs or branches from trees, tree cutting is actually the removal of a tree from its stump by chainsaw. Tree cutting is a very dangerous process as a result, with wood chips flying everywhere and branches strewn out across the lawn for children and pets to potentially get injured. So tree owners need to take steps when hiring a tree cutting service to ensure that their families and property are safe throughout the process.
Tree Cutting Service FAQ
Akin to tree removal service questions, there are many similar questions that tree owners should ask tree cutting services–at least three–before they consider hiring them. These include questions like:
- Can they provide a copy of their license and insurance?
- Do they have a list of references?
- How long will the tree cutting process take?
- Will they be able to give you an estimate?
Tree owners should especially ask ahead of time about safety equipment and gear that the tree cutting service has to fell the tree. Chainsaws are a paramount item in the tree cutting process, which means that the tree cutting team should have hard hats, gloves, safety suits, boots, headphones and safety goggles to protect them against the debris of the tree. Tree owners should also ask about the stump and whether the tree cutting service will be willing to remove it afterwards. They might have to pay extra for the service, as tree cutting does not including cutting down to the roots at first to remove the tree.
Once again, do not put money down before the service is rendered. This could lead to tree owners never having the tree removed and being scammed in the process. Also, ask about whether or not they will remove the debris in addition to the tree afterwards, as it could be problematic for tree owners otherwise to clean up the yard and handle all the excess branches and wood chips. Consider having a contract signed between both parties to ensure the work is carried out correctly.
How Tree Cutting & Removal are Related
Tree cutting and removal are related jobs because tree cutting is one method by which trees are felled. Chainsaws are popular in arborist circles for quickly getting a tree trunk severed and pulled down. There are also axes and other types of saws available to tree service companies for removal. Tree cutting involves the complete removal of limbs and branches from the tree, rendering it bare before the tree is felled. That’s not always the case with tree removal, depending on the size and girth of the tree along with other factors. However, tree cutting always involves the removal of the tree afterwards although not always the stump, which sets them apart in the field of tree services.
Information on Tree Trimming Services
Because trees and shrubs can be impacted by environmental conditions like pests, diseases and climate changes, they often need care and maintenance to keep them in their healthiest condition to survive. That’s why tree owners need to have their trees trimmed and pruned on a regular basis throughout the spring and summer. While some tree owners might be enthusiasts who know how to prune and trim their trees, some might not be sure and accidentally prune their branches too much or make their shrubs too bare. That’s why tree trimming services are around to help.
However, it’s important to trim down the number of services to hire on your list from 10 to 3 or 4. So here are some crucial factors tree owners need to know and pose to tree trimming services when narrowing down the list.
Common Questions to Ask Tree Trimming Services
Any tree trimming or pruning service should be able to provide information about their business and the job, including:
- Detailed cost estimate
- Time estimate for the trimming job
Tree trimming services should also be able to answer questions about their business and the their team, related to their techniques and their background. They should be able to tell a homeowner if:
- They are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
- They are a Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Accredited Business
- They use spikes on their shoes when climbing trees to trim them (they should not have to do this)
- They do topping (removing living sections of the tree off the top of it) during the trimming or pruning process (they should not ever do this!)
- They will dispose of the limbs and branches after completing the job.
- They do background checks on their teams.
- They will sign a contract detailing the work to be done in the estimated amount of time for the quoted amount.
Trimming Near Power Lines
If your trees and shrubs are near power lines, it might be easier and cheaper for you to call up the power company than a tree trimming service. Many power companies will not charge to come out and trim trees near the power lines, as it is safer for them to cut near the power lines than for an arborist to do it and potentially cause a power outage for the neighborhood. Many arborists will not even trim trees that are near power lines. Check where your tree is located and if the branches are within reach of a power line. If it’s touching a power line or within a foot or two of a power line, it’s worth calling your power company and asking them what the best course of action is before calling a tree trimming service.
The Best Season for Tree Trimming & Pruning
Many tree owners consider spring and summer as the best time for tree trimming and pruning. However, it doesn’t hurt to double check and ask tree trimming services about whether or not it’s the right time for trimming and pruning when you call them. They will be able to advise you and ensure your tree stays healthy and continues to grow. That’s why they’re certified and have been in the field.