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Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service Rule #147 – Selecting a Tree Service Contractor

Almost never, ever should you choose the cheapest tree service provider.

Tree services — trimming, pruning, even removal —  do not come round as especially necessary as do other landscape services, mowing, for example, or weed eating. So you should be especially careful as you choose your tree service, most especially after a storm when many trees in your neighborhood may have been damaged. Less-than-reputable tree services will flock to a storm-damaged area with prices far too good to be true.

Be always alert for tree service companies who give vague or evasive answers to these basic questions, questions you should ask any prospective tree service provider.

Will you please show me an up-to-date certificate of insurance and a copy of your work contract?  Ask this question first and foremost Any hesitation here means that the company is not properly insured and, consequently, that you will be liable for damage, accidents or injuries. If there is not an immediate and very positive answer to this question, run. Run, do not walk away from this prospective tree service company.

What are your credentials? Try to hire a company with an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist, a Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Accredited Business, or one employing a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional (CTSP). If the tree service company you hire will be working in proximity to electrical conductors, they should probably be Approved Line-Clearance Arborists.

Do you have references, recent references? Any tree service company deserving of your business will be happy to share a list of satisfied customers. Ask to see references from happy customers dated within the past month or so. Do not be impressed by old, perhaps contrived letters of approval.

Will you give me a detailed estimate? Try to obtain written estimates from three equally qualified companies to compare prices and, even more importantly, to understand the size and scope of the job.

How will you approach this job? Can you describe a plan of attack for completing the job. What equipment will you use? You most certainly don’t want massive power equipment driving over your lawn and flowerbeds, wrecking the flowerbeds Aunt Cathy began so many years ago. Ensure that the tree service provider knows the locations of sprinkler heads or other objects that may be damaged. Photograph the area before work begins so you have a record in case there is damage. Satisfy yourself that the tree service provider will keep your property clean during and, of course, after the project is completed.

How long will the project take? Does one tree service company suggest three days while another company says “Ma’am, we’ll be out of here before you know it.”

Does the company appear professional?  Look closely at the tree service company’s equipment. Are the trucks clean, apparently in good condition. Negligent care of a tree service company’s own equipment suggests equal treatment for our trees, your surrounding property.

Does the tree service company have a website? Design and content will give you a sense of the tree service company’s professionalism. And no website at all should be an immediate disqualifier. Be so very suspicious of any tree service company attempting to operate in this day and age without a web presence. Here at Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service, we’ve taken great pride in the appearance of and the information gathered here at  Please think of this website as the face of our tree service business. We’re here to serve you in any way we can. At a price that might not be the least expensive of the estimates, even the quotes, you might find, but with a guarantee of performance, a commitment to your satisfaction that only a family business with a long history in Wichita can give you.

Will your crew be using hardhats and other personal protective equipment while on my property? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that personal protective equipment be used for any tree care operation. As here at Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service, any reputable tree care company will require that its workers be fully protected.

Low cost estimates can be generated in the absence of any of the above considerations. You must have absolute confidence that the tree service company you choose has the necessary skill, experience, and training to do the work safely and efficiently, to the highest standards of performance and final appearance. Any company offering these qualities will have invested a considerable amount of time and money into the training of their staff, with ingrained habits of health for your trees and safety for themselves.

And so ask to see the tree service company’s training records. At Abe’s Lawn and Tree Service, we will gladly demonstrate, to your complete satisfaction, our staff’s experience and expertise in the safe, well-equipped, practiced complete of your tree service needs.

Call us at (316)722-2348 for complete, really very nice and comforting answers to these all-important questions in your selection of a tree service company.

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