Borough Shade Tree Advisory

From the Tree Care Industry Council and the NJ Board of Tree Expert 
Buyer Beware when Purchasing Tree Care 
Make sure you investigate before deciding which company you should hire. Disreputable companies solicit work door-to-door, demand payment in advance, advertise topping, and sell jobs without producing a written estimate or work order.

To ensure that you hired a good company, start by looking at the arborist's listed in the phone book or on the Internet - don't place much emphasis on the size of the Yellow Pages ad, some of the most reputable firms rely almost entirely on word-of-mouth advertising. Instead, look for what the ad or Web page tells you about the company like number of years in business, professional affiliations, licenses, Accreditation, certification, etc. Avoid companies that advertise topping, which is an injurious and unacceptable practice. You should be aware that the credentials of someone calling himself or herself an arborist can vary widely. Look for the company displaying the credentials of a professional. 

When you meet with the arborist:

  • Ask to see current certificates of liability and workers.
  • Compensation insurance, if applicable.
  • Ask for local references and check on the quality of their work and level of service.
  • Verify professional affiliations the company might have, such as membership or Accreditation with the Tree Care Industry Association.
  • Don't be lured by a bargain and don't pay in advance.
  • Insist on a signed contract as to cost, dates when work is to be performed and exactly what is to be done.
  • Insist that climbing spikes are used only if the tree is to be cut down; they damage the tree.
  • Get a second opinion if it will add to your comfort level. Make sure that complete diagnosis of the potential for tree failure is performed before a tree is removed.