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Tips on Choosing your Arborist.

Hiring an arborist deserves careful consideration. A qualified arborist will do tree work properly and safely. An unqualified person may actually damage the tree. Unqualified persons may not have proper insurance, leaving a liability burden to the customer that could run into the thousands of pounds.

Remember the following points when hiring or contracting with an arborist:

Be cautious of any arborist that advertises "topping" as a service. "Topping" is not an approved tree maintenance practice under normal conditions and will seriously damage the tree. Ensure your specialist is reccomended by a directory or yellow pages which offers no gaurantee but does show some permanence.

Ask if the arborist is certified by either a local professional arborists association or an equivalent.. The certified arborist has passed a comprehensive written exam showing the ability to do good tree work. Certification is not generally required but it does indicate that the arborist has a high degree of knowledge. Certification does not guarantee good tree work.

If the arborist you are considering is not certified, determine if he/she is a member of any professional organisations, such as the Arboricultural Association or a local or state organisation. Membership in these and other professional organisations does not guarantee quality, but does indicate professional commitment.

Ask for certificates of insurance, including proof of liability for personal and property damage and employers liability. Then, contact the insurance company to make sure the policy is current. Under some circumstances, you can be held financially responsible if an uninsured worker is hurt on your property or if the worker damages a neighbour's property.

Ask for local references. Take a look at some of the work, and if possible, talk with former clients. Experience, education and a good reputation are signs of a good arborist.

Don't rush into a decision just because you are promised a discount if you sign an agreement now. Be sure you understand what work is to be done for what amount of money. It is not generally a good idea to pay in full until the work is completed.

Most reputable tree care companies have all the work they can handle without going door to door. People who aren't competent arborists may solicit tree work at your door pointing out a condition that needs "immediate attention" or the "tree will die." If a tree is that close to death there is probably nothing that you or anyone else can do about it. These kinds of people are most active after storm disasters.

If possible, get more than one estimate.

A conscientious arborist will not use climbing spikes except when removing a tree. Climbing spikes open unnecessary wounds that could lead to decay.

Good tree work will not be inexpensive by any means. A good arborist must carry several kinds of insurance as well as pay for expensive and specialised equipment. Beware of estimates that fall well below the average. There may be hidden costs or the arborist may not be fully insured or trained.

A good pruning job is often one that cannot be noticed after the work has been done.

Some urban areas require council permission to carry out tree work (conservation areas and trees covered by a Tree Preservation Order). If you are unsure contact the local council's tree officer to see if such permission is required.

Tree Surgeon Exeter
Tree Surgeons Exeter Professional
Tree Care
Tavistock, Devon
Tel 01822 616792
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