What is a Licensed Tree Care Service?

licensed and insuredWhen considering tree care, it is important to protect yourself as a consumer from fraudulent or unqualified companies. Tree care in New York is regulated by both the state and county governments, and is monitored by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Company owners are required to be licensed in each county it operates, and to adhere to all laws regarding the care and removal of trees. These laws protect your trees from damage, and protect you from financial loss and liability issues. Tree Care Service encompasses all types of pruning, removal, and structural safety.

There are other ways to assure that the company you hire will provide the quality you expect. Ask if the arborist is certified by either the New York Arborists Association or the International Society of Arboriculture. Certification is not required by the State of New York but it does indicate that the arborist has a high degree of knowledge. Credentials such as an ISA certified arborist on staff, TCIA accreditation, and CTSP certification will help assure that the company has trained personnel, high safety standards, adequate insurance, and dispute resolution policies. A good company should be happy to provide evidence of their credentials.

Licensed Tree Care

Make sure the company you hire is licensed and insured. Unfortunately, there are still many small tree companies operating without a license. These companies are often those that offer “a great price”, most likely because they do not carry the adequate insurance required to receive licensing, or are not using the proper equipment to do the job safely. People who aren’t competent arborists may solicit tree work after storms, seeing an opportunity to earn quick money. Storm damage creates high risk situations for both workers and property. Legitimate professionals never ask for payment in advance.

Good tree work is not inexpensive. A good professional must carry several kinds of insurance as well as pay for expensive and specialized equipment. Beware of estimates that fall well below the average. There may be hidden costs or the professional may not be fully insured or trained. Ask for certificates of insurance, including proof of liability for personal and property damage and worker’s compensation. 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 neighbor’s property.

It is also prudent to get more than one estimate and let each contractor know you are soliciting for other bids.

Finally, ask your friends, family and neighbors for referrals. A happy and returning customer speaks volumes about the integrity of a company.

Need an estimate? Call Smoothie’s Tree Service at 845-249-5258 or 850-896-5982.

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