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How to Find a Reputable Arborist

Finding an arborist is just like finding any contractor. You need to do a little research and consider everything, from first impression to total cost. A tree that requires decades to grow can become disfigured or destroyed in seconds if the arborist is not fully qualified. Commercial arborists may be found in the Yellow Pages under the category, “tree service.

Here are tips that can help you choose a good arborist:

If You Think You Understand Trees, Then This Might Change Your Mind

Arboriculture training could be obtained in a lot of ways. Colleges and universities offer degree programs. A good number of arborists learned from their on-the-job experience and through long-term education classes. Pruning specifically requires training and experience that is not the same as problem solving. Ensure that the arborist you pick has the training for your project. Certification provided by your state arborist association is one indication of arboriculture expertise. The length of time an arborist has spent in the business is yet another important consideration. Remember to check if your state requires certification for pesticide application.
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Professional Affiliations

All well-reputed professionals are members of at least a single association. Such an affiliation is already an indication of the abilities of a certain arborist.


It is important to ask for a copy of the arborist’s certificate of insurance and workmen’s compensation.

Physical Appearance

Does the arborist or the company representative look professional? What have you heard about their equipment? You can read online reviews and understand more about the tree service you may be planning to hire.

Client References

Ask them for references and make it a point to call these people. Good questions are, was the arborist able to do the job on time, and were the crew polite or courteous? Did they do any damage to the lawn, other plants or to the house itself? Did they clean up well? Certainly, you should contact the Better Business Bureau to ask for more information about the arborist.

Ask for advice.

There may be more than a single explanation for any specific situation. Seek more than one person’s advice. There are issues or problems that need no action whatsoever. For a low fee, advice can be available with tree care firms’ representatives or private consultants. Some garden centers will have qualified persons answering tree care questions, but make it a point to check their credentials.

Estimates and Quotes

As always, cost is an important point to consider, but note that the lowest bid is not automatically the best. This is but one of the many reasons you should do your homework before seriously considering a specific arborist.

Written Contract

Be sure that every little detail is out there in writing, including when they will do the work, what work exactly they will be doing (including any chemicals or products to be used), and the final bill. Finally, do not pay in advance.