What to Know About: Tree Cutting and Removal »
When a tree falls in your front yard -- what are your options for getting rid of it?
When a tree falls in your front yard -- what are your options for getting rid of it?
Trimming and removing trees can be dangerous, if not deadly. Learn how to stay safe and when to call a professional.
Since the price of tree removal and trimming services can vary widely, it can be difficult to find an affordable tree service. Lea…
Extremely unprofessional. Spoke with a very disrespectful person named Debra. Will not be using service
Honest, dependable, great customer service, presented professional insurance, no messes, showed up on time and addressed all of my concerns
Reading the rest of this guy's bad reviews are only all too familiar. In April of 2012, I hired Life and Limb to remove 2, large, dead, cherry trees from my back yard. His quote was reasonable and he was able to do the job quickly, so I hired him. While he and his crew were there, Jeff, the owner, mentioned cleaning up (trimming) some of the other trees on our property, which did need to be done. He explained that I was the only job he had that day and he needed the extra money to get his truck repaired. We agreed on a price, and like an idiot, I paid him in advance as I had to leave for a meeting in Ohio. When I returned home the next day, I was surprised to find they had trimmed about 2-3 branches low to the ground and then left. It took multiple calls to even get the owner Jeff to call me back, and after many messages with him and multiple promises of him "coming out this week", I finally just gave up. In my opinion, he STOLE the $250 I paid him in advance to complete a job he never completed. How this guy is still in business is beyond me, but if this review keeps one more person from wasting their hard earned money on this clown, it was worth it. To top it all off, Jeff had the audacity on one of the rare occasions he'd even answer my call to ask me to go online and give him a good review because some of his "competitors" were giving him bad on-line ratings. This was after MONTHS of him "promising" to come back and finish the job.
We had a 2nd (very, very small) tree which Jeff, the owner, told us he would remove for free due to the inconvenience we experienced with him not showing up at 7AM on the first day as promised (they arrived at 3PM) then not completing the job the day as promised, completed on Monday afternoon instead of Saturday. We specifically hired him based on his promises of coming out the next day and getting the tree down the same day. On top of not doing the job as scheduled, he had the nerve to tell me that the work was keeping him from spending time with his daughter, when he was the one who sold me the job based on his availability and the need for our badly lightning split and damaged tree to be removed ASAP before it fell on our house... When he came back on Monday he did seem apologetic, so I asked for a quote on the small tree, and he offered to do it for free. Said it was no problem, he was very sorry about everything. LIKE AN IDIOT, I paid him for the job since I had to get back to work. They left, did not do the 2nd tree, and now will not return my calls or text messages. It makes no sense because we ALSO have another tree that needs several hundred dollars worth of trimming that I had him quote and would have absolutely hired his company for that work. SO, like the review below, very, very untrustworthy. Will say or do anything up front to get the work, then won't show up on time or even the right day. Also, he screwed his friend who he recommended to do concrete work for us. He told me "he's just as reliable as I am" - well, with that said, I most certainly won't be calling that guy. The only positive things I can say are they did clean up the yard 100% and their price was reasonable. Other than that, yikes.
Jeff and his crew came to my house and removed two rather large trees. I was very impressed with the work they did. They left my yard looking great by cleaning up afterwards. I would recommend them for anyone needing tree services.
Once finished trimming our locust tree, I told Jeff Locke, the owner, that I wanted a few of the small, dead branches trimmed off one of the larger branches. He stated that his tool, used especially for trimming branches from the ground was in the repair shop due to an employee breaking it and he would return the next week to finish the job. This was on June 26, 2012. I have spoke to Jeff on the phone on 4 separate occasions (each time he said he would come out the next day or in a few days), left 3 messages, texted my address to him with a response that he would return, and spoke to an employee. With all of these communications, Jeff Locke, nor an employee of Life & Limb tree service, has returned to finish the job. I mistakenly trusted that he would returned and foolishly paid him his $250 fee on 6-26-12.
Finding the right arborists for the job is just like hiring any other professional tradespeople, such as plumbers or electricians. You want trustworthy people who know what they are doing, especially since they are working on or around your home - the most expensive piece of property you own.
Don't hire the first person who claims to be a professional, but only has a chainsaw and a flatbed pickup truck.
What Kind of Work Do You Need Done?
Before you search for an arborist, make sure you know what kind of work needs completing. Do your trees need a simple trim of their leaves and branches, or do you require a more serious task, such as sawing low-hanging branches that could cause damage to your house if a severe storm occurs?
Once you know the extent of the work you need completed, make a list of tree service providers in your area. If you know you have low-hanging branches that could prove to be problematic, it's smart to find an arborist sooner rather than later. Many tree service providers get a a lot of business after storms hit, so you could be waiting for a while if you delay in calling a professional.
You have a better chance of getting a good deal on trimming or tree removal if you get any necessary work done in the winter, as opposed to busy seasons like spring and summer.
Look for Reviews and Ask for Recommendations
Start your search for a tree service by looking at the online reviews of any companies in your area. Remember your family, friends and neighbors are also trusted sources of information, so ask them if they can recommend a tree service to you. Ask them what kind of jobs the arborist performed, how much they charged and if they were pleased with the results.
Are They Certified Arborists?
Not all tree service companies feature certified arborists. If you have trees you want to keep and care for, you need a full-fledged arborist for the job. Ask the company to verify qualifications and credentials before you sign or agree to anything.
Hiring a certified arborist gives you more options. In case you decide you don't want trees chopped down, ask if there's anything he or she can do to spare any sickly trees you might have.
Remember that the landscape of your yard either adds or subtracts to the value of your home, so upkeep of your trees is very important if you want good home equity.
Ask for Proof of Insurance
Before hiring a company, you need to know it's carrying enough insurance to cover any damage done to your property or any injuries that could result from the work done on your home.
Make sure you verify the tree service is insured and for the proper amount.
Request a Walkthrough
Don't sign a contract for the work until the arborist walks you through the details of the job and explains the kind of work he or she will be doing, how long it may take and what kind of equipment will be used.
While doing a walkthrough, ask how debris will be disposed of. Will the service be responsible for clean-up? It could be you want the tree converted into mulch or firewood. If so, make sure you and the arborist are both on the same page before you make a hiring decision.
This is also a great time to ask about the service's qualifications. Ask for a list of references you can contact regarding the quality of the service's work, as well as the tyeps of jobs it has performed in the past.
Compare Estimates and Average Costs
It's always smart to request estimates for jobs from several companies before making a decision. Obtain a written bid for any work.
How much you'll pay for services depends on how tall and large the tree is and what type of job is required. This is why the average cost of trimming a tree varies widely. Trimming or pruning a 30-foot tree can cost anywhere from $75 to $400, while taller species such as oaks and pines may run from $150 to almost $900.
The average cost of completely cutting down a large tree can be well over $1,000 with stump removal. The price of grinding down the tree's stump also varies. Many tree service professionals charge by the diameter, with the average price being $3 per inch.
Keep in mind that the more dangerous the job, the more it will cost to remove or even trim a tree. If the tree is located in a hard-to-reach area or if there are power lines either near it or in the way, a tree service will charge more.
With that being said, it's important to get an itemized invoice that shows how much each part of the job will cost, from the actual chopping down of the tree to the stump grinding and disposal.
A tree service professional, also known as an arborist, does much more than chop down trees and remove stumps from your front yard. As a homeowner, you likely want some greenery on your property. However, out-of-control trees and shrubbery can be hazardous to you and anyone who enters your yard. Trees can also balloon your homeowners insurance rates if a branch falls on your home, vehicle or somebody walking on your property.
Experienced tree service providers can give you insight into how to properly care for your trees and what to do if any of them are diseased. In fact, many homeowners regularly call on arborists to diagnose the health of their trees. Many times, tree service workers must fell a tree if it has contracted an ailment.
However, just keeping track of the fertilizer you use, the soil the tree is in and the amount of water the tree needs can keep some diseases at bay. This is why it's smart to hire an arborist, who can advise you on whether you can save the trees on your property or whether you should cut them down and remove them.
Arborists can also treat the tree and possibly cure it of common diseases such as canker, heart rot, root and butt rot, sooty mold, powdery mildew or verticillium wilt. Some of these ailments attack certain species of trees via the soil or roots, and if they aren't caught soon, the plant could die.
Tree service experts not only diagnose the diseases ailing your saplings, they also provide insect control if it happens that the plants are sick due to pests. Not all tree diseases are caused by fungi, bacteria and lack of water. Some bugs burrow through the bark and damage hardwood and softwood trees. Depending on the species of trees in your yard and the region of the country you live in, aphids, the infamous emerald ash borer or other pests could destroy your healthy trees. Calling an arborist sooner rather than later can help you head this problem off at the pass before you're stuck with a treeless yard.
Not only can an arborist help you ward off tree diseases and pests, he or she can also study samples of the soil on your property to determine if the ground isn't nutrient-rich enough to support vegetation.
Tree Cutting and Removal
Felling trees and mulching them into pulp is the most common job for which homeowners need arborists. However, you might need a tree service if you plan to construct a new home or if you're adding an addition to a pre-existing residence. If a tree happens to be in the way of your plans, call a service company. They can chop the offending plant down and remove the stump from your property so you can start building.
However, if you wish to protect the trees around your home from any construction work, a tree service can also help. An arborist can prune some of the branches to ensure the tree stays healthy but doesn't interfere with new construction or additions.
If a storm hits and damages your residence, a tree service professional is usually on your list of people to call for help after first responders and your insurer.
A professional service can completely remove a tree or just prune and saw off its branches if a storm damages a tree. After sawing or destroying the tree, professionals can then remove any of the dangerous debris from your yard by hauling it off.
Planting New Trees
Tree service companies don't just get rid of sickly or dead hardwood and softwood trees, they also offer their expertise and assistance if you want to plant new ones. If you want to add to the greenery in your yard but you're concerned about the right species to plant or where to put it on your property, seek the advice of an arborist.
Last but not least, tree service companies are also great places to get your wood if you happen to have a fireplace. Many tree businesses offer free delivery and stacking of hardwoods, such as maple or birch. These can make for the best firewood because they burn slowly and don't produce as much smoke as other types.
No industry is safe from hucksters and scam artists, unfortunately, and tree service providers are no exception to this rule. Do your due diligence and always ask for proof of insurance and certification before agreeing to any work. You will also want to be on the lookout for telltale signs of scams. Be cautious of any company that: