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  • Russell Fey

Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Arborist

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Creating value in your home includes tending to the property surrounding it. Your landscape design reflects the overall value of your home, as is the health and beauty of your trees. Trees add value to your home, beauty to your property, and they provide valuable savings on energy cost year-round. Taking care of trees is relatively easy, once you understand that tree health is easier maintained than restored.

How well do you know your trees?

When you survey your property, ask yourself how much you know about your trees. Do you know what kinds of trees are growing around your home? What are their needs? What do trees look like when they are healthy? What are the indicators that their health is compromised? Do you know what is needed to care for your trees, or should you call an arborist to assess and maintain their health?

What is an arborist?

An arborist is a professional “tree doctor,” trained to assess, maintain, and restore the health of trees using a variety of methods. Some of these care methods include pruning, stripping, bandaging, and administering “medications” to nurse a tree back to health. You may think it’s easy to care for trees, but the detailed knowledge of the disease, pest infestation, and symptoms that trees exhibit is enough to stump the most seasoned professional. Perhaps it’s time you considered hiring an arborist to care for your trees. If you don’t know where to start or how to begin, consider asking the following questions to narrow down your candidate pool and start caring for your trees the right way:

  • Do they have updated insurance forms and contracts? If an arborist is hesitant to provide proof of certification or specialization, not to mention insurance, find someone who will. There is only one reason that someone will refuse to provide documentation---they simply don’t have it. To protect yourself as a homeowner and anyone who works on your property, you must have proof of insurance.

  • Do they have credentials? Looking for an arborist with certifications from the International Society of Arboriculture and the Tree Care Industry Association will give you peace of mind that you have someone who is well trained working on your property. If they are working in proximity to electrical wires, they need additional certifications to prove that they have the necessary safety measures in place to avoid injury. Ask and look for indications that they have gone the distance with their training, and you are likely to be satisfied with their service.

  • Will they give an accurate, up-front estimate? An arborist who provides an accurate, detailed estimate of work will allow you to assess whether you can afford to hire him immediately. It may be wise to get two or three estimates and then choose the one that works best for you.

  • What kind of equipment is needed? You may not want tractor/trailers traipsing all over your flower beds to assess tree health; ask what type of equipment your arborist will use, and what parts of your lawn they will need access to get the work done.

  • How long will the job take? Be upfront with your arborist about what kind of time frame you would like work completed in. They will tell you if they are able to honor this request and give you an accurate timeline of work completion; the two of you can come to a mutually agreed-upon timeframe, or you can look for someone willing to do the work needed in less time.

  • Does the company appear professional? Are technicians rolling up in a rusted-out El Camino, or do they appear on your property in a labeled vehicle that communicates that they are knowledgeable and professional? Often, you can tell how seriously a company takes their work by paying attention to how they present themselves. Suppose a company cares about retaining customers and providing quality service. In that case, they will communicate that in the way they dress, the image they project, and the brand that they present to their customers. While uniforms are not required, specific professional protocols should be in place to communicate knowledge and expertise.

Need a knowledgeable, professional arborist? Consider us!

Fey and Sons, LLC, is a team of highly trained, knowledgeable arborists and tree technicians who care about your trees' health. We understand the value that trees provide you as a homeowner, and we will work with you to design a care and maintenance plan that works for your trees from root to tip. Contact us immediately for an assessment of your property; visit for more information.

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