If you’ve made the decision to have tree work done at your property you may be thinking – what next? With so many tree companies out there seemingly offering the same service, how do you sort the good from the bad? How do you go about finding a reputable, local Arborist that’s not going to cost a fortune? It’s important not to just hire the first local arborist company you find!
Good tree work requires a great deal of skill, knowledge and experience and can be highly dangerous, so a bit of time spent doing some research at the beginning of the process is absolutely worthwhile. Choosing the wrong Arborist could lead to serious injury, damage to your property and irrevocable damage to your tree. Here is our guide to getting a great local Arborist, at a great price.
Where Do I Look For A Local Arborist?
You can start your search online by Googling local Arborists or by checking out your local newspapers, community guides and newsletters, where local Arborists are likely to advertise. Look for customer reviews and testimonials and ask your family and friends in person or on Facebook if they have used an Arborist they would recommend. Narrow your list down to a few that you feel are offering the best service.
What Questions Should I Ask My Local Aborist?
Once you’ve got your short list of preferred, local Arborists, it’s time to make some calls.
There are a number of questions you should ask before choosing your Arborist to make sure you hire someone suitably qualified to do the job. You are hiring someone to come onto your property and carry out potentially very dangerous work, so it’s critical you are 100% comfortable – don’t be shy about being upfront and asking what you want to know! If they are at all reluctant to answer questions or provide you with the information you want, move onto the next company.
Top Questions To Ask Your Local Arborist:
1. Are you fully insured and can you provide proof of your insurance?
The company should be able to provide proof of current public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance and worker’s compensation cover. If they cannot or will not provide this, it’s not worth taking the risk and it’s not worth wasting any more of your time.
2. Do you provide a free, written quote?
It is a standard expectation that the tree company will come out to your property, inspect the trees to be worked on and provide you with a detailed, written quote at no charge. It’s important in most cases that the Arborist actually sees the tree with their own eyes, as they need to assess the accessibility, whether there are services or utilities close to the tree such as powerlines and the proximity to houses and other structures. Quotes done with photos are often changed because the whole site has not been assessed or the photos aren’t clear enough to provide a full picture of the site.
The quote should be comprehensive and clearly outline what they are going to do, how they are going to do it and how they are going to protect your property while the work is being done. The quote should also detail that all debris will be taken away and disposed of – you don’t want to have to deal with the often huge amounts of branches and tree debris that’s left onsite. Your quote should also refer to the Australian Standard for Pruning – AS4373 – Pruning of Amenity Trees 2007, as well as detail who will check if the tree is protected, if there are any relevant permissions required to be obtained from local council and who will obtain them.
The quote should also clearly state whether GST is included or excluded.
3. What qualifications and experience do you have?
There are many levels of experience when it comes to tree work, ranging from an unqualified tree lopper right through to a fully qualified Level 5 Arborist. Anyone doing tree work should at the very least, hold a current chainsaw ticket and a certificate for pruning of trees near powerlines. Anyone who cannot provide evidence of this should not be doing tree work as it’s just too dangerous. You’re ideally after someone who can show additional certification that will attest to their skill using machinery such as elevated work platforms and wood chippers. An Arborist who in addition holds a certificate or full diploma in Arboriculture has completed formal study and will have significantly more knowledge about trees, tree care and tree management than an Arborist who does not.
4. Do you work to Australian industry standards for pruning?
The only acceptable answer to this question is yes! All good tree companies should prune trees in accordance with the guidelines provided in the AS4373 – Pruning of Amenity Trees 2007. If they’ve never heard of this – move on!
5. Are you members of an Arboricultural Association or organisation?
Even though having an industry organisation membership isn’t a guarantee of good work, it is a good sign that the company is more likely to work in accordance with industry standards and is potentially more committed to high standards of work. Examples of professional Arboricultural organisations are the Queensland Arboricultural Association and Arboriculture Australia.
6. How long have you been in business?
Ideally you want a company who hasn’t just bought a chainsaw on the weekend and decided to cut trees down! A long history generally means they have enjoyed longevity for a reason.
7. When will you be able to do the work?
Make sure the company can carry out the work within the time frame you are happy with. If the tree needs urgent attention and they can’t get to you for months, try someone else.
8. Do your team have current blue cards?
As the team will be coming onto your property and there may be children at home, you have every right to ask if they are current blue card holders for your peace of mind.
9. Decision time
Once you’ve asked all the questions and received the quotes, it’s decision-making time. Often it’s not a case of going with the cheapest option, but going with the team who is the most experienced for your job, who was the most professional or who you just feel the most comfortable with once they’ve ticked all the boxes. Weigh everything up and make your informed decision knowing you’ve done your due diligence.
Reputable Local Arborist
If you’re looking for an experienced local arborist you can rely on, look no further than Aussie Tree Solutions. We have been providing expert tree services to Brisbane residents, businesses, schools and local councils for 40 years. Whatever the tree problem, we’ve got the solution! From expert tree pruning and palm tree cleaning to full tree removals, consulting Arborist services and mulch, we’ve got you covered. Call Aussie Tree Solutions anytime, 24/7 and ask for a free quote on our tree care and maintenance services.