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Choosing an Arborist to do work on your trees can be overwhelming. With so many tree service companies out there seemingly offering the same thing, it can be easy to make the wrong choice. And all Arborists and tree companies are absolutely not created equal!

Tree work comes with inherent risk, so for your peace of mind, it’s important to ask the right questions and get the answers you need to feel comfortable and confident in your decision.

To make things easier, here are our top 10 questions you should be asking a potential tree services company before you make a decision about who will do tree work at your property.

1. Are you fully insured if something goes wrong, and can you show me proof of your current insurance policy?

Aussie Tree Solutions Fully Insured

Tree work can be highly dangerous and whilst unlikely, damage can occur. Any reputable tree service company should be able to provide proof of current public liability insurance, worker’s compensation cover and professional indemnity insurance, so that in the unlikely event something does go wrong, you’re covered. If they aren’t willing to show you evidence of this, don’t take the risk and find someone who will.

2. Do you have any formal qualifications?

When it comes to tree work, there are many levels of experience and qualifications – from an unqualified, brand new tree worker, through to a fully qualified, Level 5 professional Arborist. Whilst you don’t necessarily need to hold any formal qualification to carry out basic tree work, it’s a great sign of advanced knowledge and training if you do. It’s also a sign that the Arborist has formalised knowledge of trees and their proper care.

As an absolute bare minimum, anyone doing tree work should hold a current chainsaw ticket and certificate for pruning trees near powerlines.

3. Do you check with council if I am allowed to carry out tree work?

Aussie Tree Solutions Council

Some trees are protected and will require your local council’s permission to carry out any tree work, or to have them removed. Make sure you ask your Arborist if they will carry out these checks, and ask that this detail is included in your written quote. If tree work is done on a protected tree without permission, you as the homeowner can be heavily fined, so it’s critical that your Arborist knows how to do this and carries out the correct checks.

4. How long have you been in business?

If the business has been around for some time, it’s usually a good sign that the company is safe, reliable and has happy, repeat customers. It could be taking a risk to go with a company that has only just been established. Check their website and look for customer reviews and testimonials that should attest to their work and professionalism.

5. Do you provide a free, written quote?

Aussie Tree Solutions Free Quote

Most tree companies will be happy to provide you with a free, written quote. If not, look for someone else. In most cases, the Arborist will want to physically see the trees to check the accessibility, if there are any risks nearby such as powerlines, proximity to houses and other structures and trees. Be wary of unwritten quotes done from photos as the price can quickly change if they realise once onsite, that the tree is going to be far more challenging than originally anticipated.

The quote should be detailed and outline how the job will be carried out as well as how they intend on protecting your property. It should refer to the Australian Standard for Pruning – AS4373 – Pruning of Amenity Trees 2007, and should include if there will be checks carried out by the tree service company with local council as to whether the tree is protected and any relevant permission that needs to be obtained before work is carried out. It should also include that the site will be cleaned up once the job is completed. If it’s not written down, don’t assume.

6. Do you work to current Australian pruning standards?

A professional Arborist should be well-versed with the guidelines provided in the AS4373 – Pruning of Amenity Trees 2007. If they aren’t – it could be a red flag.

7. Are you a member of any Arboricultural organisations?

Aussie Tree Solutions Arboricultural Organisations

Whilst it’s no guarantee of quality tree work, it’s a good sign if a tree company is a member of a professional Arboricultural organisation, as they are more likely to be up-to-date with industry standards, and potentially more invested in high standards of work. Arboriculture Australia and the Queensland Arboricultural Association are some examples.

8. When will you be able to carry out the work and how long will it take?

If you need your tree to be removed urgently it’s no use if the tree company can fit you in in three months’ time. Make sure you know exactly when they can do your job and how long they expect the job to take.

9. How exactly will you execute the job and what equipment will come onto the site?

Make sure you are clear on exactly what is going to be happening at your property. For example, they may need to remove a piece of fencing to access the tree or there may be damage to your lawn if heavy equipment is brought onsite. Get clear on the details and make sure you’re not caught off guard.

10. Will you do a thorough clean up of the site once the tree work is completed?

Make sure your chosen company will do a thorough clean up of the site once the job is finished. Tree work can leave mountains of debris which you definitely don’t want to be dealing with yourself. This detail should be included on your written quote so you’re not left with a big mess.

Now Make Your (Informed) Decision!

Aussie Tree Solutions Informed Decision

After you’ve asked all the questions you can make a confident decision and go with the company you feel is best for you, your tree and your wallet! Often it’s not a case of going with the cheapest option but rather going with the Arborist who ticks all the boxes, takes the time to go through the detail with you and puts you at ease.

Don’t trust just anyone to do your tree work. For all your tree care and maintenance needs, speak to the team at Aussie Tree Solutions today, for your total peace of mind. In business for over forty years, we are fully insured, qualified and experienced, and have built a solid reputation for safe, reliable and quality tree work. Whatever your tree care needs, we’ve got the solution! From tricky tree removals, to expert pruning, stump grinding to Consulting Arborist services – we can do it all.

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