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Last updated: 18 January 2020
Depending on what you need a local arborist for there are a couple of things you can do to save yourself some money. If it’s for tree removal or pruning, then hiring them in winter is going to automatically save you 20% + straight off the bat.
The reason is arborists are fairly quiet in winter months.
It’s basic supply and demand. With very little tree work in winter but an abundance of arborists near you, they will need to become more competitive and give cheaper prices for tree removal and trimming.
There are a lot more little tricks to save you money, so please read on.
Step 1: How to skip the expensive arborists
This hack is super easy and super effective. What you aim to do is avoid all the local arborists and tree surgeons who are spending loads of money on marketing.
The reason is they tend to charge higher prices.
Why? Well because they spend between $2500 and $8000 per month on marketing their business. It works really well for them as they get lots of phone calls, but they need to charge higher prices to recoup that money.
You are essentially paying their marketing bill.
How to avoid them?
Go directly to pages 2 and 3 of Google search. Same for Yellow Pages and yelp. All the companies featured at the top have paid to be there, so going further down the list will net you a great company for a lot less.
Step 2: Grant good access to the tree
Time is money for tree surgeons, so if you have a tree that is in your backyard and you have no rear-driveway access, this is going to increase your cost by 50% or more.
The clearer access you can give to the tree, the closer the tree specialists will be able to get their equipment and cheaper the price for removal will be.
If they have to lug everything from your backyard to the front to load through their mulching machine, it is going to take longer and cost you more.
Consider talking with your neighbor and removing a panel of fencing to grant better access. Anything you can do to speed up the removal process will help.
Step 3: Let us help - FREE service
GoTreeQuotes helps to match you with the best priced tree services.
The reason local arborist like to hear from customers through us is, they don’t like to spend a lot on advertising. Plus they don’t have a lot of work on at the moment.
This is a win win for you. Firstly they are going to be cheaper because they aren’t busy and need to win some work to keep their business ticking over, and secondly they don’t have a lot of overheads with marketing.
They are likely to charge you 50% less than other local tree doctors.
Just go to the top of this page, enter you Zip code and a few details about your tree job.
Certified arborist near you then reach out to arrange a time to quote your job.
What to ask a local arborist
As mentioned above the tree service industry is full of fraudsters who are in it for a quick buck, so you need to be sure the guy or gal standing in front of you are legit. The best way to do that is to ask for the follow.
– A copy of their arboriculture credentials (Certificate/ Diploma)
– A copy of their public liability insurance
– How long they have been in business
Don’t be shy about asking the above questions. Arborists are used to getting the third degree and the “real ones” are happy to prove they’re legitimate and should carry around a copies of the above ready to hand them out upon request.
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Hiring the right local arborist
Once you have sorted out who is legitimate and who is not with the above questions, you need to dig a little deeper.
Even though they are all qualified and insured, there are still going to be some who are better than others.
Here are a few things to look out for when trying to snag a local gem.
Although arborists are quite skilled right off mark, you don’t want to hire a “green” one. A bit of experience goes a long way, so getting an arborist with a minimum of 3 years-experience is going to net you a better result.
Tree work being as dangerous as it is, it’s always a good idea to choose someone with experience.
Detailed and itemized quotation
If you ask for an estimate and they just hand you a price written on the back of a card or just tell you, they probably aren’t that professional. If you are getting tree trimming work done, you can run into trouble if the number of branches being removed are not itemized on the quotation.
In some cases 3 or 4 weeks might pass between them giving you the quote and you booking them in. It is easy to forget what their quote includes.
So you don’t get any nasty surprises, make sure the quote is detailed.
Can they talk the talk?
A certified arborist near you are worth their salt will be able to go that extra mile when explaining things about your tree and the requirements for the task.
To start with they should instantly know the trees common name and botanical name.
Local arborists always love sharing their wealth of knowledge of trees, so if they don’t have that much to share other than muttering a price at you, then maybe give them a miss.
It is important you ask questions about the job and the tree to see if they can comfortably answer them.
It should be easy enough to spot a fraud.
Most companies these days have an online presence with reviews on several different sources such as Google business, Facebook and Yelp.
Reviews can be hit and miss sometimes as a lot of people just get their friends to leave a positive reviews to prop them up. I would have a browse through and pay close attention to the negative ones.
Take note of what the negative review is for. If it’s something as fickle as “he didn’t return my call”, then you can probably let it slide, but if it is more along the lines of “I paid them and they did not finish the job” you need to keep looking.
Should they also be licensed?
In most cities and states, licences are issue to local certified tree arborists before they are legally allow to work on trees in the area.
This adds an extra layer of consumer protection to try and discourage fly-by-night-companies trying to pass themselves off as certified arborists just to make a quick buck.
This is another “qualification” you can ask for during the quotation process.
Think of getting quotations for tree work like a job interview. You are about to engage in a short term contract with a local business to carry out work on your property. Make sure you cross all your t’s and dot you I’s before proceeding.
What is an ISA certified arborist?
ISA stand for International Society of Arboriculture. This is probably the most well-known training institute, but probably also the most expensive. ISA arborist certification does not make them a better arborist than another other certification.
How to check the credentials of a certified arborist
If you have a few local tree arborists in mind and would like to further check their credentials you can run their arborist certification number through a database to double check their credentials are legitimate.
Visit https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist/verify to start your search. You can either search by certification number or by name.
This will depend on the services you contract them for. The removal of a large tree will cost a lot more than the trimming of a small one. You can find some more information on the cost of arborist services here.
Arborist do a range of tasks like tree removal, tree trimming, arborist reports, stump removal and general health inspections of trees. They are trained in arboriculture which is a subset of horticulture.
A level 5 arborist refers to an arborist who has completed a diploma in arboriculture. They are also referred to as consulting arborists.
They are used for arborist reports and tree health and safety inspections. Regular arborist are training in the maintenance of trees in an urban environment. Level 5 arborists have done the same training, but continued on to do more theory work.
This is a document provided by an arborist after a tree inspection. The contents of the arborist report will vary depending on the requirements. If it is for a Development Approval it will be relating to the removal of some current trees on site where the proposed structure is to be built. If it’s for a private property, it might be a resident looking to get a safety check on the tree.
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is one of the larger and well known training facilities for arboriculture in the world. They have a good reputation, but it does not mean an arborist training at any other learning facility is any less competent.
If the tree is larger than 15 feet and they will need to work from a height to prune or remove the tree, it is strongly advisable that you hire a certified arborist.
Tree removal and pruning is very dangerous and you should hire qualified arborist who is insured and adheres to the highest of safety standards.
Author: Ben McInerney – Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicating to providing users with the most accurate up to date information on everything trees.
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