Tree trimming is a well-paid profession with business owners and the arborists who climb the tree being paid quite well.
While there is no requirement for tipping tree trimmers, it is always a good idea to do so as a gesture of appreciation for good quality work. I would recommend tipping the individual workers as they are not paid as well.
When it comes to tipping, a rule of thumb is to tip between 10% and 20% of the total cost of the work. And if you have several trimmers working on your trees, distributing the amount among them is the best way to go.
However, sometimes using this formula can get too expensive especially if you have a lot of trees or if you are using a high-end trimming service. If the amount that you are paying is too small, dividing 10% of the cost among several workers can also be a little bit ridiculous. In such cases, giving each worker an extra $5 – $15 will suffice.
Do I tip the owner or the workers?
No, you should never tip the owner. Tips are meant for the workers who are directly working on your trees and they are usually a token of appreciation for their workmanship. An owner is a little bit far removed from the job, and so it does not make much sense to tip them. As for the workers, tipping them is sort of an appreciation for their direct effort and it thus serves the role it was meant to.
Furthermore, tipping is a way to supplement a worker’s income1. Since the workers don’t make as much money as the owner, they are more likely to appreciate the extra $5 or $10 that you leave them. As for the owner, since they make way more, the tip won’t make a dent in their income and so they are less likely to really appreciate your gesture.
Another thing that you should keep in mind is to always give tips to the workers yourself. While giving the owner the extra amount and instructing them to distribute it to the workers might seem more convenient, some owners fail to pass on the tips.
What can I do instead of a tip?
Tree trimming is labor-intensive. And since it typically involves climbing up trees and using sharp cutting tools, it is also inherently dangerous. Furthermore, the workers usually work in extremely hot weather the whole day, and this alone can make accomplishing the simplest of tasks much more difficult. Therefore, if you aren’t in a position to tip the trimmers that are working on your trees, there are a few things that you can do to show your appreciation for the work that they are doing.
If the trimmers are working in the sun, you can make their job easier by providing shade or even a seat. This will make it easier for them to take breaks in between their taxing exertions, and it is thus an effective way of showing appreciation.
A cold drink on a hot day with a few snacks can go a long way toward making a laborer more comfortable. Therefore, providing your trimmers with fresh juice, cold sodas, or even coffee can go a long way toward making them feel appreciated.
In the modern interconnected age, a good online review can go a long way toward improving a tree trimmer’s earning potential. Therefore, if you love the job that the workers have done on your trees, you can leave a good review on Yelp or any other review site. Giving them a shoutout on social media can also help spread the word about them. And if you can take pictures of their work and accompany your review with visual evidence, it will be even better.
While it may not seem like much, a simple “thank you” can also go a long way toward making the workers feel appreciated. When doing so, be specific about what you love about their work. Singing their praise to their bosses will also help, especially if you mention the trimmers by name. Doing this can even lead to a raise or bonuses, something that may prove way more beneficial than a $20 tip.