Using a Tree Service

It is recommended that a homeowner has a tree assessment done by a certified arborist to determine what tree service is required.
Do you need a “free estimate” or an arborist assessment?
If you have a good idea of what your tree service needs are, then often a “free estimate” is adequate.

Some examples of straight-forward tree service needs include:
• Regular maintenance of a hedge (side trim and topping)
• Removal of a tree that is clearly dead.
• Deadwooding (crown cleaning of the canopy)
• Canopy raising (removing lower branches)
• Annual fruit tree pruning, or regular pruning of ornamental trees.

Free estimates are often done by tree estimators, and most of the time, such estimators are not ISA certified arborists. When the work that needs to be done is quite obvious, then a “free estimate” may be all that is required.
However, often it is best to have an ISA Certified Arborist determine what your tree needs actually are. It may be that the tree that you think is dangerous is actually less dangerous than other trees on your property. There are many complicated factors to determine if a tree indeed requires removal... and those decisions are best done by tree care professionals (ISA certified arborists)
Also consider that many tree estimators work on commission, and therefore, often suggest that you have tree work done that is not really necessary. Some argue that half of all tree service work performed is unnecessary. Six years ago, when I still was the owner/manager of a tree service company, I did an estimate for a Microsoft employee in Redmond. After a detailed assessment of perhaps 20 trees on his property, I provided him with a specific list of what “needed” to be done; the estimate done by me was approximately $1000. The homeowner told me that he had and estimate done a week earlier, and the estimator presented him with a written estimate for ten times more than what I recommended... close to $10,000... ten times higher than the estimate that I provided!
Consulting arborists are not “linked” to tree service companies. They assess your tree needs, and itemize what needs to be done. After the assessment is done, we encourage the client to get three bids from local tree service companies.
Trees are biologically complex, constantly undergoing changes. They are subject to similar problems that afflict us, such as bacterial, viral, and fungal infection. Due to their complexities of structure and form, correcting problems is often a challenging task. Diagnosis and choosing a course of treatment usually should be done by professionals.