I have a very personal reason for writing this blog about the best tree care companies in New Hampshire and Vermont. A year ago this week I lost a dear friend in a tree felling accident at his home. My friend loved the woods, loved working with wood, loved everything to do with trees. And though he operated as safely as someone working alone with trees possibly could, in the end it wasn’t safe enough. And now he is gone, leaving his family and friends devastated, instantly killed by one wrong move.
In 2015 alone, the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) recorded 58 serious civilian tree care accidents, 34 of which were fatal. Other data shows that over the last seven years in the United States while civilians have accounted for 17% of all tree work accidents, a whopping 75% have been among non-TCIA member companies. The remaining 8% of accidents over the same time period were among TCIA member companies, with TCIA Accredited companies only representing a fraction of that percentage. The message is clear: Accreditation = Safety.
Lots of folks like to DIY tree work and there are projects that you certainly can do yourself, but before you begin please read this article on Tree Care Safety. If you do indeed require a professional, seek out tree care companies with the proper qualifications and equipment to handle the work safely.
REASONS TO HIRE A QUALIFIED AND PROFESSIONAL TREE CARE COMPANY
- Professional arborists work according to American National Standards for tree care (ANSI A300) and have years of experience.
- They can provide in-depth evaluations for hidden damage.
- Liability for services is placed on professionals, e.g. if a tree or limb should cause property or personal damage the professional’s insurance covers the loss.
- Arborists can safely and efficiently use proper equipment.
- They will become familiar with your trees, making it easier to provide long-term tree care.
QUALIFICATIONS YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR IN A PROFESSIONAL TREE CARE WORKER
- Verify professional affiliations the company might have, such as memberships in businesses and/or professional organizations. At the very least verify membership with TCIA, and better yet Accreditation with the Tree Care Industry Association that requires a certain percentage of staff members be ISA Certified Arborists and Certified Tree Care Safety Professionals. Accredited companies have the lowest accident rates of all tree care providers, a fraction of that 8% statistic cited above.
- Ask for a copy of the company’s insurance certificates for General Liability (GL) and Workers Compensation (WC), and check the coverage and the dates. You can also ask to be a ‘Named Insured’ that requires the company’s insurer to provide the documentation directly to you, thereby eliminating fraud potential.
- Insist on a written proposal as to cost, dates when work is to be performed, and exactly what is to be done. Check the provider’s reputation, either online (Yelp, Angie’s List, BBB, Facebook) or by asking for references. Reputable providers may ask for a deposit on very large tree work or landscaping jobs, especially if you are a new client, but avoid anyone who asks for cash.
- Get at least a second opinion and proposal for comparison.
Want to hire the VERY best in the business? TCIA Accredited companies are the source for expert, professional tree service. If you’re a homeowner, look for TCIA’s Accreditation logo to ensure you’re getting the best service possible.
What sets accredited companies apart? TCIA Accredited companies are required to meet stringent criteria for professionalism, employee training, state and federal safety regulations, business ethics and consumer satisfaction. All TCIA Accredited companies have undergone a comprehensive on-site audit of professional and business practices, aimed at safeguarding consumers.
Here is a list of TCIA Accredited companies in Vermont and NH, in order of enrollment year:
Broad Oak Tree & Shrub Care Inc.
Collins Tree Service Inc.
Urban Tree Service A Tree Health Co. Inc.
Bartlett Tree Experts
Belknap Landscape Co. Inc.
Seacoast Tree Care LLC
Bartlett Tree Experts
Henderson’s Tree Service LLC
Is your favorite tree care provider not on this list? Maybe it’s time to ask them why.