Frequently Asked Questions
Hiring an Arborist/Tree Contractor in Orlando
Why hire a company with Worker’s Compensation? This is a necessity! If something goes wrong on the job and an employee gets injured, worker’s compensation is the only thing protecting you from picking up the bill. This is the most expensive and the most important insurance for a tree service to have due to the dangerous nature of the work; not all companies are created equally when it comes to their insurance and liability coverage.
What is an ISA Certified Arborist? The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) has been committed to the professional practice of arboriculture and sharing their knowledge for more than 80 years. Certified Arborists are extremely knowledgeable in the job tasks of proper tree maintenance and care; they are also certified to train employees, and must continue their education regularly in order to remain certified.
Why do I need to hire someone to take care of my trees? Can’t they take care of themselves naturally? Trees are maintained in nature by letting their dying limbs fall, and undergrowth is burned by fires or consumed by wildlife. However, falling limbs and brush fires are acts of nature you don’t want in your yard.
Why should I hire an Arborist? Arborists make a living caring for trees in urban and suburban areas. You and your trees will benefit from an Arborist’s experience. Proper care of your trees can actually increase your property’s value. Whereas improper care can lower property value and put you, your yard, and your home at risk.
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Tree Contractor:
- Worker’s Compensation and General Liability Insurance – Beware of companies who claim to have insurance on paper, but really don’t. Ask the company to send you proof of insurance. A reputable company will have no trouble providing this information. If a company says that they don’t need worker’s comp for any reason, it may be a lawful loophole for them to save money, but you will still be at risk!
- License– Find out if your state or municipality requires a specific license or certification for providing tree services. Make sure the company has the proper licenses to obtain any necessary permits and/or perform work in your area.
- Arborist Classes– Ask the company what kinds of continuing education its employees engage in. Arborists are not just individuals who were told how to cut trees once and were handed some tools, they should be keeping up to date with the changing industry standards and practices to keep you and your trees safe and healthy.
- Training– Ask the company what qualifications and training their employees have. Years of experience don’t account for much if employees are not trained properly. Look for a company with a Certified Arborist on staff. A Certified Arborist has proven their ability to train employees in proper tree care and maintenance. Poorly trained workers can injure themselves or cause irreparable damage to your trees.
- Dangerous and Improper Practices– Ask the company if they practice “topping” or if their climbers use spikes. If they answer yes to either of those questions, stay away! Topping is only acceptable as a temporary measure if the tree is scheduled to be removed, and it is only a necessary evil around power lines. Spikes can transfer diseases between trees, weaken the tree, and cause it to use energy to heal the wounds created. These wounds can be easily infected by diseases. Spiking should never be used on a live tree.
When to Consult an Arborist:
How often should I get my trees cared for? Generally, in Florida, you should prune your trees every 2-3 years. If your tree is declining, hazardous or concerning, then yearly evaluation is recommended.
Why so often? Trees grow and behave differently in urban and suburban areas than in natural forests. The variance in nutrients available and the diseases and insects they are exposed to are contributing factors to why they need more maintenance in urban and suburban areas.
When is the best time of year to get tree work done? Trimming is best to complete in the winter time due to the tree’s growth cycle. In the spring time, the tree won’t need to use as much energy to produce foliage.
How do I know if my trees are in need of care? If you notice dead or dying limbs, patches of mistletoe, or other invasive species in your trees, then you should call an arborist for a free consultation.
Should I be concerned about a hole/cavity in my tree? There is always reason for concern, but depending on location, size, and spread of disease, it is ultimately a case by case basis. If you notice a hole/cavity, contact an arborist for a free estimate.
Is there a wrong way and a right way to prune trees? Yes. Over-pruning can harm your trees in several ways: it increases liability, lowers life span, and causes trees to use energy to increase foliage production to compensate for the over-pruning. Keep in mind that no more than 25-30% of a tree’s canopy/foliage should be taken out at one time.