July 28

Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Tree Care Company



Hiring a tree care company is a big step for anyone to take – we know that it isn’t a decision you have to take lightly. Most people will consider doing the work on their own or even allowing a tree to fall before calling a tree service.


As with any service, hiring any tree care company requires a little bit of research on your behalf. It is better to do some work before you start calling companies. For example, you should have some questions ready. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it is a great place to start.

Do You Have Up-To-Date Licenses And Insurances?

  • Be sure to ask if they have copies
  • Many companies will send over e-copies of their insurances if you ask
  • Guarantee their equipment has insurances as well

If someone performs tree care services on your property and they get hurt or you get hurt, you may be liable for that injury. This can put you into debt, cause your homeowner’s insurance to go up, and more. In order to protect yourself, you want to be sure that the company you choose has insurances that are up to date, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. If you have any questions about the validity of the insurance, you can always contact the company directly.

Not only does this include insurance for the people, but also insurance on the equipment. Confirm that they have it before they step onto your property. Any company that is worthwhile will have everything at the ready to send you.

Can You Provide A List Of References?

Credit: VSPYCC
  • Sometimes, people will make up references
  • You can’t always call someone to ask if they left a review
  • Once you know what to look for, fake reviews are easy to spot

It’s a sad truth throughout all industries that sometimes people will fake reviews. Once you know what to look for, they will be easy to spot whether you need a tree care service in Indianapolis or you’re looking for a good restaurant.

People will often write fake reviews to help them look better to potential customers. Even if they have a ton of reviews, some of them may be negative to offset or bury some of the bad ones.

How can you spot fake reviews from real ones? It may be easier to spot than you think. Lifehacker suggests looking for accounts with no other reviews, accounts that do not have pictures, and those who use the same phrases over and over again.

If you spot a name that you recognize on the list, you can always go back to that person and ask them their opinion. Even better, you can look around at the different social media pages of the company and see their work.

What Equipment Will You Use? Is It Insured?

  • Be sure there is enough room for the equipment
  • You can ask about brands
  • PPE is increasingly important

The quality of the tools that your tree service company uses can help to determine the overall quality of the job. Companies using outdated machinery and tools should be thoroughly researched before contracting.

There are certain tools that all companies use, such as saws, ladders, harnesses, pulleys, and more. You want to guarantee that all of these tools are safe and inspected daily. Be sure to ask the company about their inspections, the tools they use, and whether or not they have PPE, which will become common for all of us, according to GME Supplies.

Do You Use Spikes When Climbing Trees?

  • Some companies have completely done away with spikes
  • Some companies will say they don’t use them, then use them, so pay attention
  • There are some spikes that are safe, but they are rare

Another question you may want to ask the tree care company is whether or not they use climbing spikes. In the past, those spikes were used to help when pruning or cutting off the upper branches to bring down a tree.

Why shouldn’t spikes be used? According to the Tree Care Industry Association, “Each puncture from a climbing spike produces a certain amount of tree tissue death, though this varies from tree to tree. In most cases, isolated wounds will seal, but over time, groupings of spike holes can cause the entire area on the trunk to die back with no chance of recovery. This happens when a tree is repeatedly climbed for pruning while using spikes.”

If a tree is being cut down, then spikes may be appropriate.

How Long Will My Project Take?

Credit: Forest Service Northern
  • Ask about where you are in the queue
  • Get an estimate if a job will take more than a day
  • Be sure to ask about cleanup

Another question you may want to ask is how long the job will take – on a few different levels. You first want to ask when they will be able to do the job (some companies have weeks of jobs before they will get to yours). Then, you want to ask how long the job itself will take. Most jobs can be completed in a day, but lot clearing and other more intensive jobs may not be able to be done as quickly.

Finally, you may want to ask about cleanup. Some companies (particularly smaller ones) may need to make multiple trips to clean up the debris left from trees. Some companies won’t clean up at all – so you will want to guarantee that will be provided.

Contact Menchhofer Tree Care for all of your tree care needs – we can help you at any stage of the tree process, from planting and taking care of your tree to pruning and cutting it down – and of course, any seasonal problems that you might have with your trees. If you are having trouble making decisions about how to best care for your tree, we are here to help. Remember that acting sooner rather than later will help you to get the most out of your trees and keep your home safe.

Call us today at 317-661-4240.

Header photo credit: Coconino National Forest

Menchhofer Tree Care

About Steve Menchhofer

Steve Menchhofer has been caring for the trees of the Indianapolis, Indiana metro area for over 40 years. Steve and his team of experienced, certified arborists are members of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Indiana Arborist Association.

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