Bad Tree Work: Warning Signs
Recently, there has been a spike of noticeably bad arboricultural work in the St. Louis area. This is because small landscape companies with no certified arborists on staff are performing this work. Claiming false credentials, they come across as trustworthy individuals that want to take care of your trees. In reality, they likely don’t know what is best for the trees. Consequentially, homeowners may pay hundreds to even thousands of dollars for improper and arboriculturally unacceptable work. Often, the trees will be harmed and stressed by the inappropriate work. They become vulnerable to pests and diseases and pose a greater risk of damage to your family or property.
Some Warning Signs
- You receive a knock on your door or a door hanger that tells you all of the problems your trees and shrubs have. If they are canvasing for work, they are probably diversifying their regular landscaping work to supplement their slow seasons. This is especially common during the winter. They are not specialists, and they are definitely not trained and certified arborists.
- They quote a job and ask for immediate payment before the work is completed.
- If asked, they are “fully insured” (which is unattainable for any tree company), they have no insurance, or they don’t provide their employees with worker’s compensation insurance.
Ways you can avoid these problems
- Ask about their certifications. If they are not an ISA certified arborist, they likely won’t know what they need to know to properly care for your trees.
- If their first response is to remove the tree, be skeptical. The holistic approach of Plant Health Care, which seeks to preserve your trees, provides many options to preserve your valuable mature trees. Most companies, especially landscapers, cannot practice this method because they lack certified arborists and a Plant Health Care department trained to properly diagnose and accurately treat your trees.
- Inquire about their plan of action. A reliable tree company will be upfront and honest with you about the job before it has begun.
- Research the company you choose and see what work they’ve done before. Look at reviews as that reveals a lot about a company.
- Learn what bad tree work like lion-tailing and tree topping looks like. Unfortunately, many homeowners recognize these as normal arboricultural practices mainly because they are so prevalent. In reality, these practices are some of the worst things you can do to a tree.
- Talk to family, friends, and peers about recommendations for companies they used and their experience with them. A good reference is helpful in finding the right company for your property.
As the homeowner, you can find a reliable and reputable tree company to hire for your tree work. Your trees are valuable assets and they should be treated as such. Contact a certified arborist for a consultation.
We were very pleased with the service and particularly the knowledge & professionalism of your staff. We would certainly recommend you.
We are very pleased with the plantings suggested by and picked out by Mike. The men arrived on time to plant the boxwood and witch hazel tree; dug out the stump and cleaned up. They were pleasant and helpful – we couldn’t have asked for a better team.
We were very pleased and impressed with Dan and his team. We love our new trees and garden.
Thank you so much for all the information you provide – the watering information, the emails and the flier. I read it all and have learned so much. My magnolia trees look surprisingly healthy considering the way they looked when I first called.
Kevin Seger provided expert advice and recommendations about tree maintenance and removal. He listened to my needs and provided a thorough and affordable proposal. On the day of the job, I was very impressed with crew leader, Dave and his team (Felix & Adam). They were professional, efficient, hard-working and very neat about clean-up.
An outstanding job on the four trees and clean-up after the work and removal. We would be happy to recommend your services to everyone – the best tree service we ever have had here in St. Louis.
Kevin was able to come out the same day I called and a crew was out the next day! Great prompt service. I was not at home when the work was done but results show they did a fine job.
Everyone came through as usual when I needed the crew to come back & take out the balance of the fire blight. They did not have a bucket the first time and were so nice and professional about coming back again.
Thank you again for responding to our urgent need after the storm took down our 2 trees & deposited them across our driveway. Your crew, as always, did a fabulous job. Professional, courteous & it is a pleasure doing business with your company.
We appreciate your knowledge and professionalism. Your employees are prompt and courteous and willing to do whatever needs to be done to complete the project. Cleanup was great.