Watch Out for Scam Artists

After a storm, it is common for people claiming to be tree specialists to show up at your door offering services. Unfortunately, many of these individuals have little to no training and are simply out to make a quick profit. Legitimate arborists rarely go door-to-door.

Here are five questions to guide you in finding qualified tree-care specialists:

  • Is the person part of an established community business? Check for a reputable website or phone number. Online reviews may also be helpful.
  • Has the person provided evidence that they are regularly employed with the company? Some specialists work as independent contractors and have a limited relationship with the company they claim as their employers.
  • Is the person up-to-date on certification? Ask for current certificates of insurance for property damage, personal liability and worker's compensation.
  • Is the person a member of a professional association? While not essential, it is ideal that the individual be a part of a professional association of arborists, such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the National Arborist Association (NAA) or the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA).
  • Is the person offering a competitive price? If possible, obtain more than one estimate to ensure that the price offered is comparable with competitors. Clarify whether the price includes removal and clean-up.