Don’t let tree trimmers prune your budget

According to a study conducted by the Texas Forest Service, “an estimated 5.6 million trees that once shaded homes, streets and parks in communities across Texas now are dead as a result of last year’s unrelenting drought.”

Consumers may be liable for any damage caused by a falling limb, branch or tree that is on their property, and are encouraged by The Texas Forest Service to remove all trees within falling distance of a neighbor’s home or roads.

For those in need of a tree removal service, BBB advises consumers to:

  • Hire a professional. Use BBB Member Pages to find a BBB Accredited Arborist. BBB Business Reviews will show how long a company has been in business as well as any past history of complaints. A professional arborist is generally recognized if he or she is certified by the International Society of Arboriculture.
  • Ask for an onsite inspection and risk assessment. The inspection should include the entire tree, not just parts that appear to be in a poor condition or in danger of falling. The risk assessment can be done at the same time and will help consumers with multiple trees determine which are in higher-risk areas, therefore needing immediate attention.
  • Get the estimate in writing. An estimate should be given only after an onsite inspection. Companies that quote a price without a visual inspection cannot be sure of the scope of the work involved and consumers run the risk of paying more than they were quoted.  The estimate should include all labor, clean-up and disposal charges.
  • Carefully read through your contract. A contract should clearly state the services you will receive, as well as when the job is expected to be completed, payment terms and conditions, contact information for the company and any refund or cancellation policy.
  • Verify insurance coverage. Tree care can be dangerous if not done by properly trained experts. Confirm that company has insurance that covers worker’s compensation, property damage and personal liability in case of accidents.
  • Beware of door-to-door solicitations. Most companies have business cards, uniforms, truck signs, etc., and the reputable ones are generally too occupied to solicit work in this manner. Never feel pressured to give anyone your business just because he or she is standing at your doorstep.

Read the full release here: http://austin.bbb.org/article/Dont-Let-Tree-Trimmers-Prune-Your-Budget-36237

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