How do you go about hiring a tree service company in San Antonio?
I have been a part of many Tree Service companies in several states before starting Tree Removal Service San Antonio . It has given me a world of experience in the industry, some good, some bad. I have seen the big guy's do horrible work and have big accidents, and small tree cutters do professional work day in and day out. So, for me, it has changed my opinion of what makes a good tree service company in San Antonio.
There are some law area's you need to look at. Licensing with the CSLB is needed in Texas, you can reference the site and look up a # to see if it exists. Some fly by night guys will say they are licensed and give you a Tax license number. (this does not make you licensed) Although most states Contractor Boards do not have a Statute or License for Tree maintenance and in these cases a Business License may be all they need. In these states you will need to proceed with caution.
The next area you want to examine is Liability Insurance, Workers Comp, Commercial Vehicle Insurance and Bonds. All need to be present and asking a question like "have you had any accidents?" may be appropriate. You may want to go as far to contact the Insurance provider and ask if the company has had any claims.
Once these basic area's are looked at, it is important to look at the specialty that a Tree Service Provider has. Some are good at Tree Trimming
, some Tree Removal , some Treatments, some Transplanting, some Guying and so on. If you are looking for a Tree Transplant and the Arborist you are talking to has only done one in the last year then it stands to reason that his skills may be rusty or non existent. Speaking for myself, I specialize in Tree Removal with over 90% of my gross coming from Tree Removal. So if asked if I do removals I could assure you and show many referrals of successful work done in the area. I guess that is my point, every Arborist has an area of specialty. My brother has had a Tree Company for over 15 years and if you ask him, his specialty is trimming palm tree's. He does it fast, safe and efficient. Do not be fooled that and Arborist is so god to be a specialist in every area.
Have a good feeling about who you hire. Your gut feeling is almost always right. I have cut 10's of thousands of tree's, but once in a blue moon me and a customer do not hit it off. In those cases I hope they do not hire me. Hiring a contractor can often be the beginning of a lifelong friendship full of trust. Remember you are asking them to your property and trusting them to respect your property. You want the relationship to start with common good vibes on both sides.
Ask to see a few reference letters. It will give you an idea of who you are working with. Do not trust Yelp or Google reviews. I will say you can trust Angies list reviews (available to members). Yelp and Google are so false half the time that it is written by friends or bad reviews are written in bulk by one person with a vendetta against the company. Accreditations help and are of value. Look for BBB, TCIA and ISA. These are the basics that a Tree Service Company should have.
If the tree service you need seems complicated hire a Certified Arborist . A list of certified guy's for hire in your area can be found at http://www.isa-arbor.com/faca/findArborist.aspx. It also gives you an are to make a complaint should it come to that. I think in San Antonio there is less than 10 ISA Certified Arborist's for hire, so if the company you land on does not have a certified guy it is not the end of the world.
Last but not least ask if there is any going deductions or specials. Often there is discounts and promotions going that you may not know about saving you 10% or more.
I wish you luck and as always we are here to help.