Nearly every professional in their field can speak at length about the issues that they face on a daily basis. These are the ethical issues that make the profession look bad. Companies that claim to offer the lowest prices. Unprofessional work is sold as “quality service at a lower price”.
Problem is, the cheaper service or service that is billed at a lower price doesn’t always meet the client’s expectations. There are always ways to get the best price.
Another way to see it: Cheap labor isn’t skilled. Skilled labor doesn’t come cheap.
How does this apply to simple tasks like trimming trees?
This should not be compared to one’s approach when seeking medical professionals to care for our children. Trees are living, breathing organisms. Trees need love and nourishment to become the family members they are meant to be. We shouldn’t cut corners or neglect to provide care that could permanently handicap them.
It turns out that tree care is not so easy.
Let’s share a story that many people can relate to. It could be a personal or acquaintance encounter.
John has a magnificent Bradford pear in his yard. The tree is the envy of all the neighbors. It has the most stunning shape and is one of the most impressive in the area. John noticed that the tree had been growing on John’s roof and the service line to his house over the years. He doesn’t want any problems with critters getting into his attic or the possibility of windstorms destroying the power supply nearby, so he decides to trim the tree.
John now has an idea of how he wants his tree to look. He pulls out his phone and type “tree trimming” in the search bar. A dozen results appear. He calls the numbers to get quotes, as most people do. John sends photos to some of the numbers and they give John a price. Some give John a price by phone but not seen. One or two of them give John a written proposal while the other gives John a price on a scrap of paper.
John decides to go with the cheapest option after comparing all the pricing. Tomorrow is his big day and John spends every night imagining how beautiful his tree will be tomorrow.
The crew from the company arrives at the office in the morning. They are quickly equipped with their climbing gear, which includes a climbing saddle and lanyard, rope, and ladders.
The climbers are like monkeys using chainsaws to quickly attack areas of concern, cutting limbs that fall to the ground just like spring snow.
Groundmen quickly remove the dismembered limbs from the vehicles and place them in awaiting trailers. They also rake the grass and clear the planters of any smaller debris.
This took just over an hour.
They leave at the same speed as when they arrived. John gave them a check and they held out their hands.
Have you heard this story before? You are not the only one who will be able to tell this story.
John noticed that the tree, once perfectly shaped, was now looking more like Igor with his hump. The trunk was covered in sap and some of the limbs looked as if they had been struck with a blow torch.
He called Slash ‘N dash Tree Service, but they didn’t return his voicemail messages.
John began to panic at this point. John called around and found a Certified Arborist who would examine his tree for a nominal fee.
Do you remember the climbing gaffs that climbers used to use? They cut the trunk, and the oozing sap was the tree’s attempt to heal the gouges.
Do you remember the tools scattered all over the front yard? The crew had pruned a tree that was diseased and didn’t clean it, so they spread fire blight on the pear.
Igor’s hump! It created an imbalance by cutting specific areas and not considering the whole crown.
John’s neighborhood crown jewel is now gone. It’s still there, but he is trying to get it back in good shape.
What’s the point of this story?
These are the stories we hear every day as professionals in tree care. You can learn the hard lesson of John by being aware of the long-term effects of hiring the cheapest company.
Do your research. Refer friends. See reviews. You should also ensure that you hire a professional who has the necessary licenses and insurance to care for your precious commodity, your trees.
They are your children.
This post was written by a professional arborist at Arbor Wise Professional Tree Care. Robert Miller is the owner of Arbor Wise Professional Tree Care, a locally owned and operated tree service company that offers superb lawn care by the most experienced Arborists. Arborwise Tree Services is a tree service pinellas county company that offers stump removal, tree pruning, stump grinding, fertilization, and tree restoration. We have an extraordinary lawn care industry notoriety covering the Pinellas county area.