Hiring an Arborist

When hiring an arborist, give careful consideration to their qualifications. A qualified arborist will properly and carefully perform basic tree care activities, while hiring an unqualified arborist may actually result in tree damage. Unqualified persons also may not have proper insurance, leaving a liability burden to the customer that could run into the thousands of dollars.

There are several important points to consider when hiring an arborist:

  • Be cautious of any arborist or tree care service that advises "topping" trees. Topping is not an approved tree care practice and will result in serious tree damage or premature death of the tree.
  • Ask arborists if they are certified by the Nebraska Arborists Association (NAA) or the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). While arborists are not required to be certified, certification does indicate the arborist has a high degree of knowledge of tree care.
  • Ask arborists for certificates of insurance, including proof of liability for personal and property damage and workman's compensation. You may wish to contact the arborist's insurance company to be sure the policies are current. In some instances, you may be held financially liable if an uninsured worker is hurt on your property or if an uninsured worker damages a neighbor's property.
  • Ask for local references and take time to examine some of the arborist's work.
  • Be wary of arborists who come to your home and tell you a tree on your property will "die without immediate attention." Most reputable tree care companies do not need to solicit business.
  • Get more than one estimate.
  • A conscientious arborist will not use climbing spikes unless they are removing a tree. Spikes create wounds in the tree that can lead to disease and decay.
  • A good arborist will not be inexpensive, but the quality of their work will be worth the expense.

*taken from UNL's guide for hiring an arborist.