Tree Service Companies, a view from the inside
A tree service truck driving slow - faded out chipper in tow. Coming down the road they make the turn - and young minds begin to burn...
A neighbor wandering around his yard - last nights storm had hit hard...
Broken branches are spotted in the trees....Dont worry partner, soon we will be busy as bees...
But the truck creeps on by...not stopping the driver mumbles, " better wait on this one, Im way too high!" ....
Two guys bargaining against luck - and the thoughts continue... " Man that yard is full of bucks"...
The poem was made to create a mindset to be carefull when thinking of having your trees worked on. While it isn't intended to sterotype the entire tree service industry it does in fact represent a large and ever growing trend that has been taking place inside it for some time now.
It raises some insight as to why there are so many tree service trucks buzzing around the streets of Forest these days.
Tree trucks towing chippers are everywhere it seems...It goes along the theme of the american way., operating a small business - only the way many of these guys go about running a legitimate tree care / service business goes against some strong principles..
Not so long ago a person who was looking to have their trees trimmed might have had to do some diligent searching to find a capable tree service provider.
Nowadays, you may not even need to do any searching at all. It is even likely that one of those tree service trucks previously mentioned could pull into your drive unexpected. Or you could catch the number of one of their small roadside sign placements (another red flag) should you be thinking of having tree work performed.
The plain jest of it all is that it takes much more than a chainsaw and chipper to perform tree care the proper way.
Wind and weather wreaking destruction upon trees is an open avenue for people looking for work. There are at least a dozen newer tree companies in the Forest area alone operating as a result of the rwo derichios and tornadoe that hit in recent years
Recent storms came at a time when unemployment was high, attracting people looking for work who figured doing residential tree work couldnt be much different than cutting firewood as they had been doing in their own yards - moving from their yards to the many neighborhoods that dot the Forest, Smith Mtn.Lake area..
The usually young entrepreneurs then realized that the already established and reputable tree companies were charging premiums for their services.
As a professional tree service company owner for a decade and a half I have personally had at least five of my past employees leave on the premise of why should I work for him when I can do it myself. And off they went, coming up with a name and knocking on doors. No insurance, no in depth experience at trimming trees the proper way and no knowledge of power line clearance safety measures that must be taken when working near power lines. The same lines that everyone has feeding electricity to their homes. This is why we now like to keep our operation small and in the family so to speak.
The tree service industry has attracted people of all types and diversities looking to make big money quuck. In fact, the latest trend is for retrees to use their 401k to start tree services...some buying into franchises ..Most of them not knowing how to sharpen a saw, or start one for that matter...There are two such businesses operating in the Forest/ Smith Mtn Lake area.
There are many who use their internet prowness abilities to upstart tree services.They lure in unsuspecting people looking to have tree work performed throgh legitimate looking and sounding websites they create, posting fake pictures from the web, and good sounding - stuff like, " if our sign is not in your yard you paid to much." They then turn around and give discounts if contracts are signed on site before their competition has a chance of speaking with the customer.
Tree work is extremely dangerous and unpredictable..It is a trade that has taken the lives of many a seasoned tree care worker, not to mention the countless amateurs that has attempted it.
Statistics prove this. In fact, it shows that the recent surgence of new tree services has sent the mortality rate of tree workers through the roof, and limbs through the tops of houses and garages as well - many times the entire tree itself.
The tree service industry has changed dramatically in the decade and a half since I came into it. I have seen things that make me literally sick. The love of the job is why I keep doing it. Caring for people is why I write about it.
So how can one tell what is what and who is who when it comes to choosing the right tree service provider? Well, keep in mind that it takes more that a certificate of insurance and a bucket truck to perform tree work the proper way. And also remember that smiles can leave you wondering how such a legitimate sounding company could have made such a mess of things.
In the end, doing your homework is the best way to protect yourself. Following three simple practices can make it even more easier..
- Make sure the person has at least 8 yrs of on the job experience. It takes years and years of practice, study, and real life happenings through trial and error to learn the tree care proffession. ANYTHING LESS AND YOU ARE PUTTING YOURSELF AT RISK BY HIRING THEM... !
- Ask to see pictures of past work performed.
- Ask for references or check their ratings and be sure to follow up on this. Anything less than a five star rating should raise your eyebrows.
- ASK YOURSELF A Simple QUESTION, who would I prefer to be in my yard - SOMEONE WHO DOES TREE WORK FOR THE LOVE OF THE JOB - OR SOMEONE WHO DOES IT FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY?