How to choose the right arborist for your job

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Not all those claiming to be tree specialists are created equal. Each company and individual arborists will come with different levels of skills, qualifications and experience. Taking the time to find the right fit can mean the difference between the seamless completion of your job, and having issues that compromise your safety or your back pocket. This makes choosing the right arborist for your job a somewhat difficult task, but a very important one.

choose the right arborist for your job

Consider their specialisations

Among skilled arborists, some companies come with a range of unique specialisations. Some are experts at working smaller, residential jobs, while others excel on large-scale commercial, government and residential projects. Some are skilled with certain services, from tree removal, to stump grinding and general tree maintenance, while others might only do minor work. Consider what skills your job requires and shop around for arborists who deliver the best services based on that specialisation.

Check their qualifications

Tree removal and tree pruning can be dangerous, technical and highly challenging work. It comes with a risk of property damage and can even result in personal harm. Even in Australia, practitioners can have wildly different levels of qualifications when it comes to practising arboriculture. Here are some important safeguards:

  • Ask to see proof that your arborist has the required qualifications to complete the job before going through with any tree removal, pruning or tree maintenance job.
  • Ensure that they fully comply with the Australian Standard AS4373: The Pruning of Amenity Trees. Remember, failure to follow regulations can end up leading to legal problems for you, if it is discovered that your tree contractors did something improperly or against the Standards.
  • Check that the arborist is insured, and that they have a valid certificate of currency in place.

Be discerning with the quote

Like most services, with arborists you generally get what you pay for. While a less qualified arborist may offer a lower cost to complete the job, this decision could end up being more expensive in the long term, with more remediation costs and more work required later on down the track. It is important to shop around, but also do your due diligence, by reading each of your quotes carefully and considering all the inclusions. If you’re finding major price differences between your quotes, it’s important to ask why. It’s not to say the most expensive quote will always be the best one, but do keep in mind that reputable companies have overhead costs like insurance, training and wages for their staff.

Avoid door knocking tree loppers!

“Tree lopper” is a term used by the industry to define an unqualified person who cuts trees for a fee, while an arborist is the term for a certified professional. You might have seen door to door tree loppers in the news lately, since it was discovered that many were operating in NSW. Unlike qualified arborists, door knockers often try to rush the job. They’re also unlikely to put your quote in writing, which can result in issues down the track when the price ends up blown out. On the other hand, qualified arborists are unlikely to come across as pushy salespeople. We don’t try to get you to pay us for quick work, but instead, take the time needed to draw out our plans efficiently. Always remember that door knocking is a red flag.

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