A Great Deal...Or Just A Great Price?

What you need to know hazardous trees


You’ve just been handed an incredibly low estimate to prune the trees in your back yard. In fact, the estimate is so much lower than the others, you almost think it’s a mistake. You start to consider how you’re going to spend all the money you’ll save, when doubt creeps in. It’s then that you ask yourself…Is this really a great deal or is it just a great price?




Why There’s Such A Discrepancy In Price
Unlike most other service industries, prices in the tree service industry can vary significantly from one company to the next. The main reason is that the established tree service companies have expenses that the “fly-by-night” tree service companies don’t have. Here are just a few:

  • Payments on Equipment- Bucket trucks, log loaders and cranes are expensive pieces of equipment that help a tree service company safely do the job right. Companies that don’t own this vital equipment avoid costly monthly payments. But it also means they are more likely to injure live trees, damage valuable property and take days to complete work that should only take a few hours.
  • Workmen’s Compensation- Did you know that a tree service worker is far more likely to be seriously injured or killed on the job than either a policeman or a fireman? The inherent danger in our profession is why insurance company premiums are so expensive. It’s also why 8 out of 9 tree service companies choose not to carry workmen’s compensation. If a tree service worker is severely injured on your job and they don’t have workmen’s compensation coverage, the injured worker will likely seek compensation from you.
  • Higher Wages For Certified Tree Service Workers*- As in any other profession, experienced, well-trained workers are compensated more than their unskilled counterparts. ISA Certified Arborists and certified tree service workers simply make more money than workers who lack the necessary knowledge and skills. Remember, trees are living things and just one bad pruning can severely damage, or even kill them.

  • How To Choose The Right Tree Service Company
    Now that you know why established tree service companies charge more than others, here are a few quick tips to help you decide which company to hire.

  • Unless you have an established relationship with a tree service company, try to get three bids. That way you’ll have a better idea of what your job should cost.
  • Make sure all the bids detail exactly what work will be done. Some companies will try to charge for the “extra” work that you thought was included in the original estimate.
  • Don’t automatically take the lowest bid. As with all other products and services, more often than not, you get what you pay for.
  • Protect yourself by choosing a company that carries both workman’s compensation and general liability insurance and insist on a certificate of insurance direct from their insurance company, as proof of this coverage.








  • Jon Wilbur is an ISA Certified Arborist and co-owner of Pinellas Tree Service, in Clearwater.

    Free Information Guide
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    Copyright, 2005, All Rights Reserved

    Jon Wilbur