Be an educated consumer before hiring a tree trimming service

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Throughout the metro, homeowners face the storm's aftermath. Tree limbs litter the front yards of people like Adele Wilcoxen of Overland Park. 

"I had three knocks on the door within probably about an hour of people coming and offering to trim my trees," Wilcoxen said. "A couple of them were guys in pickups."

Many homeowners will hire a professional tree trimmer. Before you do, here are some things to keep in mind.

"To me there's kind of a checklist of things you need to do when hiring an arborist," advises Dennis Patton of the K-State Extension Service. "One is make sure there is a certified arborist on staff."

Patton suggests you make sure someone in the company has been properly trained on tree care and pruning.

Make sure they are properly insured to cover injuries while working on your property. Find out how they remove limbs up high.   If they climb the tree wearing spikes on work boots, Patton says those spikes can damage the tree.

"You don't want them to use spikes to climb the tree. You want them to rope and tie in and climb the tree that way so there's no injury to the tree," said Patton.

He suggests you ask for several references.  Agree on a price up front. Do not pay until the job is done to your satisfaction.

Patton is a horticultural expert with K-State Extension in Johnson County.   Before hiring a tree service, he reveals certain keywords to listen for which signal potential problems.

To hear what he had to say, click on the media player above.

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