Warning! What to Know When Looking For a "Tree Service"
The lack of regulation in the arboriculture industry in British Columbia has allowed many trees in our neighbourhoods to stand as monuments to bad practices by tree workers, often self-proclaimed experts. Many "fly-by-night" companies pervade the industry, with little arboricultural knowledge, frightening safety practices, and often no insurance. Their savings on training costs, professional fees, safe equipment, and insurance allow them to underbid most reputable companies, but sloppy tree work can come at great cost to the client in the long term.
Anyone requiring tree work on their property should ensure, at a minimum, that the work will be done or directly supervised by an ISA Certified Arborist, and that the company carries commercial insurance as well as WorkSafe BC coverage.
The costs of bad tree work:
Bad trees - Trees that have been improperly pruned, topped, or otherwise butchered often never recover. The wounds from such practice can start the tree on a downward spiral of mortality. While it can take many years of regular proper pruning to re-establish a healthy, attractive form in an overpruned tree, its lifespan will generally be greatly reduced.
Liability - If an uninsured worker is injured on the job, the homeowner could be held liable for their injuries.
Examples of bad tree work:
|Results of topping: Instead of a tall, slender canopy that could be raised (skirted) and thinned over time, the tree will have a wide, extremely dense canopy for the remainder of its lifespan. The many secondary tops fighting for dominance will quickly re-attain the original single top's height. Additionally, the new tops will have a very much greater risk of breaking.||General tree butchering: These trees can never be brought back to healthy form, no matter how much restorative work is done to them. They have been in steady decline since the first topping cut.|