Advice on how to hire a tree-care professional

  1. Ask for licenses; worker’s compensation; certificates of insurance, including proof of liability for personal and property damage. Ask for proof of the tree contractor’s license for your particular city. Not all cities require tree licenses. Check with your city’s administrative office. Here are some cities that require licenses: Wheatridge, Lakewood, Denver, Englewood, Littleton.

  2. Determine if they are a member of any professional organizations such as International Society of Arborculture, Tree Care Industry of America, or the Better Business Bureau. Membership in these organizations does not guarantee quality but does indicate professional commitment.

  3. Check your Yellow Pages under “Tree Services” for a listing of the business. While anyone can enlist in the phone book, a listing indicates some degree of permanency and stability. You should check for a physical address where the business is operating from.

  4. Reputable companies with high standards in pruning will rarely have the lowest price. Beware of low-price estimates; you’ll get what you pay for. There are many shortcuts that can be taken when pruning a tree that an untrained eye will not catch.

  5. Ask for local, recent references and locations of previous work to check on the quality of their work. If possible speak with former customers.


There are companies that meet all the qualifications of these steps that are not meeting the industry standards in correct pruning, so beware of any company that uses terms like “topping,” “rounding/over,” “tipping” and “reducing the overall size of the tree” to create a shape that is not natural



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Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.