DON’T Make This Tree Pruning Mistake: Q’s to Ask a Professional

This is the third blog in a three part series. Visit part one (on why tree topping is harmful) and two (on when and how much is appropriate to trim) here.

So, you’re ready to prune your trees?  Not so fast!

Here at TreePeople, we strongly recommend hiring a professional tree trimming service to ensure your trees are healthy and properly pruned. If you’re thinking about hiring a professional, make sure you ask these four questions before they get near your trees!

1. Are you licensed and bonded?

If so, ask to see a copy of their documents. This ensures that they are covered by insurance!

2. Are you ISA certified?  

Ask for their ISA certification number. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certifies arborists – testing them on pruning and other tree care practices. Don’t be afraid to ask if the crew is trained in ISA practices and supervised by a certified arborist while on the job. To see samples of their work, ask for references!

Ready to hire an ISA Certified Arborist? Find one here.

3. Are you a TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association) Accredited company?

The TCIA program is another certification that can help identify a trustworthy service. However, TCIA specializes in accreditation for companies, not individuals. It ensures tree trimming services  have proper tree care knowledge and follow appropriate business practices!

For a full directory of TCIA accredited businesses, visit this website.

Since trees provide homeowners with plenty of benefits, hiring a professional is a worthwhile investment ensuring that your trees will continue to be healthy and happy!

4. Do you top trees?

This is a trick question, but a good one to ask. If they top, don’t hire them. And if they are ISA or TCIA certified and top trees, report them.

And once you do hire them, make sure you get in writing what they are going to do–specifically, “remove branch “A”, remove all dead wood, etc.” Be sure to take plenty of before photos! They should know that you are serious about proper tree pruning.

Ready to learn more? Visit our website to learn all about proper tree care and maintenance!


  1. Tree Removal   •  

    Great tip about asking if they top trees! This is a no no. We have our own tree removal company and know that this is not what you do as a professional.

  2. Landscaping Mackay   •  

    Thank you for sharing, it is really important to hire a professional to take care of your trees.

  3. Anthony LeBlanc   •  

    Oh my!! Best article ever. I cringe when I see trees that are chopped or “topped”. Especially crepe myrtles down in South Louisiana. Many people think they can do this on their own or they use cheap labor. So important to look for a licensed and insured company.

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