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. Thank you for the quick tip. Very good read and information for customers to save money and headache down the road.

  2. Aryaman   •  

    Great article! Very useful information on how to save. I hired for my tree services for pruning but I had wish I found this article first!

  3. This is great read! Thanks so much for the great information, a lot of people overlook the importance of Tree Pruning.

  4. Jim Taylor   •  

    I work in the tree care/service industry, and it is always clear when someone is a certified Arborist versus just another guy with a truck and a contractor license. I always spread the word to customers as to why tree topping is bad, and I explain it so that anyone can understand. Numerous times I have had to remove a tree that had been previously topped by a different tree company, leaving the customers confused as to how their tree died. This is really something that should not be done 99.9% of the time. When people search for tree service near me, they will hopefully find reputable companies with certified arborists, like my business.

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