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. Great articles! It is so disheartening to see what could have remained a beautiful tree topped and begin the dying process. All because someone did not take the time to properly prune it, or even better, hire a professional! When people ask us if WE top trees, the answer is always a resounding NO! Many customers just need to be educated is all it takes.

  2. Thanks for this post! It’s important to leave tree pruning up to professionals, as it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

  3. Thank you for sharing this content. I have found this article useful and will implement some ideas with my landscaping and lawncare/tree service to better provide for my community. I have gotten more tree trimming customers lately and this has helped and I hope I can contribute to this wonderful community as well.

  4. xander ford   •  

    When it comes to tree services, it is important to know, no matter who completes the work around your home, what systems and lines run underneath your lawn. There could be networks of delicate underground electrical or plumbing lines to be cautious of, and you may not know until it’s too late.

  5. Pat Frank   •  

    I have a tree service company in Pembroke Pines, and serveral times I had to remove trees that had been previously topped by a different tree company, with a customers not understanding why their tree died. Certified Arborist should not do this, they might cost a little bit more, but your trees will thank you!
    Your article is very educative, thank you very much.

  6. Ruby Osburne   •  

    I really appreciate that you shared this amazing post with us, thanks for sharing and keep up the amazing work.

  7. Connor Tree Service   •  

    Thanks for sharing this topic! It’s important to leave tree pruning up to professionals. If you have Tree removal, trimming or cleanup issue in south carolina ,nothing to worry as connor tree service can solve your problem, feel free to check it out

  8. Holly Congreve   •  

    I really appreciate that you shared this amazing post with us, thanks for sharing and keep up the amazing work.

  9. William Van Skaik   •  

    Hey thank you for providing this detailed breakdown of information. I like that you mention the importance of TCIA registration. Not a lot of companies talk about that.

    I live in Utah, and have been working with a tree care services company that specializes with a lot of this information. Next time I get a job done by them, I’ll make sure to ask about the TCIA paperwork!

  10. Rachel Frampton   •  

    I’ve been planning to hire an arborist because I noticed that my trees’ branches are starting to grow larger. I’m glad you shared this; I’d make sure to check the prospective service’s credentials by seeking proof of their documents’ copies. I’ll also keep in mind to request for their ISA certification number.

  11. Kev   •  

    Great article! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and upleveling folks in our community! We just started a
    tree services company and have gone through the TCIA paperwork

  12. ben   •  

    Awesome article! Thank you so much for taking the time to educate us all on salient tree pruning mistakes! I love the questions involved with topping tress to make sure you are getting the best service possible.

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