BBB offers tips for hiring a tree service


DAYTON – Now that it’s finally warming up, yard work is on many people’s to-do lists.

Most yard work you can get done by yourself or with the help of family and friends. Although when it comes to tree trimming or cutting down a tree, it can be dangerous to do without the help of a professional.

The Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and Miami Valley had nearly 72,000 inquiries from people looking for a tree service in the past 12 months. There were also a total of 85 complaints filed about local tree services. The industry was on the BBB’s 2020 Top 10 List of Inquiries and Complaints locally.

BBB offers the following tips for hiring a tree service:

• Contact the BBB for a list of BBB Accredited tree services.

• Compare costs. Get at least three quotes in writing. Compare them to find the right business that fits your needs.

• Get references. Ask the business you choose to give you the contact information of at least three previous customers. Contact each one to get his or her testimonial.

• Ask about licensing and permits. Check with your municipality to see if it requires a license or permit to do the work.

• Verify insurance. This will protect you if unforeseen problems happen like your property is damaged or a worker is injured.

• Get it in writing. The contract should include the following: start date, costs, specific work being done, protection of your property, clean up and removal of debris. Remember to read the fine print carefully and ask questions if you have them.

• Don’t pay cash up front. Make your payments in installments. Don’t pay for the job in full until the work is completed to your satisfaction. Pay by credit card or check. Also, ask for a receipt each time you pay.

There are a variety of red flags to watch out for, such as:

• Offers of a discount if you act immediately.

• The representative can’t provide printed materials like letterhead, bid forms, logos, etc.

• Tree service companies going door to door for work.

• Representative is vague about formal credentials.

• Low prices may be a sign of low-quality work.

• High-pressure tactics.

• Only cash payments are accepted.

For more information about tree services, visit the BBB website at BBB.org or call 937-222-5825 or 800-776-5301.

For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2020, people turned to BBB more than 220 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org.

There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Dayton and the Miami Valley, which was founded in 1925 and serves Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby and northern Warren counties in Ohio.