Private Tree Services

Choosing a Tree Care Professional in Waterloo, IA

Since tree work is one of the most dangerous occupations and requires thorough knowledge of arboriculture, it is important to hire a trained, professional arborist for your tree care needs. A good arborist will utilize his/her knowledge and equipment properly to perform a job safely and properly. Please consider the following when hiring your next arborist.

  • Make sure the tree care company that you hire is currently licensed in the City of Waterloo. All tree care companies must be licensed by the City of Waterloo in order to legally trim or remove trees in the City. Licensing is renewed yearly on April 1st, so be sure that they are currently licensed. Please check the list of tree care providers on this site to see if they are licensed.
  • Make sure the tree care company has proof of insurance. Don’t hesitate to contact their insurance carrier if you are not satisfied with the documents presented. The City of Waterloo requires tree care companies to have insurance covering personal damage of at least $300,000, property damage of at least $100,000, and worker’s compensation insurance. Many homeowners have had to pay out large amounts of money for damages caused by uninsured individuals claiming to be tree care professionals.
  • Membership in professional organizations such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Iowa Arborist Association (IAA), the Tree Care Industry (TCIA), or the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) demonstrates a willingness on the part of the arborist to stay up-to date on the latest techniques and information.
  • Check if the company employs ISA Certified Arborists. The International Society of Arboriculture web site
    can be used to check for certified arborists in your area. You can also see if the company displays the official logo of the ISA Certified Arborist on their yellow page add in the phone book. Certified arborists are experienced professionals who have passed an extensive examination covering all aspects of tree care.
  • Ask for references to find out where the company has done work similar to the work you are requesting. Don’t hesitate to check references or visit other worksites where the company or individual has done tree work. Remember, tree care is a substantial, long-lasting investment; you would not buy a car without a test drive!
  • Don’t hesitate to get more than one estimate. This takes more time, and you may have to pay for some estimates, but it will be worth the investment.
  • Don’t always accept the low bid. You should examine the credentials and the written specifications of the companies that submitted bids. Determine the best combination of price, work to be done, reference research, and professionalism to invest in your tree care needs.
  • Good arborists only perform accepted practices. Practices such as topping a tree, using climbing spikes on trees that are not to be removed, and removing or disfiguring living trees without just cause are unnecessary.
  • Get it in writing. Most reputable arborists will have their clients sign a contract. Be sure to read the contract carefully. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, such as:
    - When will the work be started and completed?
    - Who will be responsible for cleanup?
    - Will the stump be removed as part of the cost?
    - Is this the total price?
    - If I would like more to be done, what is your hourly rate?