Choosing a Contractor

Tree Contractors are required to have years of experience, be knowledgeable, licensed, insured and bonded. This not only protects your trees, it also insures that they will have liability coverage for any damage to your property or accidents to workers performing work on your trees. It also means you can hold them accountable to perform work in manner which is professional. If you hire someone who is not properly licensed and insured you have left yourself open to unknown losses, permanent damage and costs. Unfortunately, damage and accidents sometimes do occur to licensed contractors who are not concerned about safety and professionalism. These guys do exist.

A licensed tree contractor should carry a hand held plastic card to display when asked for license information. This card is provided to him by the Contractors State Licensing Board. He is required to display his or her license number on all advertisements, such as business cards, yellow pages, newspaper advertisements and signs on trucks, etc. If you don't see a license number anywhere, the contractor most likely does not have a license. If the contractors license is current, the card will have an expiration date, the company's name, license number classification and say "Contractors State License Board" with the California State Seal top-right.

A licensed tree contractor should have a bond of not less than $10,000. He or she is required to have general liability coverage and workers compensation. The licensed contractor should be willing to provide this information to you upon request. Normally he or she would call the insurance company and request a proof of insurance certificate be sent to you by the insurance company. This certificate will be dated (current), have the types of coverage and be made out to you, with your name, address, phone number and/or fax number. This is done so you know it is authentic and a legal document. This paper work is never hand delivered by the contractor.