What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
Jobs are billed at an hourly rate based on crew size and equipment needs. Once an estimated, that is the price for the job unless the client adds additional work.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
We talk with the client on the phone or by email. We ask for contact information and what they would like done. A certified arborist visits the property and visit with the client if possible. A proposal is written and left with the client or emailed. We follow up daily until a decision is made. Upon acceptance of the proposal, we contact the client to set a tentative schedule date and get a small down payment. They are called a couple of days in advance of when we are to arrive. Payment is due the time of service. We accept cash, check, and some credit cards.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have been a Certified arborist for over 20 years. I complete Continuing Education Units each year to maintain my ISA certification and membership with the TCIA for being a CTSP. I attend yearly seminars as they are provided as well complete monthly education articles.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
My career started in Upstate New York working for a Davey Expert Tree Service office. I worked in a variety of positions as they needed me to fill. I worked for them for 5 years and moved to the Chicago-land area working for a tree service company in the southwest suburbs for 8 years. I started 4 Seasons Arbor Service in 2001.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I work with individual homeowners, commercial properties, property management companies, townhomes and condominium associations.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
Very pleased with helping 2 associations do root excavating on over 100 trees which had tree roots beginning to strangle every tree trunk. We: a) "air spaded" the over mulched root zones,b) cut the strangling roots, c) provided a root stimulating product in the root zone along with water, d) and covered the exposed roots with wood chips in the appropriate manner.
All the trees are doing very well a year later.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Make sure you get everything in writing. Hire only a certified arborist to take care of your trees and shrubs. When it comes to lawn fertilizing ask how they know what and how much gets applied to your lawn. We go by soil tests and recommendations by the Illinois Cooperative Extension guidelines.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
be very weary of businesses that give you a price over the phone. Get everything in writing. Call the village hall to see if they are on the list of approved vendors. Ask to see their proof of insurance and workers compensation.