How to Hire a Tree Contractor/Arborist

  • When hiring tree care professionals, check for proof of insurance, liability for personal and property damage, and worker’s compensation. 
  • Look for certification from the International Society of Arboriculture  (ISA) ( or other professional organizations such as Tree Care Industry Association 
  • Seek out more than one estimate and make sure you receive cost estimates in writing. 
  • Never feel pressured to rush into an agreement and never pay in advance. 
  • Ask for references from other jobs the company has done and even talk to former clients, if possible.
  • A good arborist or tree company:
    • WILL offer a range of services in addition to tree removal, such as pruning, removal, and pest control.
    • Will NOT recommend topping a tree, only corrective pruning after damage to the tree crown.
    • Will NOT use climbing spikes on a healthy tree unless it’s being removed.
    • Will NOT be eager to remove a healthy, living tree. Removals should be a last resort.

Other helpful links: 

  1. Tree care industry association: Hiring a Tree Care Company 
  2. University of Minnesota: How to hire a tree care professional 
  3. International society of arboriculture (to find an arborist)
  4. Minnesota department of agriculture tree care registry