Do Tree Removal companies need to be licensed?(Discussion)

Last Modified

March 13, 2023 by Hirah Ehsan

Tree care is something you want to leave to the best. Companies with a good reputation have all the necessary credentials to run a tree care business. There is, however, a debate over licensing. A common question is: do tree removal companies need to be licensed?

A license is required for all tree removal services in their state or city. Additionally, tree removal companies require a contractor’s license, an item that is not necessarily related to the removal of trees, but this depends on your state’s laws.

However, there are some states in which tree removal companies do not need to be licensed. So you have to contact your local authorities to confirm this beforehand if you wish to hire a tree removal service.

A license may only be issued to certified arborists and bonded arborists. The most important license to ask for is a tree care license. Unless they have one, they will probably not be able to cover you in the event of an accident under their insurance policy.

What Kind of License Does a Tree Removal Company Need?

In different states, tree removal service companies are required to obtain different licenses. In most states, only an occupational license is required.

However, the most important aspects of licensing to consider when choosing a tree removal company are the following:

  1. Licensing and registration by the state

Almost all states require tree care companies to be registered with the relevant department in the city or state where they operate.

These companies are usually provided with license certificates as proof of their compliance.

By obtaining this license, a company can demonstrate that it has met the state’s requirements for offering tree services. Additionally, it indicates that the contractors are aware of the local laws regarding which trees may be removed and which ones cannot.

For peace of mind, you should ask for a copy of this license from an arborist before hiring them to remove your trees.

Alternatively, you can contact the contractor’s state licensing board in order to verify the contractor’s status.

  1. Pesticide license

A company dealing with more than just tree removal must have at least one certified pesticide applicator. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides these certificates.

  1. Professional accreditations and certifications

The majority of certifications are optional and are not required for tree removal firms. However, they’re important because they proved that the tree removal crew can handle the job safely.

The certifications are also an indication of the knowledge and skills of the tree removal company. Contractors commonly possess the following certificates:

  • Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA)

The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) is a voluntary, but still essential certification for arborists.

In order to obtain this certificate, you must complete a training program. In this training, topics will range from the fundamentals of arboriculture to injury prevention and illness prevention.

This certificate provides one of the best assurances that the contractors performing the tree removal service understand their duties.

  • International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)

The International Society of Arboriculture is one of the industry’s leading organizations in arboriculture. It certifies arborists in a variety of ways, including the ISA-certified arborist program.

The certification confirms the expert is trained in tree safety, aerial rescue, and electrical hazards. The safety factors mentioned above are extremely important when removing a tree.

  1. Insurance

In addition to licensing and certification, every tree removal company must have insurance.

A contractor may be covered by a variety of insurance policies. Clarify the details with their insurance company when you contact them. 

Being bonded means that the company you hire has a credit line in place to ensure that the contract work will be completed. If the bond issuer is unable to perform the work, you will be reimbursed. The company’s bonding also signifies that it adheres to the permit regulations necessary for the completion of the project.

Liability insurance protects you against damage to your home or personal property. 

Worker’s compensation insurance protects you in the event that an employee is injured on the job and the company is responsible, not you.

Why should you hire a licensed and accredited tree care company?

The tree care companies that are accredited and licensed have spent the extra time and effort to provide quality service. In particular, accredited companies undergo voluntary reviews to confirm they adhere to professional and safe practices.

TCIA-recognized companies emphasize the importance of using safety equipment and training their employees in tree climbing.

Does a tree removal company operate without a license?

Yes, of course! It is common to find contractors working without a license since there are few regulations regarding tree removal services.

However, it does not alter the fact that these companies are engaging in illegal activities. These companies will be subject to stiff fines if they are caught.

Our recommendation is to work with a tree removal company that is trained, licensed, certified, and insured. It may be more expensive, but the quality makes up for the price difference.

When you hire a licensed and certified contractor, you can rest assured that he will know how to perform the task safely. This will enable you to avoid endangering yourself or your property.

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