Choosing the right company to provide tree maintenance can be a challenging task. New Jersey law provides many safeguards for consumers by setting standards and requiring the registration and licensing of industry professionals. Here’s how to make the right choice when choosing a tree service company for your HOA or commercial property.
New Law Takes Effect
On April 17, 2017 legislation proposed by industry groups, and passed by the New Jersey legislature, took effect. The new law, known as the Tree Expert and Tree Care Operators Licensing Act, creates a licensing system for people to become Licensed Tree Experts (LTEs) or Licensed Tree Care Operators (LTCOs). Any business involved in tree care maintenance, at any level, must have a licensed individual employed, be registered with the New Jersey Board of Tree Experts, and display the business name and NJTC registration number in all advertising.
The new law and licensing procedures protect HOA’s, any anyone contracting for tree services, against unlicensed individuals that are not qualified to provide services. The New Jersey Board of Tree Experts recommends that HOA’s should check a company’s credentials before entering an agreement. A reputable service will gladly present you with copies of:
- The Company’s Business Registration
- Proof of Proper Insurance Coverage
- The License Number and Name of the Licensed Individual in the Company
Ensuring that your tree maintenance is performed by legally licensed and registered New Jersey tree service providers will protect your trees from damage caused by improper work. Inexact work can cause damage to a trunk, branch or root, possibly leading to breakage or structural damage and complete tree failure. Tree failure can be a costly and dangerous situation, with the potential to cause harm to property and people.
Performing tree maintenance can be dangerous. It requires the skill and expertise necessary to operate heavy machinery, often while moving branches and logs weighing hundreds of pounds. This should always be done in a safe and controlled manner.
The Tree Expert and Tree Care Operators Licensing Act requires that employers provide employee training in safe equipment operation and the maintenance of a safe work area.
Licensed Service Provider
A New Jersey-registered and licensed service provider has the coverage necessary to protect employees with any injuries that occur on your property and coverage that extends to your property in the event of an accident. If a branch breaks a window, damages the roof, or smashes a deck railing, a professional tree services insurance provider will pay to repair the damage.
Homeowner and commercial property insurance policies do not cover injuries or damage caused by an under or uninsured tree care contractor, leaving the financial burden on the property owner.
Tree maintenance always poses the risk of injury or property damage, and it is critical to ensure that the company performing your work is fully insured.
Do Your Homework
In addition to checking that the tree company you choose has a state license and insurance, it’s a good idea to do a little research regarding professionalism and reputation. The following are ways to investigate a tree service provider before hiring:
Visit their website
Looking over a company’s website will tell you if they are well established, how many years they have been providing services and the company’s mission and core values.
Read their reviews
What have other people said about their services and has the company responded to reviews?
Check social media
Companies that have Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media are typically more willing to engage with clients and respond when issues arise.
Choosing a tree service company for your HOA doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. By selecting a service that is registered and appropriately licensed under New Jersey state law you will be confident that you have chosen an expert to serve you.