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The ugly truth is that the tree care industry is full of crooks and con artists. We want you to have the best experience with tree removal in Portland, so we don’t want you to be scammed. Even if you don’t choose to use our tree removal services, we want to help you protect yourself when hiring a tree removal service company.

How to Avoid Tree Service Scams

How do you go about choosing the right company, and what are the necessary steps to help you avoid tree service scams? There are many companies out there offering services that are less than desirable. Here are some insights based on our years of experience in the industry, and stories we have heard from our customers.

Insurance Policies

You want to choose a company that has the appropriate workers’ compensation insurance, as well as appropriate liability insurance. They should be happy and willing to send you all certificates of insurance for your own peace of mind.

Without the right insurance, you will be liable in the event there is an accident while on your job. You will have to repair your property and will have to take care of any injuries that occur as a result of the accident.

BBB Accreditation

The company you choose should be accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Accreditation with the BBB indicates a reputable service if they have a good standing with the company. And this leads us to reputation.


Do your own research on a company. Find reviews online outside of their website, and check to see if the company is a member of the Tree Care Industry Association, the International Society of Arboriculture, or any other reputable trade association. Check local forums to see if there are any conversations on them discussing the company you are considering, and see if the discussions are positive or negative.

Checking a company’s reputation is especially important if you are embarking on an expensive project.

Service Costs

How do they price their services when compared to other providers? Is their price too good to be true, or is it out of the park expensive?

Everyone likes a bargain, and we agree you should always strive to get the best bang for your buck. But when you find a company with a price that is super low, check out a couple of things. You may find that they have no experience, don’t have the proper certifications or insurance, or their quote is not for the entire project that you have.

On the other hand, if a service is expensively priced, this does not necessarily mean it is a better quality service. Salespeople can smooth talk you into paying too much for a service. Don’t let them! After all, $9000 for removing a small tree from your front yard is too expensive!

Get multiple quotes and estimates, and ask the providers to be as detailed as possible, so you know exactly what you are getting, leaving you better able to compare.

Compare Apples to Apples

Once you have all your quotes and estimates, it’s time to compare. It is important to remember you have to compare apples to apples. This is why it is important to get a detailed quote or estimate. Look at extra services on a quote and see if they are worth the additional price. There may be services that you never thought you would need. If there is anything you are not sure about, be sure to call the company and have them explain it.

Make notes while they are explaining, so you can sit and compare all your quotes later on. Remember, while the price is an important deciding factor, it shouldn’t be the only one. You want a service provider that is professional, has experience, is reputable, and works well.

Say No To Door To Door Contractors

This is especially true if you are engaging in a very large project, for example, a tree removal. We see warnings from the BBB’s many attorneys offices across the country about door-to-door contractors that travel from town to town. These contractors tend to prey on seniors. If you are not doing any business with these types of contractors, then you can keep safe from being caught in a scam.

Any way you take it, you should never decide to get tree work done as a spur-of-the-moment decision. You should carefully consider all the variables we talk about in this post and in other blog posts we have shared previously.

Be Cautious After a Disaster

After disasters, the con artists usually get out in full swing. Unfortunately, you may need urgent tree services right after a disaster and so you may be susceptible to one of their scams.

If you have a downed tree and no electricity, we understand the urgency of the matter. If you must hire a company that is passing by, doing a job nearby, etc., make sure you are not being overcharged and the company is a reputable one. Look for uniforms on workers, IDs, and branding on vehicles. Always check for certifications and insurance coverage before you get them working.

Pay When Satisfied

One way disreputable tree services get away with scams is by collecting money and not showing up. They may give you reasons that make sense, such as having to pay their staff, etc. If you have to get emergency service from a passer-by, it is important to not pay for anything until you are certain they really get the job done and get it done the right way.

This type of scam is often run with stump removal services. Sometimes the company will remove the stump and leave materials behind, promising to come back later to remove them and never return.

Q&A: Tree Removal Portland

Q: What should I look for when hiring a tree removal or tree care service?

A: Here are a couple of questions you can ask:

  • How long have you been in the business of tree removal?
  • Do you have certified arborists on staff?
  • What do you do to minimize damage to my yard?
  • What type of equipment will you be using for the job at hand?
  • Do you have insurance?
  • Do you have licensure and credentials that I can see?
  • Where can I find referrals or reviews on your company?

Q: Can I get my trees removed for free?

A: If your trees are a part of a federal, state, or city program, you may be able to get them removed at no charge. Check with your local forest service office or city hall office to see if your city owns the trees. If they do, they will remove them at no charge.

Q: How much does tree removal typically cost?

A: The cost typically is dependent on the location of the tree, the type of tree, and the size of the tree. You can expect costs to range anywhere from $250 to $1000. Smaller tree care jobs, such as pruning and trimming, can vary in cost between $75 and $250.

Q: What kind of insurance should a tree removal company have?

A: There are two types of insurance that your chosen tree care company should have. These are general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. You should ensure the company has both.

Q: How do I know if I need to cut down a tree?

A: There are a couple of tell-tale signs a tree needs to be cut down, these include:

  • Mushrooms growing at the trunk’s base
  • Cracks in the trunk
  • Peeling or chipped tree bark
  • Hanging branches in the upper crown
  • Dead branches in the upper crown
  • Branches that end in fine twigs and no living buds

Q: Why do tree removal services have to be so expensive?

A: Due to the hazardous nature of the job, tree removal services can become very expensive. Adding to the price is the cost of insurance, as well as the specialized equipment that is required for the project. Since there is so much more put into a tree removal job than say a pruning or trimming job, the costs of tree removal are usually a lot higher.

When searching for tree removal in Portland, you will find a number of options. Do your due diligence to ensure you are using the right service provider and not falling for a scam. Check out our service areas to see if we can help you with your tree removal. Contact us today so we can give you an honest and fair quote.