Trees are an important part of our lives. Not only do they add beauty to our world, they also add value to your home and property while reducing the cost of cooling your home in the summer and heating it in the winter.
In addition, they are good for the environment as they help reduce erosion, produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide that could contribute to global warming. For all these reasons, homeowners in the Portland Oregon or Vancouver Washington area should want to keep their trees and shrubs healthy.
Since most people do not have the knowledge needed to determine the condition or health of trees and shrubs on their property, you need a trained professional.
This is why you should choose an accredited tree care company like General Tree Service to care for your trees.
Why is tree care important?
Trees are susceptible to diseases and pests which can threaten their health. These pests and diseases can cause physical defects that may harm the tree, cause failures and expose your family to bodily injury or damage to your home or property.
In many cases these defects are hidden inside the trunk, root system or high in the crown. It takes a trained tree care professional to spot the signs and recognize the potential hazards. Tree defects, such as cracked limbs or trunks, decayed limbs or decay/damage to root systems are potentially unsafe and could also cause harm.
Now that we’ve established tree care is important, let’s talk about what it means to be an accredited tree care company and all the criteria that goes with it.
What is TCIA Accreditation?
TCIA Accreditation is a consumer confidence program administered by the Tree Care Industry Association. The TCIA is America’s oldest and most respected tree care trade association.
Started in 1938, it was called the National Arborist Association and was a non-profit trade association whose members were all part of the commercial tree care companies and affiliated businesses. They are responsible for the following:
Developed safety and educational programs
Created standards of tree care practice
Provided management information for arboriculture firms
Established best business practices to help tree care companies provide a higher level of service to consumers
Built an accreditation program based on the foundation of ethics, quality and consumer confidence
Accreditation has many requirements
The TCIA Accreditation program is a voluntary program and participating companies must meet strict criteria for professionalism, employee training, state and federal regulations, business ethics and customer satisfaction. Each company applying for accreditation undergoes an extensive review and audit of their professional and business practices for the purpose of safeguarding consumers.
- Accreditation Audit areas
- Consumer satisfaction
- Best business practices
- Business ethics
- Employee training
- Industry standards
- Arborist Certification
- Insurance coverage
- Work estimates and specifications
What’s the difference between Certification and Accreditation?
Arborist Certification is a voluntary process where an individual is tested to determine if they have the required level of tree care knowledge to meet the required criteria. TCIA Accreditation is also voluntary but it evaluates the entire company to guarantee professional practices and standards are met by ALL employees that work on your property.
Certification will ensure an individual is qualified, only accreditation looks at the business as a whole to confirm it conducts business in an ethical and professional manner.
What safeguards are built into the TCIA Accreditation?
Tree care companies accredited by the TCIA are required to provide documented proofs in several areas to protect consumers. It’s not just the employees who are actually doing the work on your trees; the sales staff must also be trained to a certain level of technical proficiency outlined in TCIA’s Tree Care Specialist credential.
The training includes tree biology, pruning standards, transplanting, tree disease and injury diagnosis, construction injury prevention, safety, soil science and disease and pest control.
What to expect when hiring a TCIA Accredited company?
Know the TCIA has already checked that the company has all the proper insurance, business and pesticide licenses and their customer service is ethical and consistent. All accredited businesses follow the BBB (Better Business Bureau) advertising codes so when a price is mentioned in an ad, any extra charges must be disclosed with the price so there is nothing misleading or deceptive about it.
Part of the requirements is always providing a written estimate following the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 standards for tree care maintenance. The estimates must include details for the work being done so you know exactly what they are doing along with the terms and conditions.
For example, an estimate stating “Prune trees- $400” is not acceptable as it is too vague and does not outline what work is to be done or the conditions of the work. An Accredited company will ALWAYS provide a detailed estimate so you know exactly what to expect and what the cost will be.
We hope this information was helpful so the next time you need a tree service to remove a tree or prune your shrubs around your Portland home or business you’ll look for a TCIA accredited tree care company like General Tree Service. You’ll be able to rest easy knowing the service you are receiving will be of the highest quality possible.