Have you ever wondered why there is often such a drastic difference in prices between different tree services? I can answer this in three words: workers compensation insurance.
I know what you are probably thinking right now. You are thinking that before you hire a tree service (or any service provider for that matter) you always request a certificate of insurance (COI) to verify proof of workers compensation insurance. Unfortunately, thanks to what is known as a Ghost Policy, a COI does not mean the tree service actually has any real insurance protection for its employees.
A Ghost Policy is a policy designed for a company with only one member (the owner) and no employees. It is an extremely cheap way for an individual to obtain a COI in order to win bids and projects that require workers comp insurance coverage.
The Ghost Policy, however, has opened a major loophole. Many tree services with employees still purchase this Ghost Policy by claiming either they they have no employees (and pay them off the books) or that their employees are sub-contractors, which is illegal given Federal and State law. By obtaining a Ghost Policy, a tree service is able to show you a COI while saving anywhere from $30,000 to well over $300,000 per year. This allows that service to offer much lower prices – hence the drastic variation in pricing between companies with legitimate insurance and those without.
But here is the incredible danger: by doing this, that service exploits its employees and puts you the client at great risk. If someone is injured on your property, you could be held responsible for medical and related costs.
The good news is that there are ways to avoid hiring such a service. Read our full article The Dangerous Truth About Ghost Insurance Policies to learn more.
Be sure to let us know what you think!
We just received notice that the Angie’s List editorial team has selected Leaf & Limb Tree Service as a Best Contractor for 2012, one of 15 in the Triangle/RDU area!
This award is measured across all categories, not simply the tree service category, and is based on feedback from Angie’s List members. Thus out of the hundreds of companies on Angie’s List, we have been selected as one of the 15 best.
We are truly honored. As with any award or accolade we receive, we know this would never be possible without our outstanding staff and amazing clients such as yourself. Thank you!
Thanks to the incredible feedback you all have provided Angie’s List over the last year, we won the Super Service Award again! This is our second year in a row winning this award.
According to Angie’s List, this distinction is awarded annually to approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on their website. The Super Service Award 2012 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, including earning a minimum number of reports, maintaining an excellent rating from their customers, and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
We are honored that you think so highly of our company. We strive to offer excellent customer service, as well as quality workmanship, and this is one indication that we are headed in the right direction towards achieving our goals. Thank you!
Congratulations to Joe! We are pleased to announce that he has passed the Certified Arborist exam administered through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) with flying colors! Through his years of experience and hard work learning all about arboriculture, Joe now joins the small group of professionals who have achieved this status.
The International Society of Arboriculture is a scientific and educational organization committed to spreading information regarding the care and preservation of trees. It is one of the largest organizations of tree care professionals in the world. In 1992 the ISA founded its certification program with the goal of improving the knowledge and standards of practice within the tree care industry. In addition, the program is designed to help the general public in identifying quality professionals who have a thorough knowledge of tree care practices, as demonstrated by passing the ISA education program and exam.
This program is voluntary. All individuals who choose to earn this certification must complete an education program and exam that covers all facets of arboriculture. This includes topics such as soil management, tree identification & selection, tree biology, safe working practices, pruning, diagnosis & treatment, tree risk management, and much more.
When you work with Joe and Leaf & Limb Tree Service, you can rest assured knowing that we have the experience and working knowledge necessary to properly tend to your trees. Contact us today for a free consultation, advice, and a plan of action for all your tree care needs. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
One of our clients in Raleigh recently asked us to trim some dead and dying limbs from a pine tree located next to his fence and back patio. We decided to create a short video of our climber performing this task, in order to give you an idea of what is involved with a trimming project. As you will see, trimming is by no means an easy task. The climber must have proper training, a great deal of physical ability, and safety awareness. Before you watch this video, let me point out a few important highlights:
- For a trimming project, it is important not to use spikes when ascending the tree. Spiking a live tree leaves small wounds along the trunk. These open wounds could lead to health problems in the future.
- Pruning cuts must be made at the branch collar. If pruning cuts are made too close to the trunk (this is called a “flush cut”) the tree is not able to properly heal over the cut. Flush cuts leave a tree more susceptible to future rot, infections, and pest infestations.
- It is often necessary to lower limbs down using a rope. This is called rigging. This prevents the branches from causing damage to property below.
Enjoy this video and be sure to let us know if you have a trimming or pruning project in mind. We would love to send one of our ISA Certified Arborists out to meet with you in order to discuss your needs and offer solutions. As always, these estimates are free.
Have you ever wanted to see how we grind and remove stumps? Well the wait is over! The video below includes some footage of both our portable stump grinder and our tow-behind stump grinder in action at several different job sites in Raleigh. You will see this in the video, but the portable grinder is perfect for removing stumps in hard-to-reach areas, gated lots, and anywhere that minimizing impact is a priority. Because it is smaller than many other grinders, the portable stump grinder causes minimal damage and is able to fit through anything 36 inches or wider. The tow-behind grinder is much more powerful, but must be towed behind a truck. It is much heavier and does cause more impact. We try to minimize use of the tow-behind grinder, simply because it is so large. But for very big stumps that are easily accessible, the tow-behind grinder is the way to go, due to its superior power.
Anyways, enough chit-chat. Enjoy the video and let us know what you think!