The City of Eagan recommends residents hire only licensed tree contractors to perform tree maintenance, health care, and removal work within the city limits. Businesses offering tree care and maintenance services within Eagan must obtain a Tree Maintenance Contractor License through the City Clerk's office. Tree care companies must renew annually and maintain license requirements.
Reminder, while a licensed tree contractor has met the City of Eagan licensing requirements, they do not actually work for the City of Eagan and therefore should be considered an independent contractor. The City of Eagan does not guarantee the work performance nor recommend the services of the tree contractors on this list. Therefore, the City of Eagan shall not be held liable or responsible for any event that takes place between these contractors and its customers.
Review these links prior to selecting and hiring a tree care contractor or arborist:
- Minnesota Department of Agriculture Tree Care Registry
- International Society of Arboriculture Find an Arborist
- Tree Care Industry Association Hiring a Tree Care Company
- University of Minnesota Extension guide How to Hire a Tree Care Professional
Hiring a Tree Care Company FAQ
- Q: Will the tree care company provide an up-to-date certificate of insurance and a copy of their work contract?
- This is your first and most important question. You want to ensure the tree care company is properly insured and that you will not be liable for damage, accidents or injuries.
- Q: What credentials do the tree care company staff have?
- It is strongly recommended a resident or property owner hire a company with International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborists on staff, a Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA)Business Accreditation or Certified Tree Care Safety Professional (CTSP) personnel on staff.
- If the tree care work is in proximity to electrical conductors, overhead power lines, etc., a company with Approved Line-Clearance Arborists should be hired or the tree care company should coordinate tree work with the local utility service provider.
- If trees are to be preventively injected with a pesticide (EAB, Oak Wilt, DED and other insect and disease preventive treatments), company personnel should have the appropriate Minnesota pesticide applicators licenses available upon request.
- Q: Can they provide a list of references?
- Request referrals from recent customers. Quality tree care companies will be happy to share a list of satisfied customers.
- Q: Will they give you a detailed estimate?
- Request written estimates from three qualified tree care companies to compare prices and understand the scope of the job. Don't be rushed by a bargain. Don't pay in advance.
- Q: How will the job be approached and what equipment will they use?
- Before equipment traverses the property contact Gopher State One Call to identify utilities, and ensure irrigation systems, sprinkler heads, and other objects are clearly identified. Minimize the use of power equipment driving over your lawn. Avoid collateral damage to flowerbeds, etc. What is their policy if they damage something and is the policy acceptable to you? It may be a good idea to photograph the area before work begins so you have a record in case there is damage. Make sure you understand how they will clean up during and after the job.
- Tip: Hire a tree care company in the off-season (November - March.)
- Reputable tree care companies are more responsive and may offer modest price discounts for work done in the winter.
- Winter is a good time to look at and work on most trees. The tree architecture is highly visible, and there are no leaves to add to the cleanup time.
- Damage to lawns and landscaping is minimized due to frozen, snow covered ground.
- Q: How long will the project take?
- One company might say three days while another company says three hours. This is why it is important to obtain an estimate.
- Q: Does the company appear professional?
- What do company trucks and other equipment look like? Are the trucks and equipment properly maintained, well taken care of, clean and in good shape? If they don't take care of their equipment, do you think they will take care of your tree and property?
- Q: Does the company have a well-designed website?
- Do they have an up-to-date website? Is the company web site easy to find in an internet search and easy to navigate? Are the services offered, contact information, professional credentials and affiliations prominently featured on the web site? Do they have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau? A well designed web site and content can give you a sense of the company’s professionalism and how well they run their business.
- Q: Does the company use spikes or climbing spurs to climb trees while pruning trees?
- Unless the tree care company is removing trees, demand that no spikes be used on living healthy trees. Spikes and climbing spurs damage trees with unhealthy wounds. Use of spikes or climbing spurs to climb trees while pruning trees is a poor management practice.
- Q: Does the company advertise topping of trees?
- Topping of trees is the process of removing live sections from the top of the tree. Topping is another poor management practice. Avoid a company that offers "tree topping" as a service and continue your search.
- Q: Does the company offer stump grinding services?
- Stumps can be left to rot over time. Stumps can be removed by grinding them with a specific piece of equipment called a “stump grinder.” The debris created by “stump grinding” can be left to the homeowner for disposal. The debris can be removed by the tree care company. The company can replace the soil, re-grade the area and re-seed or replace with sod. All costs associated with stump grinding should be clearly spelled out in the bid or contract. Finally, make sure they contact Gopher State One-Call to identify all utilities prior to grinding the stump. Homeowner must clearly identify and mark all irrigation systems, etc.
- Q: Will the crew be using hardhats and other personal protective equipment (PPE) while on your property?
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that personal protective equipment (PPE) be used for any tree care operation. A reputable tree care service will require their workers to be protected.
[i] Adapted from StihlUSA.com and TCIA.org