Contracting for Tree Work
For Immediate Release
For Further Information Contact Sonia Garth:
(217) 355-9411 Ext 217
Contracting for Tree Work
CHAMPAIGN, IL - "We need to plant trees for the future and not for today," Jack McGee, a System Forester at Idaho Power Company, stresses. "You can't just plant a tree and let it go. It needs maintenance, but proper maintenance. Hiring professionals is the best way to maintain trees so that they have a long life," McGee adds.
Professional arborists are knowledgeable, trained, and specially equipped to provide proper tree care. Trees are vital to life, and it is essential to properly maintain your trees, which are valuable investments. They naturally provide numerous aesthetic, social, environmental, and economical benefits, to name a few:
- Increase Property Value- well-cared trees add 5-20% more value to real-estate
- Cost Reduction- provide shade, reducing yearly heating/cooling costs by $2.1 billion
- Climate Control- obtained by moderating the effects of sun, wind, and rain
- Air Filtration- filters out particulate matter and absorbs harmful gases
- Purifies Water- trees improve water quality by slowing and filtering rain water
- Privacy and Scenery
In order to take advantage of the numerous desired benefits, proper tree care by knowledgeable professionals is required. Selecting the right certified arborists and contracting for tree work is a careful process. "Be sure that they are bonded and have the proper insurance. Professional certified arborists should be able to show record of training and present references, which you should follow-up on," McGee advises.
Choose the right ISA Certified Arborist by abiding to the general bidding process. First, custom write a contract with the specifications and requirements following the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 standards of the work needed to be completed. This is the arboriculture industry's consensus standards for tree care-related operations and maintenance. Second, post and distribute the information, allowing arborists to provide their rates and type of work they will complete. Then, choose the best arborist(s) for your work by taking all aspects, including cost, quality, and quantity, into consideration. Finally, after careful examination, place bids on the arborists you desire, and they will either accept or decline your bid, revealing the best match for you work.
"If you rank your bids and take careful consideration of their proposal and their corporate capabilities to your requirements, it doesn't necessary mean you should go with the low bid," Walter Warriner, a community forester at Redondo Beach, says.
Terrill Collier, President of Collier Arbor Care, agrees and warns, "There is the issue of quality verses the cheapest bid. Specify exactly what kind of work, how it's to be completed, and define the purpose carefully based on the ANSI A300 standards in order to get desired results," Collier explains. Furthermore, in your contract, follow these guidelines when stating your specifications according to ASNI A300 standards:
A. Bidders Information
1. Scope: Specify the work needed to be completed without the fine details
2. Number of Bidders: State number of bidders intended to hire for work
3.Pre-award Requirements: Include necessary compliance with any ordinances, licenses, etc.
4. Time Period: Specify days, times, dates, holidays, etc. work is to be done.
5. Bidding Deadline: State the date and times bid(s) will be accepted until
6. Bid Deposit: If bid deposit is required, state amount and form of payment.
7. Special Instructions: Include any special instructions.
B. Developing Specifications (general enough to be used for different types of work)
1. Insurance Coverage: Mandatory. Should state primary coverage of Worker's Compensation and Public Liability
2. Performance Bond: Guarantees the Contractor will complete work satisfactory
3. Responsible Work: Add clause to clarify intention of eliminating use, declining a bid, poor work practice, etc.
4. Knowledge of Work: Comments regarding the Contractor's responsibilities and who is responsible for charges necessary to accomplish them
5. Safety & Warning Devices: Spell out specifications of Contractor's responsibilities. Enforce use of all proper safety equipment and standards.
6. Supervision/Inspection: Stated if Contractor has legal responsibility for work supervision or not
7. Liquidated Damages: Insuring Contractor delivers promised goods/services.
8. Inspection & Payment: Details of Contractor's schedule and work completed in order to receive payment
9. Subcontractors: Stated if Contractor is allowed to subcontract work to others
10. Indemnification: Each specification should contain "Hold Harmless" or indemnification clause to defend against claims
"The more detailed specifications, the better. If you are very specific about the qualifications of the firm you want, you will have your bids tailored to meet your needs," Warriner says. Bryan Fisher, a system forester, adds, "Be sure that your specifications are absolutely clear, preference on a tree by tree basis." Continue to follow the guidelines in the next section for detailed work recommendations.
A.Developing Maintenance (ANSI A300 Standards- Specify necessary work)
a. Tree, Palm, & Specialty Pruning
b. Tree Fertilization
c. Cabling, Bracing, & Guying of Established Trees
d. Lightning Protection Installation in Trees
B. Tree Planting
a. Performed Work: Description of specific labor, materials, equipment, etc.
b. Debris Disposal: Directions of debris disposal
c. Labor & Equipment: Specifics of what Contractor must provide
d. Assigned Work: Info on how work will be assigned, quantity, frequency, etc.
e. Plant Standards: State nursery and landscape plant standards, ensuring quality
f. Inspections: Reserve right to inspect all stock both prior and post to receiving
g. Delivery Location & Timing: Establish purchase price, including delivery costs and time to coincide with proper planting
h. Certification of Stock Source: Assurance of the tree's originated location
i. Digging, Handling, & Storage: Comments regarding plant care post digging
j. Planting Procedure: Specify exact planting procedure standards to be followed
k. Guarantee & Replacement: Guaranteeing planted materials for at least one growing season
C. Tree & Stump Removal and Disposal:
a. Include "Tree Planting" A-D sections with more details
b. Size Measurement: State method for measuring trees & depth of stump cut
c. Use of Private Property: Trespassing written consent to complete work
d. Time Period: Period of time work must be completed by
e. Other Specifications of Specific Local Needs: Include any additional specifics
"You get what you pay for. You are just going to waste your time and buy a lot of headaches if you just go with the low ball," Warriner states.
"Trees are resources worth millions of dollars. Ensure the value of the resource and proper management by hiring and contracting experienced professionals," Fisher says. It is important that a knowledgeable ISA Certified Arborist writes the specifications, and a lawyer should cover all details and aspects of the contract legal binding.
For more information, please visit
www.treesaregood.org or contact ISA at (217) 355-9411.
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is a nonprofit organization supporting
tree care research around the world. Headquartered in Champaign, Ill., ISA is dedicated to the care and
preservation of shade and ornamental trees. For more information, contact a local ISA Certified Arborist