Homeowners Should Check Tree Contractors’ Credentials

After the recent late winter storms and high winds, property owners across Maryland are learning the extent of damage to their property.

In cases where the cleanup requires a professional to handle the work, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has a few important suggestions homeowners should follow before bringing in a contractor to clear tree branches, limbs and other debris.

Only Maryland Licensed Tree Experts should be hired to trim branches and remove damaged and downed trees – they are the only tree care professionals who lawfully can perform this work in Maryland.

Before a contractor begins work, homeowners can verify the company has a licensed tree expert on staff by asking to see their license. The department’s website also allows anyone to check for the license number.

Licensed Tree Experts are required to carry insurance that covers tree care work. A company that states it is “bonded and insured” but isn’t licensed is not only violating the law, it may not have the proper coverage.

Other important recommendations include:

  • Obtain more than one estimate for the proposed work.
  • Get a written contract that states the work to be performed and the cost.
  • Never pay the full amount before all the work is completed as per the written and signed contract.

Anyone who believes they’ve been approached by an unlicensed business advertising or practicing tree care services in Maryland can contact the Maryland Forest Service at 410- 260-8511 or file a complaint online.

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