Golden Valley Homeowners Target Of Emerald Ash Borer Scammers
April 24, 2015
Residents have reported recently that a tree contractor was going door to door telling homeowners they had an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation in their ash tree(s) and the tree(s) must be removed immediately. Before believing a contractor that shows up at your door, be sure you know the following facts about EAB, and contact the City forester if you have questions.
Emerald ash borer has not yet been found in Golden Valley. However, this pest is within 5 miles of the eastern border of the city and will be found here eventually.
Learning more about this serious threat to all ash trees will allow you to make an informed decision about management options for your trees (see EAB resources below). Before making a snap decision, hire a professional arborist to evaluate your ash trees and discuss any options for treatment or removal.
Hiring A Professional Arborist
Hiring a tree removal or trimming contractor deserves the same consideration and caution that goes into selecting a doctor or home builder. A mistake can be expensive and long lasting, but the right choice can assure health, beauty, and a longer life for your trees.
- Start by searching online using keywords like Golden Valley, tree service, certified ISA arborist, etc). Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations.
- Beware of door-knockers. Most reputable companies have all the work they can handle without going door-to-door.
- Ask for certificates of insurance, including proof of liability for personal and property damage and worker’s compensation. Call the insurance company to make certain the policy is current. Under some circumstances, you can be held financially responsible if an uninsured worker is hurt on your property.
- Ask for references and talk with former clients. Experience, education, and a good reputation are signs of a good arborist.
- Have more than one arborist look at your job and give you estimates. Don’t expect one contractor to lower a bid to match another’s bid, and be willing to pay for the estimate if necessary. Three or more cost estimates are worth the effort.
- Don’t be rushed into a decision because you are promised a discount if you sign an agreement now.
- The contract should specify the responsibility for clean-up and disposal of tree branches and logs, as well as date of the work completion, to avoid problems with the development and spread of tree diseases or insect problems.
- Ask if the arborist will use climbing spikes. A good arborist will not use climbing spikes if the tree is to remain in the landscape.
- Good work is not inexpensive, since a professional arborist must carry several kinds of insurance and have specialized equipment. Beware of low cost estimates, which could indicate that the person might not be adequately insured or trained.
Golden Valley’s City foresters are also available to answer questions about EAB or your trees. Contact Assistant City Forester Tim Teynor at 763-593-3976 or Park Maintenance Supervisor/City Forester Al Lundstrom at 763-593-8046.