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Don’t Get Scammed By Amateur Tree Crews!

Each year in Houston there are always several weather conditions that can leave area trees damaged and in need of repairs. For example, this winter Houston experienced two waves of icy winter weather, leaving heavy condensation on tree branches that led to breaks and fallen limbs. Heavy rains, lightning or strong winds can negatively impact area trees to such an extent that tree owners need tree care services to help with tree trimming and debris removal.

Unfortunately, there are many amateur or unscrupulous tree crews that love to prey on unsuspecting property owners in clear need of tree work, especially after a major storm when there is widespread tree and branch damage. These scammers typically wait until severe weather hits, load a truck with tools and equipment, and then drive through area neighborhoods offering their services for debris clearing, tree trimming or tree removal. Many will offer a low price for their services, but demand cash up front, making it easy for them to later flee and take the owner’s money without completing any services. For large storms, tree service scammers will even travel from out of state in order to swindle innocent victims of their money for tree work.

In addition to scamming residential property owners after a storm, there are also amateur or unprofessional tree crews that provide incomplete work and take off with the owner’s hard-earned cash, or they demand additional payments in order to complete the project. They will often disguise the additional payment demands as added charges or extra fees. Sadly, the most common victims of these tree care scams are Houston’s senior citizens, who often lack the resources or ability to properly research reputable and professional tree service companies.

You might ask yourself, “How do I avoid becoming a victim of a tree care scam?” The simple answer is: thoroughly research your tree service company before hiring them. First, avoid any tree or landscape company that demands payment up front. You should pay after the tree work is completed to your satisfaction. Also, ask to see proof of insurance to ensure they have current coverage, which should include liability, business auto, equipment, and Workers Compensation coverage. If the company cannot provide proof of insurance, or their coverage has lapsed, avoid using their services. Also, look for professional landscape and tree care companies recommended by consumer or industry groups, such as the BBB or TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association). Companies must meet specific guidelines regarding customer satisfaction, industry practices and safety procedures to be endorsed by these groups.

Embark Services is pleased to offer Houston area homeowners reliable, quality and professional landscape and tree care services. Embark Services is recommended by the BBB, TCIA and was recently named a 2014 EBSCO Research Best Pick. Embark Services offers a full range of tree care services, including tree trimmingtree removal, debris removal, mulch applicationirrigation system maintenancetree plantingsoil analysis and aeration, and tree disease and insect treatment. Contact Embark Services for more information, or to request a free consultation with their team of Certified Arborists and Landscape Professionals.