Call to regulation pros/cons...

cerviarborist

Very stable member
So if it was stamped and regulated tomorrow you think it would have a positive effect on the arborist trade as a whole? I know in one region the price of treeworks increased substantially. You think the tree economy could handle it at this time? Or would there be a knock on effect of less tree work being done by the tree economy as a whole? The amswer would change depending on location/region - just canvassing opinions...
I also don't subscribe to the notion that "If we actually do it right and safely without cutting corners, the trade will be priced out of the market." People all over the world live in houses built to standard building codes, electrical and plumbing codes.
 

samsquatch

Active Member
regulations / licensure is not going to stop the thugs. thugs can get licenses, and your mentioned intimidation factor would only deter reporting them against their license.

personally, I don't see any reasonable homeowner risking life or limb to save a few bucks on a tree service, and I don't see any reasonable homeowner hiring a tree service that doesn't provide proof of insurance and / or licensure.
Yep - I said it, it's always the homeowners' fault.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
On the surface I like the idea of regulation to protect homeowners...I'm plenty busy, don't need govoco's help controlling the competition.

However...that is "on the surface". Who is going to monitor it? What are the consequences for breaking the rules? What is going to be regulated?

How bad is it actually out there without regulation? Yes...trees are getting mutilated, people are being charged for trashy service, and safety is sorely lacking. Are those trees failing and causing fatalities on a regular basis? There is no residential building code in the town I live in...I don't hear of excessive fires or houses falling down on a regular basis. They do require permits when new neighborhoods are built including specifications for storm water drainage...that has been the biggest problem with new builds around here is they can't get the storm water out, so there is that perspective.

Quick tree example:
Pesticide applications are regulated. I have a license, pay extra for that, pay extra for insurance, and am regularly inspected. However, I also see turf jockeys out there who I know are not licensed applying weed control. Never heard of any of them being busted. So this regulation negatively impacts the people who follow the rules, but has no impact on those who do not.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
I continue to call BS on this. There are no shortage of plumbers entering the plumbing industry after having become trained and licensed in their states, nor electricians or barbers for that matter. However the tragic greek chorus of onerous burden to become licensed continues to be sung whenever it concerns trees and tree companies.
At least in NW Ohio there is a shortage of labor for almost all of the skilled trades. Pretty sure that is the case nationwide, but I know it is the case here.
 

Jemco

Well-Known Member
It'd be similar to maintaining your State Contractor's License here in CA no doubt.

X number of complaints verified by a state inspector, and your license gets yanked for X number of years.

An excellent incentive to keep customers satisfied!

Jemco
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Interesting. I never thought of something lacking N as a fertilizer, but I guess there are fertilizers just for roots and/or flowers, as opposed to just green.

Around here, it's hard to get fertilizer with P in it. (Chesapeake Bay watershed.)
No offense...but I hope you don't sell fertilization.

Yes...N is the easy one to sell to push quick green, but it is often not the limiting factor and is not necessary.

Note that @Chaplain242 did NOT say that fertilizer with N wasn't available...just that you needed to be operating a horticultural business to buy it (I assume locally...I'd bet plenty of lawn hacks buy it out of area and/or online)
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
....

personally, I don't see any reasonable homeowner risking life or limb to save a few bucks on a tree service, and I don't see any reasonable homeowner hiring a tree service that doesn't provide proof of insurance and / or licensure.
Yep - I said it, it's always the homeowners' fault.
Was helping a client plan various work. Some of that was removals - which I do not do. She called others. She had a price from Firm A. Got a higher bid from Firm B, told them she was going with somebody else. Firm B said to make sure they have insurance and WC. She called Firm A to ask for certificate and they never got back to her. She was telling me all this when I was out working on the pruning and/or planting work. I said "you never asked me for mine" (almost nobody ever does...I have them with me all the time and bids say "fully insured"). "Oh, well you weren't doing anything big like taking down a tree". (I did climb 3 trees to prune!).

Point being, even people that know they should don't ask.
 

Birdyman88

Well-Known Member
I have no problem with licensing as long as they open up testing without all the add-on requirements. If you pass, you're in. I think ISA's requirements for testing leave a lot to be desired. There are very competent people out there who aren't allowed to test, yet there are incompetent people who cram just to pass with the bare minimum score and get to call themselves certified. I'll fight that battle all day long. And a certified arborist on site for anything over 12 feet? Please! How about a worksite safety certification or something, but certified arborist?

But, if you read the article, then you know this:
1) The rope broke - there are certified arborist on the site right now that can't do correct dynamic load calculations, and have no idea what EA factor actually is - like ACTUALLY is - can you derive EA from 10% stretch and 20% stretch, or do you have to have Yale spoon feed it to you?
2) the customer was standing in the work zone - common sense, but needs us to look out for his well being
3) the contractor let the customer stand in the work zone - common sense, inattentive, needs safety training

I'm just not sure how much a certification or license will actually help with that. I know we all like to think we're always in control, but ropes break even with licensed arborists. And even licensed arborists aren't always very direct with their customer. I've seen it, and you have too. I'll get on to my customers for getting in my work zone; then I'll get onto my groundie for letting the customer do it; but I know of some instances where people who are certified, or could be certified let that stuff happen, scared of offending the customer. My sister was almost killed by a tree company when the bobcat died pulling a big pine away from the lean. This guy had been in business for 40 years and if he wasn't ISA certified, there's no question he probably would pass. Sorry, regulations aren't bad, but the implementation can get seriously fouled up because it's being done by a bunch of political types with no real experience in the matter, or people with a special interest.
 
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RBJtree

Well-Known Member
I am not a certified arborist. I plan to get my certification soon. However, 99% of my customers don't even know what one is. I learned initially from people who most on this forum would call hacks, and grew from there, eventually working for some companies who were better than most in my area to further my knowledge and abilities, and kept self educating from there. Still am, there is always room to grow and I strive to continue to improve. I have an excellent saftey record, I sell and do proper pruning work, often educating my customers along the way. My competition, for the most part, seem like they could care less about what the right way to trim is and just want money. I do large and "difficult" removals also. We don't damage property, everyone goes home at the end of the day. Not all of my competion can say the same all the time, but the customers don't know that. There are a few certified people in my area, but not many. I pay for proper insurance, both liability and workers comp. Most of my competition pays for landscape comp or has none, pays workers cash, ect. I compete with their prices and still make profit. Sure I would like to make more money, but I am doing alright. Our state requires a home improvement contractors licence that is $50 every 2 years. You really only need a liability policy number that is valid at the time of application or renewal. No one ever gets fined or shut down for not having a PA home improvement contractors licence. The cost of becoming and maintaining an ISA cert would not significantly impact my profit margin. As for bigger companies who are on par with regs and certs and stuff, we have Davey, Bartlett, thats about it. I do as good or better work then them at much lower prices because I compete with the mass market, not the elites. I am sure they have some great people who do great work, but they certainly have some that are not doing the best work out there. I hope to become certified soon and hope that it gets me into some more high end customers, but the majority of my work will still surely be for those who don't care about certifications, because that is most of the market. I would be happy if there was a little more required of tree services as far as regulation goes, but it is the consumers who need the most education. I don't use chemicals and don't want to. If a customer needs fert or pest and disease control, I refer them to Davey or Bartlett. I don't do this work to get rich, I do it because I love it and I can make enough to live decently. I am striving to be a company who can provide a good living for good employees too. But they are hard to find. Few people of high caliber seem interested in this work and the ones who are, are with the companies who provide heath benifits, retirement plans, ect. Its a big hurdle to get over for me to be able to offer those kind of benifits, but I will do my best to do so. More regulation could help with that, IF it drives out the bottom feeders and stabilizes prices. Not drives prices thru the roof, that is not necessary.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
I do think we need to differentiate here between voluntary recognition (ISA Certifications) and proposed mandatory registration/licensing.

What is the required stuff going to require? Insurance/Workers Comp for sure. Should it protect the trees? If so should it dictate the individual meet certain educational requirements (via testing) or should it simply state that ANSI A300 practices are to be followed for all tree care operations? To me the former is meaningless without the later...but the standards can be met by somebody who has never taken a test.

I am all for ISA voluntary recognitions, but I don't think requiring them belongs in the public domain and would be opposed to legislation the required it. I'd rather see requirements to a standard. That, of course, injects a lot of ambiguity and situations that are open to interpretation.
 

Jemco

Well-Known Member
Here in CA, the delineation between commercial n residential treework's pretty huge, no city or sizeable commercial contracts can even be bid on without a state contractor's license period.

Kinda separates the big dogs from the little dogs.

Jemco
 

Scheffa

Active Member
Over here I think it comes down to educating the public.
Everyone here how’s that they must use a licensed plumber, electrician, builder etc. however most view tree work with the same attitude as hiring someone to mow the lawn, they just want a decent job done at a cheap price and that’s all they think about. Whether the bloke rocks up with a shitty old push mower blowing smoke everywhere wearing shorts and thongs or a professional outfit with good gear and proper clothing, so long as the job is done they are happy.
Then you go to the line clearance world where every single part of your business is checked prior to even being spoken to about the possibility of doing work for them. Then due to the costs involved of running a business that satisfies the utility’s and government contracts it makes it hard to compete on price on the residential work.
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
Over here I think it comes down to educating the public.
Everyone here how’s that they must use a licensed plumber, electrician, builder etc. however most view tree work with the same attitude as hiring someone to mow the lawn, they just want a decent job done at a cheap price and that’s all they think about. Whether the bloke rocks up with a shitty old push mower blowing smoke everywhere wearing shorts and thongs or a professional outfit with good gear and proper clothing, so long as the job is done they are happy.
Then you go to the line clearance world where every single part of your business is checked prior to even being spoken to about the possibility of doing work for them. Then due to the costs involved of running a business that satisfies the utility’s and government contracts it makes it hard to compete on price on the residential work.
There is very little to no cross over between residential/urban, and even municipal with line trimming in my area. The companies that do, such as Davey, have separate divisions of their company. How separate, I don't know.
 

dmonn

Active Member
I'm a homeowner, not an arborist. I'm a pretty well-educated, experienced (with trees) homeowner, but no certifications or insurance for tree work. The street I live on is pretty rural (gravel) with dead ash trees along it on both sides of the street. I asked the city arborist if they were going to remove them, and he said "no". I asked if I could remove them, and he said sure. Seriously. He doesn't know me, doesn't know my experience level, but said it was OK for me to remove trees on city property. The trees are nearly touching the power lines on one side of the street. I did the work with absolutely no issues because of my self-education and experience, but couldn't believe I got permission to do it. I don't even own the property adjacent to the street. What's wrong with this guy?
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
I'm a homeowner, not an arborist. I'm a pretty well-educated, experienced (with trees) homeowner, but no certifications or insurance for tree work. The street I live on is pretty rural (gravel) with dead ash trees along it on both sides of the street. I asked the city arborist if they were going to remove them, and he said "no". I asked if I could remove them, and he said sure. Seriously. He doesn't know me, doesn't know my experience level, but said it was OK for me to remove trees on city property. The trees are nearly touching the power lines on one side of the street. I did the work with absolutely no issues because of my self-education and experience, but couldn't believe I got permission to do it. I don't even own the property adjacent to the street. What's wrong with this guy?
This is wrong on so many levels. If that is totally accurate, that guy needs to loose his job, because he is not doing it, and putting people at unnecessary risk. I've seen enough dead ash just falling apart. He seriously said the city was not planning to remove the dead trees? Where they just going to let them fall onto people and property as they decay?
 

VenasNursery

Active Member
I'm a homeowner, not an arborist. I'm a pretty well-educated, experienced (with trees) homeowner, but no certifications or insurance for tree work. The street I live on is pretty rural (gravel) with dead ash trees along it on both sides of the street. I asked the city arborist if they were going to remove them, and he said "no". I asked if I could remove them, and he said sure. Seriously. He doesn't know me, doesn't know my experience level, but said it was OK for me to remove trees on city property. The trees are nearly touching the power lines on one side of the street. I did the work with absolutely no issues because of my self-education and experience, but couldn't believe I got permission to do it. I don't even own the property adjacent to the street. What's wrong with this guy?
If I told you to jump off a bridge would you?
COME ON
if your not a professional don’t do it and take responsibility for your own actions
But we sue Mc Donald’s over coffee being hot
Did you want him to check the deed to the property or check your qualifications he probably assumed you owned the property or you wouldn’t waist his or your time
 
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Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
I'm a homeowner, not an arborist. I'm a pretty well-educated, experienced (with trees) homeowner, but no certifications or insurance for tree work. The street I live on is pretty rural (gravel) with dead ash trees along it on both sides of the street. I asked the city arborist if they were going to remove them, and he said "no". I asked if I could remove them, and he said sure. Seriously. He doesn't know me, doesn't know my experience level, but said it was OK for me to remove trees on city property. The trees are nearly touching the power lines on one side of the street. I did the work with absolutely no issues because of my self-education and experience, but couldn't believe I got permission to do it. I don't even own the property adjacent to the street. What's wrong with this guy?
In my municipality last time I checked there were about 65 street trees regarded as either dangerous or cause for concern but the city has no plans to remove them anytime soon since they don’t have the funds (won’t prioritise them anyway I am guessing... these would cost some to remove too although they aren’t like dead ash so probably not as urgent)
 
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