craigslist ads


Active Member
Staff member
I don't know why, but it burns me up when I see tree trimming ads on craigslist.

In Oregon, you are required to be licensed, bonded, and insured. You have to complete some business training, and pass a fairly unpleasant test. Once you have completed these steps, you are issued a Contractors Certification Board #, and you are "good to go". Like the ISA certification #'s, the CCB# is easily verified by potential clients, and assures them of your compliance with state regulations.

Craigslist makes no requirement for having a CCB#, so it's basically a breeding ground for unlicensed, uninsured operators. Many of the ads make claims of "arborist" with "modern tools and methods" who specialize in "tree topping and view heightening" and "specializes in hazard trees".

Now granted, there is a certain degree of responsibility on the part of the end consumer to protect themselves, and I am not absolving the general public of their role as informed consumers.

Another thing that chaps me about these douchebags is the "barter" approach... "Yah, I know the economy is tough and people ain't got much to spend on trees. I am open to the following trades: guns, dirt bikes, stainless steel barbeque, bass boat, home electronics, etc". Great. Excellent. That shows just how much you value your skills and our occupation... oh no, no money, I'd be happy to trade for a bunch of garage sale crap...

I know that tree work is perhaps one of the most appealing industries for "side-jobs" imagineable. It's so easy, once you have the tools and a very little bit of knowledge, you can go out knocking on doors. The trees grow on their own... your overhead is almost nil. Just don't have an accident or wreck anything, and it'll be ok.. or will it?

Unlicensed operators, scabs, fly-by-nighters, whatever you want to call 'em... they are criminals. Now obviously I am not talking about a tree trimmer who prunes his Moms orchard, or doing a job for your buddy on his farm in exchange for the help he gave when you re-roofed your house. I am talking about the kind of guy who represents himself as a legitimate business with all the benefits of a legit operation, who advertises his services and bids against real Tree services. In many municipalities, you are breaking the law. Even if you're up front with the home or property owner... "look, I am not a business, officially, but I do this all the time, and it always goes well...", even if you are forthcoming you are still breaking the law. You are cheating all the people who have taken the test. You are cheating all the people who have paid their insurance premiums. You are stealing from all the people who have gotten the bond and taken steps to legitimize themselves and our industry. When you offer your services in exchange for a bunch of stupid material crap (yeah, I like guns too... ask me about my bull barreled .308 w/ 20 moa bases and B&C varminter stock)you diminish the value of everything we do.

As I have gotten older, I have come to feel more and more seriously about some issues. I haven't called anybody local in to the CCB yet, but I am getting close. As a professional, a law abiding citizen, and as a taxpayer, I insist on a level playing field. If I can get all the certs and crap, so can they.

And if you are a Certified arbo with a business that's on the up and up, please pull your ad offering to barter services for clutter. It's behavior unbecoming of a professional...
And for the cheapskate consumer, I hope you get what you deserve, because you are perpetuating a social blight. You are harboring and encouraging illegal behavior. You diminish the value of my occupation and sidestep your responsibility as a consumer. You perpetuate classism and force our industry backwards at a time when it's making great strides forwards.

I never thought of myself as a crank, or the fun police, but damn, enough is enough.


Well-Known Member
You forgot about the adds offering free firewood if you will just remove this tree from over my house, between the garage, and part of the neighbors house. Those crack me up.


Active Member
Staff member
I already posted a rant about that and people jumped down my throat.

i figure the trimmer that cuts down trees just for the wood gets what he's worth...

except for a few extenuating circumstances...


Well-Known Member
It's not unique to the tree biz. There are these types in any trade. I've known of "plumbers", electricians, carpenters, etc.... If all it takes is some tools, a bit of know-how and the nerve (or desperation) then someone will buy there services. Don't compete with those guys. Let them take the jobs that are willing to risk all for a few bucks...


New Member
Seems like you're confusing jacklegs with a legit marketing approach. I use Craig's List regularly and get a lot of business from it. If you aren't taking advantage of free advertising to a good demographic in your local area, that's your business but it doesn't make any sense to get pissed off that other people do.

The phonebook people don't vet your licensing either, are they also illegit? Sure, you'll get a lot of jacklegs showing up on CL, my ad is usually buried by about 30 tree service ads every three days. Some are perfectly legit, trained, insured, professional crews... some are bozos who readily admit that they do tree work as a 'side' business. Big deal, that's a free market... I thought we liked stuff like that in the USA.

Nobody wants their market saturated with a bunch of part-time handyman tree trimmers but it's not exactly a new thing. We still have hand painted signs around here for 'Tree and branch removal' at every major intersection and one of the biggest independent companies in the area canvases neighborhoods with fliers year round.

I think Craig's List is an excellent way to market almost anything because... it's free. Free advertising? Uh yeah, I'll take it, no problem.


New Member
I've been known to select some bull work from CL for ranch removals, small outfits I wouldn't let off the ground but while on the ground they did good.

Also found an engine trade for my Ford, a Kubota diesel for my generator, and Alpaca poop for my garden. Not a bad resource but in Texas for tree work, it's loaded with shortcutters.


Well-Known Member
Define your market and make your presence known within it. Plain and simple.

The hackers will always be there and but there will also always be uninformed people who don't know any better to hire them.

I think the worse possible scenario is an uninformed customer whom is preyed upon knowingly by a hack.

Those are the guys we need to pounce on and stop dead in thier tracks.

The rest of the hacks? Well, we can engage them in common ground and do our best to help them join us on the same page.

Nothing is more counter productive than what we have here in our area, every man for himself and cut every other company's throat.

Lots of room for us all and lots of room for all of us to help elevate the quality and service to our community.

Lets face it, some times our company wins, some times the other company wins and some times the tree wins! What matters is whether or not the Customer Wins!

Establish yourself as the customer's Trees' best friend and see how much your business grows and spawns good things.


Just a few adds that I seen tonight.

i need 2 ricks good quality firewood no branches/normal sized good seasoned firewood/i have $100 in cash need it asap/and delivered and stacked call 317 504-5192/thanks

i have several trees near our house. i want them gone. if you cut them down theyre yours.

We have 7 XL pine trees that would provide excellent lumber, or outdoor firewood. They are in a great location that is free of obstructions such as powerlines and fences. They are easy to fall and you may take as many as you like. Please respond and let us know how many you would like.

If able to cut within the next two weeks, I can help with the removal!

We have a large maple tree that keeps dropping those damn "helicopters" all over our backyard and in the gutters of the garage and house. Chop this thing down and you can have it. Stump removal is preferred but not 100% necessary. For any additional info call Will or Jennifer at 546-5016 or 363-9074.


New Member
Speel... your first post nailed it.

Here's one from my local Craigslist that cracks me up every time I see it:

LZ UNLIMITED provides many services from bobcat and backhoe services,tree services,decks,retaining walls,patios,hardscape design and installation, to interior and exterior building,remodeling,home improvements and repairs. LZ CAN DO IT ALL. THERE IS STILL TIME LEFT TO SCHEDULE THOSE FALL PROJECTS!!!! Quality services at reasonable prices. Please visit our web site at or EMAIL us at Licensed and Insured. WE ALSO PROVIDE SNOW PLOWING AND REMOVAL

Yup.. this guy does it all, all right. I'll bet his insurance doesn't cover tree work!


im with ya speel, i think craigslist is a great resourse but i get ticked about the illegals to. even worse is this guy
"Have a tree you need removed....already got an estimate....I will beat any written price significantly! I am a licensed, bonded, and insured tree contractor. Small or Giant trees welcome. I will also do cut and drop, if you wanted to keep wood. I have a 35' 4x4 boom truck, a 55' boom truck, new mini excavator, 12" chipper, winch, cabling,and a climber. I can do any size tree extra large to small. I also do fire abatement, poison oak removal, stump removal, junipers, brush, and 24hr storm clean-up. call for your friendliest phone estimates & best prices. WE WANT YOUR BUSINESS MORE! Cash, Check, Visa, M/C, and TRADE accepted. 541-621-8606 GRANTS PASS PEOPLE FEEL FREE TO CALL"
hes only been liscenced 2 months and will likley be out of business soon if this is any indicator but in the meantime it drives the prices down. if its any consolation CCB says they monitor craigslist



New Member
They are, and if your business model is static then it'll not work.

[/ QUOTE ]

Not just your business, either. Everything.


Active Member
I use craigslist for free dump sites and it works great. If its free, they will call.

List free dogshit there and someone will call you.


Active Member
Staff member
dudes, I am as hollow as they come... I posted my craigslist ad yesterday. Oh well, at least Ive got the certs and the insurance. Color me "hypocrite", it's not the first time Ive folded.