Remember the following points when hiring or contracting with an arborist:

• Check your telephone directory's yellow pages under "Tree Service" for a listing of those businesses which do tree work in your area.

• Ask for local references. Take a look at some of the work, and if possible, talk with former clients. Experience, education and a good reputation are signs of a good arborist.

• Be sure you understand what work is to be done for what amount of money. It is not generally a good idea to pay in full until the work is completed.

• Legitimate arborists never ask for payment in advance.

• In most cases get more than one estimate and let each contractor know you are shopping around.

• Beware of estimates that fall well below the average. There may be hidden costs or the arborist may not be fully insured or trained.

• In your area most arborists may not be certified, if the arborist you are considering is not certified, determine if he/she is a member of any professional organizations, such as International Society of Arboriculture or the National Arborists Association . Membership in these and other professional organizations indicate professional commitment.