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Checking Tree Care Credentials

Last year, several fatalities in California were linked to dangerous tree care practices, especially work done byntrained and uncertified individuals. The United Voice for Healthier Communities (UVHC) is a coalition of arborists and urban foresters that urges contractors to hire only certified tree-care professionals. Landscapers or gardeners who are not trained arborists or certified tree workers risk legal consequences resulting from pruning or other dangerous tree work. UVHC includes the California Urban Forest Council and the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.

“Property owners who don’t understand the dangers involved in tree care are hiring unskilled workers who are dying to trim their trees,” said Andy Trotter, Chairman of the UVHC. Arborists, urban foresters, and tree care professionals urge everyone to take the following steps before hiring anyone to remove or trim a tree. These steps are:

• Check credentials and references

• Check for a contractor’s license

• Confirm that workers are covered by worker’s compensation liability insurance

• Seek professional guidance, especially when planning to trim on one’s own

ISA/Western Chapter maintains a toll-free number with experts on hand who can advise on tree care: 1-866-785-TREE (8733). The International Society of Arboriculture also has a hotline for tree care, 1-888-472-8733.

Live Oak The Atherton Tree Committee is a volunteer, non-profit, community based organization dedicated to the preservation of Atherton's heritage trees. The committee participates in a variety of programs designed to educate residents about the value of trees in our environment and to encourage appreciation and protection of our urban forest resources. For more information about town ordinances, policies, inspections, and plan reviews contact the Atherton Town Arborist, Kevin Kielty (650-515-9783, or link to the Town of Atherton Web Site. For more information about the Tree Committee contact Rachel Croft, President (650 323-4714,