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The Tree Removal Process: An Interview with Ron von Paulus of Big Ron's Tree Service

By Ron von Paulus

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

I am a local restaurant professional who grew up in Miami and have always loved the outdoors. I have been taking care of family properties as a side responsibility since I was a kid. After hurricane Katrina came through in 2005, I went out with my pick-up truck and chainsaw to see what money I could make. I made $400 that day and decided to keep going part time as an additional source of income.

After about a year and a half doing it part time, I saw the potential, quit my job and Big Ron's Tree Service was born. Now I am an ISA certified arborist with three other Arborists in staff and a team of 13. We strive to do everything right, to the highest standards and do residential, commercial and industrial tree service for hundreds of clients a year.

What are some important questions to ask the landscaper before you start the tree removal process?

The most important two things to find out before starting the tree removal process are, is the contractor licensed and insured? And what are the permitting requirements for my property?

There are a lot of shady operators out there who claim to have insurance and even forge insurance documents. Always call the insurance company listed on the documents and make sure they are real, look up the insurance company's phone number on the Internet. Some people will put a phone number that is a friends and pretend it's an agency.

As to permitting, there are permitting requirements to remove any tree in Miami Dade or Broward county. There are a lot of different municipalities and many of them have different rules. Make sure you know the rules before you start. If you remove a tree illegally, the violation and fines go to the property owner, not the contractor. Unscrupulous contractors will insist you need nothing, because they don't care about the fines, they get paid and leave.

If you could, please list the steps of the tree removal process:

First, make sure removal is what you want. Trees can sometimes be transplanted or trimmed to a more pleasing shape. Removal should be our last option. Then call your local building departmen and make sure of the rules for your property. Be aware replacement trees are required for many removals, so make sure you know what you are getting into before you start.

Second, find a licensed and insured tree service. I suggest finding an ISA certified arborist, as we are all held to a high standard and a code of professionalism and ethics that if we violate, we can lose certification. Your local landscaper isn't help to these standards.

Third, if you are not using an arborist, make sure to check the credentials.

What are some common issues you face when it comes to tree removal?

the biggest issue with tree removal is permitting. Rules and requirements vary by municipality and sometimes it can take months to get a permit approved. Many homeowners are unaware of this and get understandably upset about the wait.

What advice do you have for the homeowner during this process?

Find a professional who you trust and communicate well with. There are a lot of steps to the permit process and keeping good lines of communication open help keep the stress level down.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you?

Please feel free to email me at Ron@BigRonsTreeService.com check out my website www.BigRonsTreeService.com or give me a call, 305-588-3091.

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About The Author

Ron is a certified arborist armed with 24 years of experience in tree handling...

Phone: 305-588-3091

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