Planning, planting and maintaining your landscape can be a fun activity that’s great for the body, mind and spirit. But some landscaping tasks are better left for the professional. Consider hiring a professional when your time is limited or the job requires specialized equipment or training to do the job safely, efficiently and properly. A professional can do even those tasks that you find tedious, so you can focus your time and energy on the gardening jobs you and your family enjoy.
Even professionals call on colleagues for help. I recently had the walk and steps at the front entrance of my home paved. Yes, I could have laid the pavers, but the expertise and experience of the professionals I hired assured a job well done. They installed the pavers on a solid foundation for long lasting sound results. They worked efficiently and completed the job in the allotted time. Had I tried to do the job myself, there would still be a pile of pavers in my backyard waiting to be installed.
So where do you start? A call to a friend or family member or a scan of the yellow pages is where many start. Consider starting with green industry professional groups. Many, like the Wisconsin Green Industry Federation, have websites that list members for hire. Google the work that needs to be done and you will find your way to the appropriate professional group in your area.
Professionals that spend the time and money to be involved with their professional organizations are usually up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques. Ask the company about the training and certifications of their employees. PLANET, Certified Landscape Technicians and Landscape Professionals, have undergone extensive testing to certify their expertise. Certified arborists have to complete a written test to be a part of the International Society of Arboriculture Certification Program. All must participate in continuing education to keep their certification current.
Then ask for references. Companies with satisfied customers will have portfolios of completed jobs, testimonials from clients, and some may have clients willing to speak to prospective clients. Make sure the company is insured. Once you check their credentials, make sure your landscape goals and their mission match. By then, you have found yourself a professional!