Missouri Department of Conservation, city of Monett work to quash false reports of tree pest

MONETT, Mo. (News Release) -- The Missouri Department of Conservation is working with the city of Monett to squelch false reports about the presence of a tree pest in two southwest Missouri counties.

Missouri Dept. of Conservation

Emerald ash borer, a non-native beetle that causes fatal damage to ash trees, has not been found in either Barry or Lawrence counties. That’s a message foresters and Monett city officials want to deliver to homeowners in the Monett area. Agents contacted city officials after receiving reports of individuals supposedly representing tree removal services who were going door-to-door in Monett and the surrounding vicinity in Barry and Lawrence counties giving false information about the infestations of ash trees. Contacted homeowners said these individuals have offered to either completely remove the tree or to apply a tree insecticide to combat the pests.

State foresters want to inform the public emerald ash borers have not been found in Barry or Lawrence counties. Thus, the removal of ash trees or the application of tree insecticide would be both unnecessary and costly to homeowners in and around Monett.

Conservation agents would like to remind homeowners that, when hiring a tree professional or company to work on their trees, follow these tips:

-Check the phone directory, usually under “trees, tree service, or tree care service.” While it's true anyone can have a listing, it's equally true that a listing usually indicates some level of permanence in their field.
-Most reputable companies do not need to knock on doors for customers. They will have all the business they can handle.
-If someone knocks on the door offering tree services, find out if they have state or private certification. Good certifications include the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) or the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).
-Find out if they have a city business license. If they do not, and your community requires one, they are not to be working in your town.
-Ask for proof of insurance for both liability and worker’s compensation. Then call the insurance company to verify it.
-Ask for local references. They should be happy to show you other work they have done.
-Determine if they are a member of a professional organization like ISA or TCIA.
-Do not be rushed by bargains that are offered and never pay in advance.
-Check with multiple companies to get the best-qualified and best price. Good arborists offer a wide range of services.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.