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Things to consider when hiring a forestry contractor

When hiring forestry contractors, it's important to ask them a series of questions to ensure they are qualified and capable of completing the work to your satisfaction.  Here are some things to consider that will help you assess the qualifications, reliability, and suitability of forestry contractors for your specific project.


  • If possible, get recommendations from people you know (friends, family, neighbours).

  • Experience

    • Ask about their history, projects they've completed, and their familiarity with local regulations.

    • Request references, including contact information for previous clients who can vouch for their work. 

      • If possible, go see some of the places they have done work in your area.

    • Some contractors may belong to industry organizations that uphold certain standards.

    • How do they communicate with clients during the project?  Ensure they have a clear communication plan to keep you updated on progress and any issues.

    • What is their policy on disputes or issues that may arise during or after the project?  

      •  Understand their approach to conflict resolution.


  • Insurance, Permits, and Safety 

    • How do they handle environmental regulations and permits? 

      • Ensure they know and comply with environmental laws and can help you obtain necessary permits.

      • Ensure they have the necessary permits and liability insurance to cover any potential accidents or damage.

    • Safety is paramount in forestry work. Inquire about their safety procedures and protocols.


  • Equipment and Crew 

    • Make sure they have the appropriate and well-maintained machinery for the job.

    • Do they have trucks for hauling to a mill or do they have to subcontract that work out?

    • How big is their crew?  How experienced are they?

  • What will the project timeline look like? 

    • Get an estimate of how long the project will take and when it can start.

    • Do they have any current or upcoming projects that may affect the timing of your project?

    • Ensure they have the availability to complete your project in a reasonable timeframe.

    • What happens if there are unforeseen issues or delays? 

      • Understand their flexibility and approach to handling unexpected challenges during the project.


  • Methodology

    • Understand their methods, especially if you have specific preferences.

      • Will they only clear-cut?  

      • Will they do select harvesting?  

      • Do they allow for the preservation of certain trees?

      • Do they listen to what you prefer?

    • Discuss their post-project cleanup procedures and whether disposal of waste materials is included in the contract.

    • If your project is in an ecologically sensitive area, ask about their plans for minimizing impact.

    • What is their plan for reforestation, if applicable? 

      • Does their plan include replanting the area?  

      • Will they leave seed trees?

      • Will you have to find a different contractor for that part of your project?

  • Costs and Payments

    • What is the estimated cost of the project? 

      • Ask for a detailed breakdown of costs and any potential extra charges.

    • What is their payment schedule? 

      • Determine when and how payments will be made throughout the project.

    • What warranties or guarantees do they offer? 

      • Inquire about any guarantees on the quality of their work or the health of trees they plant.




always have a clear and comprehensive contract that outlines all the terms, conditions, and expectations


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