Terms and Conditions
This portion of the Proposal is more than just the “fine print.” These are the terms and conditions that will control the performance of LaRoche Tree Service, Inc. (referred to as “the Company”) on the project described on the first page, and what you, our valued customer, will do in return. It’s important that you read, study and understand the Terms and Conditions before signing the Proposal because you and the Company are agreeing to everything set out here.
This is a Contract: When you sign this Proposal on the first page and initial the pages of Terms and Conditions, you are accepting the Company’s offer to perform the work described on the first page in exchange for the payment set out on that page. A contract will have been formed between us.
Shorthand: In these Terms and Conditions, we use the word “Work” as shorthand for the work described on page 1 of the Proposal. We use the word “Company” as shorthand for LaRoche Tree Service, Inc., and we use the words “you” as shorthand for “Customer”. We use the word “Property” as shorthand for the real estate location belonging to you – or over which you have authority – where the Work will be performed.
I. THE WORK
Scope of the Work: The Company will furnish all labor, tools, transportation, equipment and materials needed to complete the Work. The Company will perform the Work in accordance with the standards set by the American National Standards Institute (“ANSI”), by other professional and standards-setting organizations, and by the custom in the arboriculture industry. If the Work must deviate from those standards because of the nature of the property or particular circumstances, you and the Company will make a note of that on a page attached to this Proposal and Agreement. If a need to deviate from the standards does not become apparent until after the Work is begun, the Company will tell you right away, and you and the Company will agree to the deviation in writing.
Pruning: Pruning will be supervised by a certified arborist who, through training and experience, is familiar with the use of equipment and type of work to be performed on the property. Trees and shrubs will be pruned to promote structural strength, enhance natural form, and maintain space limitations by removing weakened, diseased or dead branches. When pruning and removals are completed, brush, wood chips, wood, and other debris will be removed from the property unless you request otherwise.
Cabling or Bracing: Cables or bracing are used in trees that are structurally unstable or are of a kind or condition that is prone to structural instability. Cabling and bracing reduce strain, limit movement of trees, and sometimes provide primary structural support or make a tree safer. After installation, you will be responsible for maintaining the cabling or bracing by arranging periodic inspections by qualified persons, conducted to detect wear, corrosion, hardware degradation, or deterioration of the tree.
Tree Removal: Sometimes removal of a tree is necessary. A certified arborist will advise you in determining which trees may be a hazard. The Company will provide you with a written opinion on any tree that its certified arborist believes is a “danger tree” or “high risk tree” (terms with a particular meaning in the industry). However, the decision and duty to remove any tree belongs to you. Your obligation to remove or trim “danger trees” or “high risk trees” is often fixed by law, and you should consult with a legal professional about decisions you make on such trees. The Company cannot advise you on your legal obligations to others, and is not liable for any decision you may make to either retain or remove a tree from the property.
Firewood: If you request it, wood of sufficient diameter from trees that have been cut down or trimmed will be cut into 18 - 24” lengths and left at the trimming or removal site. If you wish to have the wood moved to another location in the yard, removed from the property, or split into firewood, the Company may provide this service for an additional charge if personnel, equipment and the time needed to complete the Work permits.
Grinding of Stumps: The Company may provide stump grinding for an additional charge if personnel, equipment and the time permits. If the Company is providing this service, you understand that stump grinding is not normally completed on the same day the tree is cut down, and requires adequate access for the machinery and personnel. Stumps are normally ground to 6” below the grade level, unless otherwise specified. Deeper grinding is essential for replanting close to the original site, and must be specified when arranging for stump grinding. Stump chips are left on the property, and are raked into a pile by the original stump. Topsoil and seeding are not included in stump removal service. However, the Company may provide these services for an additional charge if personnel, equipment and the time needed to complete the Work permits.
Surface Roots: Roots normally grow from 4 – 8” below the surface, and – given time – may become exposed as they increase in diameter or because of erosion. Exposed roots are known as “surface roots.” Surface roots are not removed as a part of stump removal service, although the Company may provide this service for an additional charge if personnel, equipment and the time needed to complete the Work permits.
Insect and Disease Control: Pesticides are used to control insects and prevent diseases. The chemicals are applied under the supervision of a licensed pest control applicator, following procedures directed by the manufacturer of the pesticide, by industry standards, and applicable law. One or several applications may be necessary. The Company will apply pesticides if called for in the Work. The Company will provide you with an MSDS for all chemicals applied. It is your responsibility to adhere to any safety precautions called for in safety material supplied by the Company.
Check and Cut Girdling Roots: Girdling roots wrap around the base of the tree trunk and can restrict a tree’s vascular tissues from functioning properly. The Company will inspect the area at the base of the tree, if called for by the Work, by using appropriate tools. If any girding roots are found, they will be cut but may not be removed.
II. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PARTIES
Licenses & Certification: The Company is properly licensed and certified to do the Work, and it will use the services of a properly licensed and certified arborist.
Liability Insurance: The Company maintains workers compensation and liability insurance appropriate to the Work and at levels mandated by law and customary in the industry.
Property Boundaries: The proper identification of the property boundaries – so that trees not belonging to the Customer are not mistakenly removed or trimmed – is very important. Mistakes about boundaries can lead to serious financial consequences for both you and the Company. You are responsible for providing the Company, prior to the commencement of the Work, with accurate and complete information about the boundary lines of the property and any restrictions, easements, encumbrances or rights-of-way that affect or relate to the Property. The Company may ask you to mark boundaries on a map or satellite photo of the property. If asked, you will be responsible for providing such a map or photo. Likewise, you are responsible for the accuracy of boundary markers, and if you have any doubt about the accuracy of the markers or boundary lines, you should hire a qualified surveyor or legal professional before the Company begins the Work. The Company cannot advise you about the location of boundaries or the legal effect of boundaries or markers.
Ownership: You are assuring the Company that all of the trees, plants, and property upon which the Work will be performed are owned by you, or that you have the authority to order the Work. If you have any doubts about encumbrances or restrictions on the Property, if you do not own the Property but instead are a tenant, life estate holder, licensee, trustee or land installment contract vendee, or if you are only one of several people owning the Property, you should consult a legal professional about your right to order the Work before the Company begins.
Permits: Governmental authorities – local, regional, state or Federal – may require permits for removal or trimming of trees or other plants, for application of pesticides or fertilizers, or for other aspects of the Work. You agree to obtain and pay the cost of any necessary permits.
Underground Utilities: Sometimes it seems that underground wires, cables, pipes and other utility services are everywhere, and occasionally are where they are least expected. Many areas impose legal requirements on customers like you and contractors like the Company to identify the location of underground utilities, and give advance notice to or obtain permission from utilities or agencies before engaging in certain activities. Some of these activities may be included in the Work. Customers may face substantial penalties and fines for the disruption of public utility services, even where the disruption is accidental. You agree to provide the Company with information regarding concealed utilities, and to fulfill any obligation of notification or permitting imposed by law on property owners or customers like you. The Company promises you that it will fulfill any similar requirements imposed on it by law. The Company will make every effort to protect the utilities, but it assumes no responsibility for underground utilities beyond that imposed on the Company by law.
Health and Life of trees, shrubs and plants: The Company will use its best efforts and do everything reasonably possible to preserve trees and plants, and will perform the Work in compliance with industry standards. However, trees, shrubs and plants are living things, and their continued life and health are subject to a myriad of factors. The Company cannot guarantee your plants’ continued vitality. At times trees fail for no explainable reason or for causes beyond the Company’s or your control. Tree ownership and stewardship requires that you assume the risks inherent with that ownership, and those include the risk that your trees may suffer from illness, damage from weather, infestation, and a host of other natural impediments to health and life.
Structural Integrity of Structures, Vehicles or Trees: Often the Company is retained to remove trees, tree limb(s) or shrubs (referred to as “vegetation”) that are in contact with “apparent intact” structures/vehicles or from structures/vehicles that have already sustained damage as a result of storms or other hazardous occurrences. The Company will use its best efforts and do everything reasonably possible to protect the existing structural integrity, and to prevent further damage when damage already exists, of any structure/vehicle that are in physical contact with, or are in close proximity to vegetation that are part of the scope of Work being performed by the Company. However, the Company does not have expertise in structural engineering and cannot guarantee that the contact with the a vegetation has not already compromised the physical integrity of the structure/vehicle and that the removal of the exiting vegetation will not compromise the structural integrity of the underlying construction. Consequently, you are responsible to independently determine if the integrity of any structure/vehicle could be negatively affected by the removal of the vegetation that may be in contact with the structure/vehicle prior to the Company commencing the Work, and to hold the Company harmless if the removal vegetation is conducted in a reasonable and appropriate manner, but the physical structure with which such vegetation is in contact, or close proximity, is ultimately negatively compromised.
Other Work: The Company prides itself on the level of care and professionalism our employees bring to the work we do. From time to time during the performance of the Work, we may observe matters outside of the description of the Work that we think ought to be performed nonetheless, and the Company may perform such additional minor work without charge. If the Company does perform additional services without charge, the additional services are to be considered to be a courtesy only and do not obligate the Company to provide such additional services in the future. You understand that the Company is not liable for failing to provide any service – even if its personnel notice the need for such service – that is not listed in the description of the Work.
Independent Contractor; Inherent Danger: You and the Company agree that we are your independent contractor, and that the Company is free to choose its own means and methods, and is responsible to you only for completing the Work with reasonable care and in accordance with this Proposal, with standards set by ANSI and other standard-setting organizations, and with custom in the industry. You agree that you do not seek to retain the right to control the mode and manner of doing the Work. Many of the activities of the Company undertaken during performance of the Work – including without limitation tree removal and tree trimming – is dangerous, and requires special equipment and training to be performed safely. The safety of bystanders and other persons not trained to perform these services, not wearing safety equipment, and not actively employed in the activities, cannot be guaranteed. The Company cannot permit you to assist its personnel in performance of the Work.
The Company’s Promise to Indemnify You: The Company indemnifies you from any loss arising from Work that is not performed with reasonable care or in accordance with standards set by ANSI and other standard-setting organizations, and with custom in the industry.
Your Promise to Indemnify the Company: You indemnify the Company and its employees from any loss of plant material or expense associated with additional work resulting from the pruning of limbs or removal of trunks from plant material for Work that is performed with reasonable care or in accordance with the Proposal, with standards set by ANSI and other standard-setting organizations, and with custom in the industry. You indemnify the Company from any loss or expense arising from any charge of trespass or wrongful cutting resulting from alleged errors with respect to property boundaries that you have identified, or from allegations that you lack authority to direct the Company to do the Work performed. You indemnify the Company from any loss or expense arising from the presence of personnel other than Company personnel around the location at which the Work is being performed. Additionally, you indemnify the Company from any loss or expense arising from maintenance or removal of cabling and bracing of any tree, or from damage caused by a tree that has cabling or bracing installed or maintained by the Company.
Unavoidable Delays: The Company will use its best efforts to complete the Work as scheduled. However, the nature of the Work makes it very susceptible to delay due to weather, regulation, and natural disasters or emergencies that endanger the Company’s personnel in tree removal and trimming, or makes completion of the Work in a timely manner infeasible. The safety of the Company’s personnel and of persons and property around the Work is paramount. Also, the nature of the industry is such that the Company may be called upon to respond to emergencies occasioned by the weather or other disasters for the good of the community or when requested by government. Emergency work must have priority over the Work. Delays in completion because of any of these matters or safety concerns will not constitute a breach of the Proposal and Agreement by the Company.
Your Delay: If you delay in signing the Proposal and initialing the Terms and Conditions and returning it to the Company past the expiration date on the first page, the Company may decline to accept the Proposal. If the Company does accept it out of time, you understand that the Company may propose a new completion date, which you may either accept or reject. If you reject the revised date, the Proposal will be void.
Cancelation of Work: If you wish to cancel the work, you must do so in writing, and the Company must receive your written notice by email, mail, or facsimile before midnight of the third business day after the date of signing this Proposal and Agreement. The Company has the right to cancel the work prior to commencement if the conditions of the Work have materially changed since the Company inspected the Property and provided the Proposal (the “Inspection”). Such material changes include, but are not limited to, structures being constructed in the vicinity of vegetation that is the subject of the Work; changes in conditions of the Property, or of trees and vegetation within or adjacent to the Property, that may adversely affect the safety of employees, preservation of structures, or the use of the equipment as contemplated at the time of the Inspection; and unforeseen occurrences that may adversely affect the relationship between you and the Company. A cancelation made by the Company shall be in writing and the written notice shall be sent to you by email, mail, or facsimile as soon as possible prior to the commencement of the Work.
III. TERMS OF PAYMENT
Invoices and Terms: The Company will provide you with one or more written invoices during the Work or on completion. The full amount owed is due and payable upon receipt. Invoices that are not paid within thirty (30) days will be considered past due and a service charge of 5% per month will be added to past due account balances. Any account not paid within thirty (30) days may be turned over for collection, and appropriate reports may be made to credit agencies. If the Company uses outside agents to collect the account, you are responsible for all costs associated with the collection, including without limitation surcharges by the agency, attorney fees, expert and court costs.
Taxes: The Company will collect all applicable Federal, state or local taxes to be paid on the Work. All work is subject to tax in the state and county in which the work was performed (if any is assessed). If you claim a tax exemption, you must submit appropriate documentation to the Company prior to commencement of the Work.
IV. MISCELLANEOUS TERMS
Arbitration: You and the Company agree that all claims or disputes that may arise under the Proposal and this Agreement will be settled by binding arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association under its Commercial Arbitration Rules in Belmont County, Ohio, or another location that is mutually agreeable to the parties. Notwithstanding the agreement to arbitration, if a claim or dispute is a matter that falls within the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Courts in the state or county in which the Property is located, then for such claim or dispute the parties agree that the party raising and initiating the claim has the choice to either file the claim in Small Claims Court seeking resolution through such suit or that party may seek binding arbitration as described in this paragraph. If binding arbitration is exercised, an award of arbitration may be confirmed in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Notices: If it becomes necessary for us to give notice or make demand on each other, we agree that the notices or demands (1) shall be in writing, and (2) shall be sent to the parties at their respective addresses set out on the first page.
Entire Agreement; Modification: You and the Company intend that the Proposal and Agreement constitute the entire agreement between us. We have no other oral or written agreements or understandings that aren’t set out in this document. In the event that we decide to amend our agreements, or agree to any change orders in the Work described on the first page, we will make those amendments or change orders in writing, and we will both sign the written change orders or amendments. No changes or amendments that aren’t written down and signed by both of us will bind us or have any effect.
Beneficiaries: This Proposal and Agreement is intended to benefit you and the Company only. No other person is intended to be a beneficiary of any express or implied warranties or representations we are making in this document.