FAQ's - Residential and Commercial Tree Services | ONeils Tree Service


Q:  Who is going to pay for all applicable permits?  Including tree removal permit?
A: If you live in Pinellas county, there are no permits required for tree pruning only for tree removals. O’Neil’s will apply for, secure and pay for any standard residential permits. We have seen condominium units able to have trees permitted for removal on this basis. But ultimately the City in which you live has wide discretion, whether it be because of the size of your property and whatever their criteria currently are, to decide to require a commercial permit. This permit is much more, usually around $450, and would become an extra cost for you. We know the personnel in the tree permitting department at numerous cities in Pinellas county and we will do what we could to secure the permit as cheaply as possible.

Q: What happens if the City says a tree has to stay?  Would this nullify ONeil’s contract or proposal?
A: If the city says it must stay, this would nullify the contract and of course we wouldn’t expect anyone to pay for that. If the city says the tree has to stay, O’Neil’s can draw up a separate new addendum for reduction pruning (which would reduce the hazardousness of the tree) as a partial substitute for its removal.

Q:  If we cut the tree down, what are the replacement costs and number of additional trees required by code?
A:  The number, approved species and size of the trees that would need to be planted (if any) is up to the City of Clearwater and they determine this at the time of the permitting.  If replacements are required, O’Neil’s can give you an estimate for replacemnt once this information is known.  Additionally, the city has the discretion to require “mitigation fees” to make up for the loss of the tree to the city.  These fees are used by the city to replenish the number of trees within the given city.  We would do what we can to minimize the amount of these fees for you, but should they be required, and you still decide to remove the tree, the mitigation fees would become an additional cost for the customer.

Q:  Who would be purchasing and planting any tree replacements?
A:  O’Neil’s would be happy to go over your choice of replacements with an arborist viewpoint on the pros and cons of each species.  We can purchase, transport, plant, inoculate and fertilize as needed at a fair and reasonable cost, which would be in addition to the original estimate.  After transplanting, trees need attention to ensure they make it. Unless we were separately and specifically contracted to nurture the trees through the first few months, it would be up to the customer to do the correct amount of watering to ensure their survival.

Q: We need documentation for the “expert sources” for statements such as i.e., “our judgment”.   Are they experts?  If so, what are their credentials and are their professional licenses current?
A: The expert source for the opinions in the estimate are those of the owner, Mr. Apollo O’Neil. He is an ISA Certified Arborist, a certificate kept current by continuing education courses. ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) is the internationally recognized credentialing organization, headquartered in Champaign, Illinois.  If you provide us with a fax number, he can fax you his certificates and licenses.  You can also go to the official ISA website at www.isa-arbor.comto learn more about the organization and its activities.  Just click on the “Enter the ISA website” tab.  For certification confirmation, click on the third top green tab “Certification”, then click on the left column “Verify an ISA Certification”, then simplest is to click on “By Name” (it takes a little while to process) and then type in the exact spelling with apostrophe; O’Neil (this takes a little time to process) and then scan down to O’Neil, Apollo. You can also search by his Certification ID which is FL-6102A.

Q:  We would also need to see a copy of current workers’ comp insurance..
A:  We can fax to the number you give us, or since faxes tend to darken these documents for clearer readibility we could mail the appropriate person our current Workers’ Comp coverage as well as Liability coverage.  Are insurance information will also be available for viewing and printing on our website.

Q:  How much are tree permits in Pinellas county?
A:  If you are within an incorporated city in Pinellas, the permit price may be different for each city. If you are not in an incorporated city, the tree permit costs are as follows:

  • Residential Tree Permit – Owner is pulling – $50.00, but if the tree is completely dead it is $18.00.
  • Residential Tree Permit – O’Neils is pulling – $75.00.
  • Commercial Tree Permit – $250.00.

(permit prices do change, so always check with Pinellas county before you pull the permit)