TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Joel Fechner is warning residents to only use legitimate, insured tree loppers.
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Joel Fechner is warning residents to only use legitimate, insured tree loppers. Rob Williams

Joel says dodgy tree loppers give him a bad name

A ROSEWOOD tree lopper is warning the community to be wary of uninvited offers to lop trees on residential properties for cash payments.

Joel Fechner, owner of Grasshopper the Tree Lopper, offered the caution yesterday after another Ipswich lopper with his namesake came under fire this week.

On Wednesday, The Queensland Times reported about an elderly Barellan Point couple who paid a tree lopper $2600 for unfinished work.

Pensioners Len and Dot Neal said a man - known only to them as Joel the tree lopper - turned up at their doorstep offering tree felling services.

The couple paid the man in good faith, but the job was only half finished with large, woody debris left on their property.

Mr Fechner, who has been lopping trees in Ipswich for more than 30 years, worried there might be a case of mistaken identity.

"I can assure you that I was not the Joel who did that job," the 49-year-old said.

"People like that are giving us legitimate loppers a bad name."

His advice to people was to make sure the lopper had an Australian Business Number and was properly insured.

"Customers should be asking to see the insurance policy and make sure the lopper has a valid ABN before any work is undertaken," he said.

"Another thing is not to pay a cent until the job is done and you are happy with it." He said he felt for Len and Dot and offered to come out and remove their timber for free.

"It's unfortunate to be left out in the lurch like that, if they phone me on 0401 161 866, I will be happy to finish what the other Joel started."

Be wary of tree loppers who…

  • Knock on doors unexpectedly
  • Suggest they have been sent by the local council or have council permits to remove trees on properties
  • Offer cheap deals using words like 'for today only'
  • Apply pressure to have their offer accepted by claiming the tree is damaging property or must be removed
  • Ask for cash up front
  • Offer a lift to the bank in order to get money for payment


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