Traveling work crews use ice storm to pad their pockets

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OKLA. CITY - There’s a big thump on Lynn Robberson's roof.

“[My] immediate thought is someone's trying to get into the house,” she said.

There was no intruder.

This was all mother nature.

Freezing rain knocked out Lynn's power and badly damaged her trees, especially the large one out front.

“We were afraid to walk out in the yard, because they kept falling,” Lynn said.

She knew who exactly who to call.

Charlie English is a certified arborist.

“We're overwhelmed to say the least,” he said.

Best advice he says is to stay patient and do your due diligence because fly by night crews are already popping up in the area.     

“You're going to be seeing people from Minnesota, Texas, New York, all over the East coast,” English said. “They'll be canvassing. I would say buyer beware because a lot of those people won't have worker's comp [or] general liability.”

In Oklahoma City tree trimmers must carry a license to do work legally and if they`re going door-to-door they`re required to have a second license for soliciting.

Jennifer McClintock is with the City of Oklahoma City.

“If they don't have the proper training, the proper licensing, the proper insurance, what could happen [is] they could do damage to your trees that could take years to correct,” she said.

They could also do damage to your home or even kill your tree.

Lynn can rest easy. She's in good hands.

The city put together a list of certified tree trimmers and arborists.


Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt also issued this warning against thieves coming to our state to target homes and businesses.

Price gouging statutes are in effect for all 77 counties.

Attorney General Pruitt suggests these tips:

  • Never pay for the job up-front or with cash.
  • Try to do business with local companies.
  • Request proof of certification and insurance.
  • Ask for customer references.
  • Get all guarantees, warranties and promises in writing.
  • Agree on start and completion dates, and have them in the contract.