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Customer Testimonials

Ponderosa Tree Service has been servicing the Greater San Francisco Bay Area for 52 years. We understand what clients expect from their tree trimming service and pride ourselves on a commitment to safety training that follows Cal-OSHA guidelines for employee protection and property protection.

In the rare event that something does go wrong, all employees are protected through our ongoing relationship with the State Compensation Insurance Fund (Workers Compensation), as well as multiple layers of vehicle and heavy equipment liability protection.

Each project also includes excellent clean-up service during the work and upon completion, as we know how much time, energy, and resources we all invest in our properties.

In addition, our Certified Arborists on staff are required to consistently further their knowledge, including ongoing education through the International Society of Arboriculture. We also keep up- to-date by utilizing the continuing efforts of the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Dept. (UCANR). The wealth of shared knowledge gathered through all branches of arboriculture is the foundation for our efforts to provide the most current information regarding tree health, including pathogens, pests, and abiotic issues impacting our urban forest.

Combining these priorities of safety training and upgraded tree care knowledge allows us to provide excellent customer service. This is evidenced by our continuing support from returning clients and referrals to new customers.

Kerry was great. He is very knowledgeable and informative.

He let us know that our curly willow was sick with heart rot, which was confirmed by one other company. Two other companies (certified arborists) didn’t say a thing.

He advised us there was no way to know when it might keel over and that would have caused major damage to ours or three neighbors’ properties, yikes!

We decided to remove the tree to eliminate the risk of expensive damage. What a bittersweet decision as this tree was a distinctive accent to our back yard.

Kerry arrived on the day of removal just after the crew. It was great to have him there again with the “hand off” to the crew.

The crew was friendly and efficient. They put out no parking signs the day before to make room for their trucks and the wood chipper. Our dogs made friends with the crew during their lunch break, especially our dachshund who loves food!

When they were done with the removal we realized their stump grinder would not fit up our narrow steps from the driveway up to the backyard.

Kerry came to the rescue by stopping by to tell me he would get Bob, who specializes in stump grinding to contact me to schedule a time. Guess what, Bob showed up 1-2 hours later with Ray and his crew chief Kona his collie/cattle dog mix. What a sweetheart she is! She kept an eye on them from afar to make sure they completed the job.

Ponderosa was not the least expensive, but they were the most organized from start to finish. As professional as you can get!

5+ stars!

Tom K

San Francisco, Review from Yelp

During the pandemic, I called arborist Kerry of Ponderosa Tree Service to prune several large trees. Turns out that I actually had a large tree and several large bushes! Kerry’s team came up with a good plan for accessing and maintaining these big woodsy friends of mine. They didn’t do the neatest job, but eventually (3-4 weeks later) they came back to fix the things I initially requested and had paid for them to complete.

I will use their services again in the future. I appreciated the complete removal (from my property) of all the plant matter they trimmed off. I appreciated the detailed aspects of their proposal and written work estimate. I love the enhanced safety and health of my trees. It is not easy to get maintenance activities done during the pandemic, and I am really glad I was able to check this essential task off of my to-do list, with the help of Yelp, and Ponderosa.

Austin J.A.

Berkeley, Review from Yelp

Showed up on time, in masks, ready to work with a full crew. They were synchronized and efficient, amenable to neighbors. Fully communicative by email. Best of all, they managed to take down our 4 story high deodor cedar in the same day, with less than 2 hours the following morning to grind down the stump. From time of my first call to the estimate to job completion was only 10 days. Priced very reasonably, thrilled we can pay by credit card over the phone.

Tina L

Oakland, Review from Yelp

Very knowledgeable and they did a very nice job trimming a large coastal oak that was taking over our backyard. The workers also did a great job cleaning up after themselves. I would highly recommend.

Brad P

El Cerrito, Review from Yelp

Worth every dollar – total pros! I tried contacting a number of arborists for quotes to prune four trees and never heard back. Ponderosa’s crew showed up when scheduled, they came prepared with clear instructions and a solid understanding of what we needed done, they did a beautiful job pruning and shaping all four trees, and they did a thorough job cleaning up afterward. Ponderosa’s customer service was top notch from beginning to end: they responded to our request for a bid within 24 hours, their email communications were clear and prompt, and their foreman walked through with us before starting and after finishing the work, and made some final touches based on our input.

Leslie A.

Pittsburg, Review from Yelp

Ponderosa is great, from the guy who came out to give the free estimate, to the office staff who we dealt with, to the guy who came out to do the work.  Real craftsmen, did a great job trimming, shaping, and thinning our Japanese Maple, removing a diseased apple tree, and taking out another stump infested with termites.

Joshua R

Berkeley, Review from Yelp

We can’t speak highly enough of Ponderosa Tree Service. Every aspect of their business is top notch. The arborists will come out at no charge to inspect the trees on your property for safety, disease and/or beatification, and provide a detailed proposal of recommendations and cost. Scheduling the work through the office is simple and easy. On the day work is performed, the arborist shows up with the crew to make sure all expectations are clear and answer any questions. The crews are fantastic. They are skilled and work hard, careful not to cause any damage to surrounding property or plants and go out of their way to clean up every last bit of debris, including any that fell into our neighbors yard. I’ve also used Ponderosa to remove trees and find that their prices are competitive and the service excellent,

Jeanne L

Orinda, Review from Yelp

These guys really have the chops and technical expertise. They did maintenance on five trees – 2 redwoods, 1 cedar, a juniper, and a podocarpus. They did an absolutely outstanding job on cleaning up the cedar, which had a lot of storm damage and they did an excellent job with the other trees.

With all that, I have to say that the main reason I called a tree service was to trim away all the branches close to my roofline and my neighbor’s roofline and to trim as much as possible from a redwood over my neighbors driveway.  I wanted to address the safety issues. They REALLY gave me a hard time about these things. They explained that it wouldn’t be healthy to trim the redwood overhanging the driveway more, so they left that and I accept that  but they really argued with me about how close the branches of the podocarpus was to my roofline and my neighbor’s roofline. The arborist  insisted that the trees were a fine distance from the roofs (Like 3 feet). It was ridiculous and then he ended up trimming more anyway.  At that point,  I felt like they just wanted to end their workday and didn’t care about my concern regarding the safety issues.  

I wanted to give them 5 stars because this team definitely has the expertise and the chops and they know how to keep trees healthy but I feel like they kind of missed the boat about why anyone would even get tree maintenance done.


Emeryville, Review from Yelp

I was very impressed with the level of service from Ponderosa.  Craig, their arborist, came out and met with me to determine what needed to be done for each tree that I was concerned about.  He wore a mask and kept his distance during this important time.  Some trees needed a full trim and shape, and others just needed cleaning up.  When the crew arrived (I would have given 5 stars but they didn’t check in with me when they got here and didn’t start until after the arrival window) they worked efficiently and cleaned up after themselves.  I will use them again and would recommend them to anyone looking for a great job with a knowledgeable arborist.

Scott V

Oakland, Review from Yelp

They quoted a great price and did the work incredibly fast. I love when companies under-promise and over-deliver! They were fantastic and I would absolutely work with them again.

Caitlin F

Richmond, Review from Yelp

I highly recommend the knowledgeable and friendly staff at Ponderosa. I asked to hire an arborist to teach my wife and I how to identify trees in our neighborhood. Collin and Tara volunteered and answered the call. They went above and beyond by first teaching us about native trees and shrubs at the Tilden Botanic Garden. Walking around the streets in Berkeley, Collin was an expert picking out trees, listing their identifying characteristics, and helping us get to know the foliage in our neighborhood. They knew it all: common names, scientific names, and biology. All of this with hugely friendly personalities, no pretension, and great passion for nature. We haven’t had a more informative and educational afternoon in a long time. Thank you!

Benjamin S

Los Altos, Review from Yelp

Great company! The crew from Ponderosa did an excellent job pruning two eucalyptus trees for us. They gave us reasonable and accurate quotes with a full explanation of the work, and came by for a second survey when we needed the scope of work changed . The crew arrived right on time, had parking planned out, were very friendly, appropriately wore masks, and verified what needed to be done. The crew then performed the pruning in a safe and effective manner, being very careful to avoid damage to the rest of the garden, and cleaned up the place perfectly after they were done. Everything was executed perfectly as planned out and agreed to. We are extremely happy with the result and would certainly use Ponderosa again!

Gijs G.

Berkeley, Review from Yelp

The estimator, Craig, was efficient.   The estimate was clearly itemized and reasonable.   The scheduling was easy.

Craig and the crew showed up on time on the day of the tree trimming and tree removal.  We reviewed the job with the crew before they started.

The crew was professional and thorough.   They cleaned up the site at the end of the day.

Our home is straddled between two streets and we have a steep hillside.  The crew had the wood chipper on the larger street and hauled the trimmings and trees to the lower street.

Ponderosa performed the job safely and professionally.

My parents and I would hire them again.

Jasmine D

Oakland, Review from Yelp

I know why these guys have 5 stars. Great service! We met with a few companies to get bids for cutting down a dead trim and trimming others to improve our view. From the 1st meeting, it was clear that they know about trees and understood our needs. These guys came in, got the job done quickly, cleaned up after themselves, solicited our feedback during the process, and adapted to some change requests. We couldn’t be happier & I can’t say enough about the quality of work and professionalism. Call these guys!

Denise H

San Francisco, Review from Yelp

So I’m a General Contractor, and needed some trees removed, six in total, one close to the house and two that were growing through the PG&E lines from a job site that I was building a retaining wall at. I’d used Sequoia Tree Service in the past, but didn’t want to entertain that idea again for many reasons.

Did a search here on Yelp, and decided to call both Garcia’s Tree Service and Ponderosa. The guy I talked with from Garcia’s was very nice on the phone, and agreed to meet me a couple days later which was great. The Ponderosa rep on the phone was also professional, but they couldn’t get out there to take a look and give me a bid for more than a week, which was a bummer.

The day I was to meet Garcia’s on site (a noon appointment), he was a no-show. Finally called him on his cell at 12:20 or so and his response was “Oh, sh*t! I totally forgot!” and we agreed to meet again later that same day. It was pretty inconvenient for me as I coach soccer in the afternoons, but agreed only because he promised to give me a great price to make up for flaking earlier. He came out at the end of the day, took less than two minutes looking at the trees, and said “Nine grand. Three days.”

Ok. So I just wasted an hour in the middle of my day, and also missed a soccer practice for you to look at the trees for two minutes?!

I asked him to write it up in a formal proposal, as well as forwarding me his Worker’s Comp and Liability insurance info and he said he’d have it to me the next day. Well, that didn’t happen, and a couple days later I followed up over the phone. He made some excuse about being busy, his internet not working, and there being a problem getting proof of insurance documents because he switched carriers. As a contractor who deals with worker’s comp and liability insurance companies all the time, I knew that was bull. I checked with the Contractor’s State License Board, and the only company named “Garcia’s Tree Service” is an outfit out of Pasadena which has a suspended license.

So here is the good part! –

I wasn’t able to meet the Ponderosa rep on site (who I was told is a licensed arborist), because of a scheduling conflict, but he called me while he was on site with a couple of questions while he was there. We easily talked through the project on the phone in a couple of minutes, and the next day I received their proposal via email.

Cost? $5,800.00 for the same work. HIRED!

Unfortunately, yet again they were booked for another two weeks (another bummer), but the day before they were to start, one of their guys showed up with some barricades and signs.

Next day, first thing in the morning (I got there at 7:30 and about 8 guys were already set up and ready to roll), I met the Foreman on site, Jhonny, we confirmed the scope of work, and BOOM, by the end of the day they were done. Trees gone, great clean-up, no missing pieces.

Doesn’t need saying, but these guys are my go-to from now on. I understand that they are busy (rightfully so), so if you call them, you need to have the expectation that they aren’t going to show up the next day, but I would say they are definitely worth the wait, from both a professional and financial standpoint.

Tyson S

President of Redux Construction + Development, Review from Yelp

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