JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Words are not necessary, a cell phone video tells it all. Hayward Sellers lives next door and watched it unfold.

"They probably picked someone who was not experienced in cutting the tree down," Sellers said.

The homeowners Tony and Cindy Alvarez were not home at the time; they were at the hospital. Tara Trucks lives next door and was a witness to the debacle. Trucks said it made her sick to watch the colossal mistake as it happened.

She also said the workers from Jam Up Tree service never apologized. Ken Amaro called JAM Up Tree Service of Callahan and spoke with Jose Martinez.

"I was doing them a favor," said Martinez. "They're friends of a friend."

Martinez failed to explain what went wrong, but accepted full responsibility.

"I am going to make it good as soon as everyone calms down," Martinez said.

JSO responded to a call from the Alvarez family, but the workers from JAM Up Tree Service took off.

The investigating office found a mobile meth lab and turned it over to its narcotics division. Then they told the family that the tree is a civil matter.

"I don't know anything about the meth lab," said Martinez.

Alvarez said his homeowners insurance adjuster will take a look at the damage.

Buying a chainsaw does not make someone a tree contractor. Even though it is not a regulated industry, there are things you can do to minimize a problem:

  • Check for a business license
  • Verify liability insurance and workers compensation coverage
  • Check to see if the tree contractor is a certified with The International Society of Arbroiculture (ISA.)