Don’t Fall for Tree Trimming Scams

Published on
tree-lined road with topped trees


How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Unfortunately for some residents in parts of our county, “woodchucks” are active and scamming our community.

They are targeting our elderly. They are ruining our trees. Don’t fall for these scams.


How the Scam Works

Those who are scarring our trees and scamming our community, known as “woodchucks,” enter neighborhoods and look for signs of vulnerability:

  • Unkempt yards
  • Handicap-accessible tags or ramps
  • Elderly people doing yard work

Woodchucks then propose to do yard work, often for marked up prices and often without the proper skills and techniques of an arborist. Some woodchucks never return to do the work. There’s one example of a case with 10 co-defendants that took almost $400,000 from one victim over six years.

“I firmly believe that woodchucks are one of the most pervasive criminal problems this county is facing right now. They’re coming in every day, multiple groups, all seasons — and looking to “get granny.” - Detective Ryan Young


Stopping The Scam

There are a number of ways to stop this scam:

  1. Check in with your older and more vulnerable neighbors; keep an eye open for suspicious work.
  2. If you suspect a woodchuck scam, call police at 703-691-2131, TTY 711.
  3. Hire a certified arborist. Tips include asking for proof of insurance and then call the insurance company if you are not satisfied.
  4. Peddlers and solicitors need a license from us. A peddler or solicitor must show the license upon request and must leave the premises immediately if asked to leave.

sample image of solicitor's license
This is an example of what our licenses look like.


Listen to More About Tree Trimming

One of our staff experts discussed proper tree trimming. Listen:

Stay Connected

newscenter logo - three circles - red, blue and graySIGN UP FOR DAILY EMAIL HEADLINES



Latest Official Tweets

Recent Articles

  The school year is over. Children will be away from their regular routines, familiar daily activities and school support systems. 
  "School's out for summer" as the popular lyrics go. 
Fairfax Virtual Assistant