With the heavy rains and storms this spring, many people are facing lawn problems this summer, from yards overgrown with weeds to damaged trees and falling branches. It may be tempting to hire the first lawn and care company that you find, just to get it done, but beware of scammers.

Never trust businesses that go door to door, offering to do the work immediately. They feed on your desperation. Proper tree trimming requires a tree surgeon so that the tree doesn’t die, and that it can grow new branches in the coming year.

Unless you know what you are doing, don’t go it alone. You can hurt yourself if you bring the branches down incorrectly, and an amateur could hurt themselves, leaving you liable for their medical bills. The kid next door can probably mow your lawn, but hire an expert for your trees.

Check with your neighbors for word-of-mouth recommendations. These are almost always your best bet. Then go to consumer protection sites, or check Angie’s List. You can take bids, but don’t necessarily take the lowest bid. It’s important to know what you’re getting for your money.