As I am around doing estimates and jobs, I notice that there are still "professional" tree companies using outdated , harmful practices to complete their work, but they are "established" and most people in this area are unaware that there is a right way and a wrong way...the 3 major big rollers in my hometown? they are the worst offenders around.

Topping trees??? ridiculous! I have walked away from easy money by refusing to butcher a tree in this manner. The reason i get most of the time when i ask why the customer wants a tree topped is this" It is too tall"...There is no such thing a healthy tree that is too tall, take a look out west, there are 300+ footers doing just fine!

Let's get something straight right now, topping trees is HARMFUL to the tree, if it doesn't kill it by taking 50% or more of the food away from the tree, it creates a maintenance headache down the road. the skinny, weak epicormic growth that results from the little watersprouts can grow to 20 feet plus and still only be the size of your wrist.
These can easily fail under load from ice, snow or wind.

Also, I see some companies still climbing in an unsafe manner; no lifeline, old, outdated or damaged safety gear, and the use of spurs to climb trees to prune them.

Spurs could very well kill the tree over time, especially thin- barked species such as beech, soft maples, and poplars.

With the vast degree of knowledge available to anybody who takes the time to learn and practice; ANY tree can be safely climbed and worked in without ever donning a set of spikes.

Removals? sure, then it is a moot point, but to spur it for pruning, ludicrous! 
So if you are getting estimates to improve your tree's health, ask the arborist "how" he will work in the tree and how he will get up and down it; if he replies" with spurs"??? keep looking or call Gibson Tree Care!

I am also noticing more and more "fly by night" companies popping up, or basically, a guy with a ladder, pick-up and a chainsaw...I will bet you 100% that they are not carrying insurance and are not even arborists.

They can, and have done severe damage to trees and property, I know this because I have been called in to try to "fix" mistakes and improperly done work.

Save your money, call a pro.
Trees are a valuable resource and we need to give them top notch work by trained arborists who do it for the love of the trees!