We no longer operate as tree surgeons but our consultancy services are thriving
With professional tree surgeons, tree surgery is all they do. Their experience and dedicated staff work safely and efficiently and mainly to high standards. We have seen stuff you would not believe, and sometimes you just think “what a mess, I hope they didn’t pay much for that.”
All tree surgery quotes should be free, and you are under no obligation. Ever. In fact, even if you agree on the day you almost definitely have a 14 day cooling off period. It’s a legal right you have.
If you agree on any purchase over the phone, online or on your doorstep you are entitled to a 14 day cooling off period. Which? have more info on the 14-day rule. The cooling off period applies to all products and services, not just tree surgery. I have seen people advertising seven-day cooling off period but that is illegal.
There is no reason for any tree surgeon to charge a deposit. Payment on completion is the norm and highly recommended way of paying. Only pay once you are happy.
Tree surgery – service explained
Some of the common services provided are below. A good tree surgeon, someone who has a level 4 Diploma in Arboriculture, can advise you on the most suitable treatment for you and your tree. Make sure they have a qualification in arboriculture though and not horticulture. There is a small overlap in knowledge, but I have seen so much bad tree work completed by so called professionals with qualifications in horticulture. It’s a bit like an electrician claiming to be the plumber.
Oh, by the way, arboriculture is the care of individual trees. The word is interchangeable in the UK with tree surgery. UK arborists try and use the term ‘arboriculture’ to distance themselves from the ‘weekend warriors’ and the ‘have-a-go heroes.’
Pruning & Maintenance
- Pruning is any tree surgery work conducted to alter the shape and/or size of a tree (or plant) for any number of reasons. Some are mentioned above. Selected branches are removed to encourage growth, to thin/lift/reduce the crown or to remove dead, dangerous or dying branches.
- Crown reduction & reshaping – Crown reduction is used to reduce the size of the crown, but maintaining the shape. This is often used to let more light through, in restricted spaces and to reduce tree size and water take-up.
- Crown thinning – Selected branches are removed to thin the crown. This is done to let more light through while maintaining the size of the tree. Can also be used to balance a tree if it is weighted in a particular direction.
- Crown lift – The lower branches are removed to increase the base of the crown height. This should be done early on in the trees life to avoid large wounds
- Pollarding – Pollarding is a method of pruning a tree which, once started, should take on a regular basis. Trees can be pollarded on a one to fifteen-year cycle.
- Dead wooding – Dead limbs can be a hazard as can diseased and broken limbs. The can fall at any moment causing injury or damage to property. Cleaning the canopy of such hazardous can also prevent pests and increase air circulation through the crown which helps keep the tree healthy.
- Dismantling – Sometimes there is not enough room to fell a tree or there is a risk of damage to property (building, cars, patio slabs, greenhouses, etc.) the tree must be dismantled. We use a system of ropes and pulleys to lower each section to the ground in a controlled manner; this avoids damage to property. We can use this system to remove individual limbs or the complete tree in small sections
- Tree Felling – If you need a tree removing it is easier and safer to fell the tree at ground level. Quite often this is not possible due to space constrictions or other hazards. Tree surgeons will use their experience to safely remove any tree, either in sections or as a complete tree.
- Stump grinding – After a tree is felled the stump remains in the ground. Stump grinders are used to remove the stump allowing the area to be landscaped or replanted
From our sponsors
How to choose a professional?
Unfortunately, there is no compulsory scheme (equal to the gas safe register for example) in the tree surgery industry (arboriculture). Look for members of the UK leading professional body the Arboriculture Association, the Royal Forestry Society and The Consulting Arborist Society. This proves commitment to arboriculture, industry best practice and a safe working environment.
You should always ask to see proof of insurance and always ask for written quotations. If your tree surgeon cannot provide either of these then do not use them, there are plenty other companies out there who can provide these basic documents. Trouble is no one ever seems to ask, they just presume. Over a six-year period, serving about 200 customers a year we were asked only twice to provide insurance details as part of the quotation process.
You should also ask questions about how the job will be conducted and what equipment will be used. This is far from fool proof, but it will give you an idea of what to expect on the day. Speaking to a few arborist will give you an idea of who knows what they are talking about and who is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
What to expect on the day
Don’t be surprised if your tree surgeon turns up in an old van with a similar looking chipper on tow. Machinery takes a beating from heavy logs, and dust/wood chip get everywhere. However, climbing equipment is a different kettle of fish. Proper climbing and lowering rope must be used along with a suitable harness. Scaffolding harnesses are not acceptable, and full body harnesses are not advisable as they restrict movement around the tree. Blue nylon rope should not be used, under any circumstances.
Once the site is setup (signs and cones out etc. , the climber will enter the tree, normally by a ladder (ladder for access only) and begin work. Large branches and branches over obstacles (greenhouses, ponds, houses, fences, etc.) can be lowered off using a suitable rope and pully. A friction device can be placed at the bottom of the tree to lower of very heavy pieces up to 3,000 kgs in weight.
As the climber works, the ground staff will remove the branches as they fall and put them through the chipper, which can be a loud and dangerous process, so it’s best to stay away while it’s running.
Once the work is finished, the cleanup begins. Sawdust gets everywhere, and I mean everywhere. We have blowers, rakes, and scoops to get most of the mess up and will always tidy up. Luckily, any flakes of sawdust which remain will soon decompose, and it makes good plant food too. We only leave once you are satisfied with the work and the tidy up.
Hopefully, this has given you some idea of how to get a professional tree surgeon. Please let us know if we have missed anything.