Tree surgeons are specialists in felling trees, pruning branches and shrubs, hedge cutting and climbing trees for the purposes of pruning, removal and repair.
The tasks undertaken by a tree surgeon are often dangerous to the individual carrying them out and anyone else in close proximity. The area needs to be left in a safe condition, and should remain safe whilst the work is being carried out. As a homeowner you are entrusting your land, trees and shrubs with the tree surgeon so it is important that you choose the right person for the job.
If the job involves climbing a tree the individual should be equipped with head, eye and ear protection. A platform, rope or harness to protect against falls, the right equipment and the appropriate clothing and footwear.
To aid the climber expect a grounds man to accompany them on the job. The grounds man should also be equipped with head protection as a minimum. If controlling traffic they should be wearing high visibility clothing, have appropriate road signs and a traffic management plan if necessary.
The tree surgeon should be trained and competent using the equipment, and should also have the knowledge to carry out the job to the highest standards.
An array of skills
A lot of people are not aware of what being a tree surgeon entails. Starting at the beginning, a tree surgeon needs to understand the fundamentals of how trees and shrubs develop and grow. They need to understand how to look after trees, to encourage growth with correct pruning, and how to remove dead branches without damaging the tree.
Next, a tree surgeon needs to be able to perform risk assessments when planning a job, thus identifying any potential safety risks to themselves and others. They should be able to determine the equipment that will be needed beforehand and be fully trained in using it. Finally, they should also have an adequate understanding of the law in relation to the ownership and management of trees.
The first stages of finding a tree surgeon
To protect and preserve your trees, you will almost certainly require the expertise of a tree surgeon at some stage. When initially talking to them, bear in the mind the following pointers:
Discuss your requirements and expectations. This will allow the surgeon to formulate a work plan, with the opportunity to advise you on your options.
The tree surgeon should already have access to the required tools/equipment, and should be proficient using them.
A competent surgeon will provide you with proof that they have undertaken the necessary training, and hold the correct insurances.
They will provide you with a written plan detailing the specifics of the job, which will be accompanied by a written quotation. Both of these documents should be written out in a format that you understand and are happy with.
Ask questions about planning laws, and if the intended job will be subject to any. It is not unusual for the tree owner to need permission from the local authority before the work can begin.