Tree Surgery

Tree surgery helps maintain the UK's rich tree heritage. It also provides care and maintenance for one of the world's largest living organisms. From trimming and shaping trees to removing diseased trees to prevent property damage and injuries, a tree surgery contractor is called upon to undertake a number of tasks related to caring for trees. Their work not only keeps trees looking beautiful, it also prevents damage and disease. Tree surgery can also reduce hazards to people and property from old, diseased and damaged trees.

About Tree Surgery

Tree surgery involves various types of work on trees including planting as well as care and maintenance. This type of work is carried out by a tree surgeon or arborist. Jobs performed by a tree surgeon might include pruning and trimming trees, cutting and removing branches, and felling diseased, old or unwanted trees. Other tasks include crown lifting, thinning, reductions and reshaping, hedge trimming, pollarding, stump removal, and pesticide application. Other tasks might also involve removing snow from branches to reduce weight and strain. A tree surgeon might also be called upon to undertake a tree hazard assessment to evaluate their health and identify any potential dangers to people and property. They may also investigate tree decay and conduct a tree survey. Tree surgeons can also help with a Tree Preservation Order and Conservation Area Applications for Tree Works with local authorities.

The type of work completed by a tree surgery contractor depends on your individual requirements. A tree surgeon can be called on to perform a single task or might be contracted to undertake regular work to care for and maintain trees over a defined period of time. A tree surgeon or arborist hired for ongoing work might be asked to visit your property every week or once a month for regular maintenance. They might also adhere to another schedule that meets your needs. Surgeons are also available to perform emergency services, especially when a damaged tree poses an imminent danger to property or people. When contracting someone over a period of time, make sure that their responsibilities are clearly identified in writing to ensure there are no misunderstandings.

Choosing a Tree Surgeon

Most tree surgeons start working as ground workers that assist tree surgeons. To become a tree surgeon, individuals are trained in using equipment needed to care for trees such as harnesses, chainsaws, ropes and ladders. Certain contractors may have completed an Apprenticeship in Trees and Timber to become a tree surgeon. When choosing a tree surgeon, ask the contractor about their experience and qualifications as well as evidence of any training and health and safety certificates. You should also ask for proof of public liability insurance that covers the contractor's work. Check references and look at online reviews for potential contractors. Always obtain quotes from at least three different contractors before making a decision. Using this information along with details about the contractors experience will help you determine the best value for your money.

Although tree-related work is not regulated by government, there are trade and industry organisations that set standards, accredit training and certify tree surgery contractors. Look for tree surgeons that are members of the Arboricultural Association (AA), Institute of Chartered Foresters, International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), or the Royal Forestry Society (RSA). The AA (also known as ARB), for example, has a list of approved contractors ( that are trained and qualified to perform tree surgery and related tasks. Founded in 1964, it is the largest tree care membership organisation in the UK. Using an ARB Approved Contractor (ArbAC) gives you confidence that you are dealing with a tree surgeon that will provide good quality tree care in a safe and efficient manner. Approved contractors are assessed by the AA and meet AA's standards related to ethics and professional conduct.