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How to Select a Tree Surgeon

How do you find the right tree surgeon to take care of your tree or hedge?

Although nobody should pay “over the odds,” pricing should not be the only decision although price is an important factor. Anyone can pick up a chainsaw, but it doesn’t make them a tree surgeon. So-called “tree surgeons” can frequently undercut reputable businesses that work hard to grow a business whilst also ensuring the safety of every employee in a hazardous profession .These type of operators lack the same essential overheads like insurances, credentials, personal protective equipment (PPE), a legal way to dispose of the green waste, etc.

Here are some guidelines that should assist you in selecting qualified tree surgeons and identifying dishonest ones:

  • Can the tree surgeons substantiate their suitability for the task? Tree surgery needs a very high level of technical proficiency, hence all tree surgeons should hold Lantra Awards or National Proficiency Test Council (NPTC) certifications. This implies that specific training is required for tasks like felling, cross-cutting the wood, climbing, climbing while using a chainsaw, using a chipper, and utilising a stump grinder. Actually, the list is rather long. Ask any arborist you hire to provide a quote for the work if they can provide documentation of their necessary credentials.
  • Do they have insurance? Tree surgery is a very risky activity, and mistakes can be made. Companies that perform tree surgery ought to be able to provide you with proof of their public liability and employers liability insurances. If working on or near a public motorway, the public liability insurance must be for at least £10 million (or at least £2 million). If the tree surgeons are offering suggestions or advise, they would also require professional indemnity insurance. In addition, they must possess LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998) certificates, which must be renewed every six months for climbing equipment and every twelve months for rigging equipment. If they don’t, their insurance may be void.
  • Do they have the appropriate appearance? By legislation, tree surgeons are required to utilise personal safety equipment, such as chainsaw pants, boots, helmets, and harnesses when climbing. Are they the professional team you want working on your property if they show up to conduct the job in jeans and trainers and intend to cut the tree down with only an extension ladder?
  • Tree surgeons ought to operate according to a standard set by the industry. The British Standard’s full name is BS3998:2010, which stands for “Tree Work; Recommendations”. Ask the arborist about this need. If they haven’t heard of it, they probably aren’t up to the required standard.
  • What checks are made on the tree before work is done? To determine whether a tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), located in a Conservation Area, or subject to any planning restrictions, all trees should be examined. An unlimited fine for both the contractor AND the owner may be imposed for failing to do this before performing work on trees.
  • Do you trust them? Before accepting the work, check them out. Do they have a website or social media profiles where their work is displayed, have they completed other local projects, and are references available? Do they have a waste carriers licence and can they prove how they handle their green trash? (required by law).

If they can’t answer these questions, how do you know that they are not dumping all of the arisings on their way home?!

​Will they provide you with a price or an estimation? Does it make it obvious whether or not the VAT is included? Will the area be left reasonably neat and clean and does the quote cover the removal of the waste? All of these questions are essential for a customer to be able to compare prices and be certain of what they are purchasing.

You should keep in mind that if the tree surgeon makes a mistake, the outcome might be serious danger to themselves or others, damage to your property, or serious harm to your trees, which could be fatal or, at the very least, require many years to repair.

At Ross Giles Tree Surgery, we make an effort to alleviate any concerns that potential clients may have immediately. We always provide written quotes that are thorough and include key information such as our insurance information, waste carrier licence information, SMAS Health and Safety accreditation information, our website address, our company and VAT registration numbers, and the address of our registered office.

Before beginning any work, we check all trees with the local authority to see if they are subject to TPOs, Conservation Areas, or planning conditions. If a planning application or S211 Notice (for Conservation Areas) is necessary, we assume responsibility for it and it is included in the price we quote.

We are also members of Checkatrade, which includes a large number of testimonials, images, and reviews of the job we have done. We share our work on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) because we are delighted to show others and are proud of the job we do.

We never demand payment in advance; instead, each quotation includes payment terms. If the job specification hasn’t changed and different pricing hasn’t been agreed upon with the client, we invoice when the work is finished.

You might be able to avoid having substandard tree work done or, worse still, being duped by crooks posing as “tree surgeons” if you spend 10 or 15 minutes investigating the tree surgery firm you intend to choose.

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