Arboriculture is the science of caring
for trees, shrubs and other woody plants in landscape
settings. Whether that is in an urban or rural area.
An Arborist is a specialist who is trained in arboriculture
and has the knowledge and equipment to carry out the
appropriate tree work, that is required.
There are a number of things to consider
when selecting a firm to carry out tree work for you.
It is worth spending time to choose the right one as
well cared for trees are attractive and can add considerable
value to your property and the look of your garden.
Selecting the right
firm for the job
Are they qualified? What arboricultural
qualifications do they have? If their representative
has a business card, his/her qualifications should be
on it. Ask them what they are, if they aren't on the
card ask them if they have any qualifications at all.
You wouldn't use a firm of builders, plumbers, electricians
or other trades who weren't qualified why
is a tree firm any different?
Are they members of any professional
organizations? The Arboricultural Association and the
International Society of Arboriculture, represent arborists
in the UK. Membership of such bodies shows that they
keep up to date with he latest techniques, information
Are they aware of British Standard
BS 3998 1989 Recommendations for Tree Work? Do they
work to this as a minimum standard? Are they aware of
British Standard BS 5837 1991 Trees in Relation to Construction?
Do they have National Proficiency
Training Council (NPTC) photocards or certificates?
to show they are legally allowed to use chain saws on
the ground and in the tree, ask them to show them to
Ask to see proof of their insurance
and phone their insurer if you are still uncertain.
A good firm will have Public Liability Insurance up
to at least £1,000,000. You could be held responsible
for damage and/or injury resulting from work carried
out on your property by an uninsured firm.
Ask for references from customers
for whom the firm has done similar work, to that which
you want them to undertake for you. Visit previous work
sites and speak to their customers and see their standard
of work yourself.
Obtain more than one quote for
the work, though don't always accept the lowest. Examine
the credentials and specification of works they have
provided. A properly prepared, typed quote which specifies
what work you have agreed to and at what price, is much
better than a verbal one given at the site visit or
over the phone later on.
Don't assume that a landscaping
firm which advertises that it also does tree work, will
be able to do the same standard of work to your trees
as it did to your garden.
Be suspicious of people offering advice on your trees
door-to-door and bargain price tree work to go with
it. Reputable firms don't act in this way. Also be wary
of firms advertised via fliers pushed through your letterbox,
saying that they will be "in your area soon".
Often these only have a mobile phone number and no address,
you will have no way of tracking them down if something
Reputable tree firms and the arborists whom they employ,
will only carry out work which is good practice. For
example, an arborist would never use spikes to climb
a tree which wasn't being removed as this is injurious
to the tree, as it creates entry points for pathogens
such as fungi, bacteria, insects and viruses. It is
also highly disfiguring especially on smooth barked
trees. 'Topping' and ' Lopping' trees are also bad practice
and shouldn't be carried out. Also removing an excessive
amount of the live crown of a tree by over thinning
or excessive crown lifting, is also poor practice.
Remember, just because a tree
firm is in the Yellow Pages doesn't mean it is automatically
a good one.
Pruning and removing trees, particularly
large trees, can be dangerous work. It has the potential
to be extremely costly possibly have tragic consequences
if improperly executed. Tree work should only be carried
out by those trained and equipped to carry out work
safely in trees.
You are the one who will have to
live with the tree left unsightly, unsafe or unhealthy,
after the firm who carried out the work has gone.
I have a collection of "thank you" letters and references from satisfied clients throughout the region, covering a wide range of tree work. My address book is full of regular clients, who call me back regularly for routine tree work.
Give me the opportunity to quote for your tree work. You won't regret it, I promise.
Phone me today - or email, if you prefer.
Jonathan Foster - 01937 584327 - email : email@example.com