Choosing your Tree Surgeon. What should you look for?

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Tree work operations (arboriculture) requires a high degree of technical competence, supported by training and experience. For these reasons tree work should only be undertaken by well-trained, competent arborists experience at the type of work being undertaken, e.g. tree pruning/tree removal.

A great way to recognise a competent Tree Surgeon is to look out for the ARB Approved Contractor Shield.  You can head over to the Arboricultural Association  to our directory page to check out a Tree Surgeon to give you peace-of-mind. We only show Tree Surgeons who have been approved and who have been assessed. Competent arborists will have certificates which show that they have been trained and assessed. They will often have other academic qualifications in arboriculture and will use safety equipment to protect you, your property and themselves.

Reputable tree care companies will be pleased to supply copies of their insurance, qualifications and professional memberships and will work to nationally recognised standards. Many will be Approved Contractors of the Arboricultural Association.

The ARB Approved Contractor ShieldIn the UK there are two recognised schemes certifying the competence of arborists through examination and regular re-assessment or Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

The Arboricultural Association (AA) maintains an online Directory of quality assured tree surgery businesses. they are regularly assessed for their health and safety procedures, office and business practices, including customer care, as well as their quality of tree work. they will display the AA ARB Approved Contractor logo.

Check whether the contractor’s approval is current on the Arboricultural Association website via the
Find a Tree Surgeon’ link.

  1. Are you insured?
    If YES. please show evidence of insurance – Employers’ Liability & Public Liability (recommended minimum of £5 million).
  2. Do you work to a British Standard?
    If YES, which one?
    Should be BS3998: 2010 ‘Tree Work – Recommendations’.
  3. What qualifications do you and your staff hold? (ask to see copies)
    Compulsory: MIUST have NPTC/Lantra Awards*** certificates for chainsaw use.
    Recommended: Certificates for other skills and machines. Arboricultural knowledge e.g. National Certificates and Diplomas in Arboriculture.
  4. Will you provide a written quotation?
    If NO, reject the contractor.
  5. Are you a member of a professional organisation?
    Membership does not guarantee work standards but does show a degree of commitment.
  6. Can you provide me with the phone number of a referee who can show me some of your work?
    If YES, follow up the reference.

    Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for further help.

Stage 2. Choosing the quote that suits you

When you receive your quotations check they include the following before deciding which one to accept:

  • Reference to BS3998: 2010 ‘Tree Work – Recommendations’
  • Clear and full details of the work to be undertaken (the specification).
  • What will happen to the timber and brushwood?
  • What will happen with the tree stumps?
  • Whether VAT is included.
  • Who will be responsible for obtaining permission if the trees are protected?
  • What steps will be taken to protect you and your property (the risk assessment)?

Be aware that there may be a limited quote validity period.

Have a project you’d like to discuss with us?
Please get in touch using any of the contact details below.

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Having trees on your property can be a real asset but sometimes they can get out of hand and become a problem. We offer a full range of domestic tree care services and work to the relevant British standards.