What is a tree surgeon and what do they do?
A tree surgeon is a highly trained professional responsible for the planting, maintenance, well-being, aesthetics and felling of trees.
A tree surgeon must be multi-skilled, as they’re called out to all manner of situations:
- Dead branches which could fall at any moment
- Roots damaging driveways or pavements
- Old, wobbly trees
- Overgrown trees blocking sunlight from gardens
- Tree stumps preventing building work
Before any felling, pruning or treatment takes place, we complete a full risk assessment. The health of the tree, the surrounding environment and the public’s safety must all be taken into consideration.
In the dream scenario we protect all three, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes the tree must come down.
A qualified tree surgeon will check with the authorities if there’s a Tree Preservation Order in place. To cut down or damage a tree without permission can incur a fine of up to £20,000!
Once a decision’s made, it’s time to get to work. The specialised tools and equipment used by a tree surgeon put even Batman to shame – chainsaws, chippers, cherry pickers, stump grinders etc And that’s just for cutting. Then there’s the climbing equipment required to get up and down safely – harnesses, ropes, spikes etc.
So, in a nutshell, a tree surgeon is:
- Highly skilled with dangerous and heavy machinery
- Knowledgeable about local laws and regulations
- An expert at performing risk assessments
- A proficient climber
- Knowledgeable about a vast array of flora and fauna.
What else does a tree surgeon do?
A tree surgeon’s job doesn’t start and end with felling. As stated earlier, they’re involved in the full life cycle of the tree.
While not landscape gardeners, they know their craft. They can recommend the best trees to plant in certain spaces, taking into consideration space, soil and other external factors.
Hedges fall under their remit too. While it may seem like light relief, cutting privets after dealing with 40-ton oaks, they have the tools for the job and they know how to use them.
Another mainstay of the surgeon’s role is removing tree stumps. A tree stump may look like an innocent lump of wood, but they can be cause all sorts of problems.
Tree stumps can be like icebergs – what you see above ground bears no resemblance to what’s below. A qualified tree surgeon will have to decide the optimum way to deal with it – grinding, chemicals or straight removal.