No Cow Boys Only Lumberjacks
Whether you are looking at having a tree trimmed back, or removed completely, you do want to make sure that you are using a professional arborist who knows what they’re doing! There are many cowboy outfits who will say they can help you, but if they don’t know what they are doing you may find yourself libel for any damage falling branches have caused.
Of course, you could also end up with a dead tree that you really wanted alive, and worse, once a tree is dead, you’ll still need to pay for someone to come and remove it safely.
How Do I Pick The Right Person For the Job?
If you are looking for a tree surgeon in Bristol or the South West you can start by looking for a qualified Arborist. In the UK this will generally mean someone who has undertaken the ISA Certified Arborist training programme, and passed the exam, through the Arboricultural Association. You may also find that some companies are also part of the Arboricultural Association’s Registered Consultancy (AARC) Scheme.
Allow Time For Dangerous Work
If you have a particularly large tree that needs work or have a tree that is located in a precarious position, you will need to talk to your professional about timeframes and what they will need. An expert arborist will have all the safety equipment they need to do the majority of jobs, but if there are live powerlines nearby, they may need to arrange for the power to be disconnected for a time.
You may also need to take into consideration structures on the ground that could cause a problem. Some will be quite easy to move, such as trampolines or kids paddling pools, while others such as large greenhouses may be a bigger concern. Talking to your professional you may be able to come up with a solution to minimise the risk. https://www.trees.org.uk/Help-Advice/Public/Choose-your-Tree-Surgeon
Although generally they are able to dictate exactly where any tree branch will fall, if your tree is placed in such a way that it means it will be almost impossible to cut a branch without it falling and hitting something like a glass panel, you may need to look at coverage options. With larger branches there is often the option of having each one tied up and lowered carefully, but this will obviously extend the amount of time the job will take, and likely increase the cost as well. Whereas if it is only a small area that needs to be protected, a heavy tarpaulin or horse blanket might work.
Get The Job Done In Season
For almost all trees, you will want to see them pruned while they are dormant in the autumn and winter seasons. Cutting them back while they are forming spring buds or while they are in full bloom can cause deformity and lasting damage to the tree (see here), particularly if it is a flowering plant or fruit tree.
Obviously, some varieties and species are far more sensitive than others, so ask for the advice from your tree surgeon about what they recommend. If they feel you have left it too late for a proper prune, you may be able to get away with just a slight trim to save you from getting branches through your windows during a spring storm, and to make the tree look a little neater. However, it is highly likely that a professional is going to be recommended against damaging your trees.
Get More Than One Quote
You have the complete right to get more than one person to come and give you advice and a price. You should be able to ask the same questions and get very similar answers. However, be wary of a price that is significantly cheaper than the others, as often the way the cowboys will shave a few quid off the price is by either not having enough manpower or by skimping on safety equipment. There are very few UK varieties that can be pruned with just a ladder against the trunk. Even using a chainsaw, most pros will have some sort of safety setup that means if the saw slips it doesn’t crash to the ground below.