Tree management

Pages in Tree management

  1. Tree management
  2. The benefits of urban trees
  1. Choosing an arborist
  2. Coventry Tree Wardens

Choosing an arborist

Why choose a professional arborist?

Tree work is a dangerous and highly skilled operation. Choosing an arborist (tree surgeon) is something that must be done with great care. Picking the wrong arborist could lead to:

  • Injury
  • Damage to property
  • Damage to your trees that have taken many years to grow...

Tree work operations (arboriculture) need a high degree of technical knowledge, supported by training and experience. For these reasons tree work should only be undertaken by well trained, competent arborists who hold adequate insurance.

Genuine or not?

Anyone can call themselves a tree surgeon and place an advert in Yellow Pages and offer a service. An advert alone does not guarantee quality of work or that it will be carried out safely.

Skilled 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 give you copies of their insurance, qualifications and professional memberships and will work to nationally recognised standards.

Questions you should ask an arborist

Stage 1: Asking for a quote

(a reputable arborist will always give a positive response)

1. Are you insured?

If yes, please show evidence of insurance - Employer's liability and Public Liability (recommended min £5million)

2. Do you work to a British Standard?

If yes, which one? Should be BS3998

3. What qualifications do you and your staff hold?

You should ask to see copies of certificates.

Compulsory: Must have NPTC certificates for chainsaw use. NPTC is a national organisation that assesses competence of people using chainsaws and other arboricultural equipment. Competent arborists will be able to show you either an A4 sized certificate or a plastic ID card.

Recommended: Certificates for other skills and machines. Arboricultural knowledge, such as National Certificates and Diplomas.

4. Will you provide a written quotation?

If no reject this 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 lead

Stage 2: Choosing the quote that suits you

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

  • The name, address and landline telephone number of the company.
  • Reference to BS 3998
  • Clear and full details of the work to be undertaken
  • What will happen to any waste
  • Whether VAT is included
  • Who will be responsible for getting permission for the work if the trees are protected
  • What steps will be taken to protect you and your property

Competent arborists

In the UK there are voluntary schemes certifying arborists through examination and regular reassessment or continuing professional development.

The Arboricultural Association maintains an annual Directory of quality assured arboricultural contracting companies.  Contractors (and consultants) in the Directory are regularly assessed for their health and safety procedures, office and business practices as well as their quality of tree work. They will display the AA collective mark logo. Please check with the Association that the contractor's approval is current.

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