If you have a tree or trees on your land, then you should expect that you will have to organise a certain amount of maintenance at various periods. While a small amount of pruning can be done as a DIY job, there will certainly be times when you need to hire a professional tree surgeon, also known as an arborist. Of course this is an expenditure, but for the sake of the tree’s health as well as public safety, it is always worth ensuring that the job is done as professionally and effectively as possible.
As with any job, it can be difficult knowing that you are hiring the correct individual. You want someone who is skilled, can work professionally and quickly, and will charge you a fair price. But how do you make sure your arborist matches up to this ideal? Here are some things you should look out for when hiring a tree surgeon…
All arborists should have some basic trade qualifications to ensure they have received the correct training. These include certificates of competency from the National Proficiency Test Council (NPTC) in Chainsaw Operations, as well as Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue. Additional optional qualifications such as National Diplomas and Certificates can also be acquired, and indicate a higher level of training.
Your tree surgeon should be confident in abiding by all necessary Health and Safety regulations as laid down by the local councils. As well as carrying out steps to ensure their workplace is safe to others (e.g. by placing warning signs, cones and other barriers around any worksite if it is accessible by the public), they should also have evidence that their machinery and equipment has been regularly checked by the relevant authorities.
All contractors must have Public Liability and Employers Liability insurance, with cover for £5 million often being regarded as the norm. Before hiring an arborist, you should always make sure that you have seen the relevant paperwork.
You should also get a quote from your potential contractor prior to hiring them. Ensure that this quote lists the full work that will be carried out, including what will happen to the waste products. Also check beforehand whether this quote include VAT, to prevent any unpleasant surprises once the project has been started.
All reputable arborists should be more than happy to provide evidence of all of the above, as well as references from previous employers and full details of their business’ address, telephone number and details. While you may be able to find cheaper quotes from less reputable tree surgeons, taking this risk could cost you a lot more down the line. Use the form on the right to get quotes from tree surgeons in your area.