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What to Look for When Hiring a Tree Surgeon

tree with light
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…

Qualifications
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.

Regulations
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.

Insurance
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.

Full Quotes
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.

Recycling Green Waste

tree surgeon recycling
Green waste is a common by-product of our everyday work and something that we have grown accustomed to dealing with. Whether we have carried out a large job such as a tree felling, or merely trimmed some hedges, there is bound to be some green waste – and often a lot more than you would expect, even from a relatively simple job. Green waste recycling is therefore something that we know a lot about, and we can offer help with recycling the materials once we’ve completed our work.

What is Green Waste?

Green waste is essentially everything that is left over from pruning, felling and trimming during tree surgery. It is a biodegradable waste that is high in nitrogen (as opposed to brown waste, which ihas high levels of carbon).

Green waste can be separated and falls into three categories:

Woodchip: small pieces of wood from trunks or branches can often be processed in a wood chipper. Once the chipper has reduced them in size, this woodchip goes on to have many uses as recycled matter. The majority of waste that we have left over from a tree surgery project is recycled in this way.

Timber: there may sometimes be larger chunks of wood which have more value than simply being put through the chipper. Timber and other types of wood are often more useful as logs, and so we process this type of recyclable matter a different way to woodchip.

Non-chippable waste: there are other parts of the waste that are not appropriate for the chipper, such as hedge trimmings, leaves and any materials such as grit that have made their way into the waste. This general mass is known as non-chippable waste and is also recycled in a slightly different way.

Why Recycle Green Waste?

As mentioned, green waste is biodegradable, which means it can be broken down into its base compounds by other organisms and living things. It can therefore be incredibly useful for the ecosystem, and so shouldn’t be left to rot in landfills.

Recycling Woodchip
Once green waste has passed through our chipper and been formed into woodchip, there are several ways in which it can be used. Many of our customers request to keep the woodchip, as it can come in handy for lining pathways or borders in the garden. Alternatively, woodchip can be used or sold as ‘mulch’, which is placed on top of soil to improve the fertility of the soil and discourage the growth of weeds. Woodchip needs to be left to compost for several months before it becomes effective mulch, so it needs to be stored somewhere prior to the recycling.

Recycling Timber
Often, if there are logs of timber or similar woods left over in the green waste then our customers will request to keep this themselves. Logs come in extremely handy as firewood, or can even be used more creatively for building work and be turned into planks for beams, decking or furniture. If our customers have no need for the timber, then it can be sold on to local individuals or companies who can make use of it.

Recycling Non-Chippable Waste
Non-chippable waste is arguably the most difficult of the green waste to recycle, however once it has been recycled it can do excellent work as fuel. Firstly, the waste usually has to be processed, which can be done industrially once enough matter has been gathered together. After it has been shredded or pulped, it if often then sent to be used as biomass fuel at power stations.