Arboricultural contractors ('Tree Surgeons') are listed under the heading 'Tree Work'
in the Yellow Pages.
When considering your choice of contractor bear in mind that anyone can call themselves an arboriculturist. A person need not hold qualifications or experience.
Many arboriculturists advertise membership or approval of industry associations, typically the following:
- The Arboricultural Association
- The International Society of Arboriculture
- The Guild of Master Craftsmen
- The Fair Trades Association
It is worth bearing in mind that only those contractors approved by the Arboricultural Association are demonstrating that they have been assessed for technical arboricultural competence by a recognised body. Arboricultural contractors may quote adherence to BS 3998. This is the British Standards Institute’s advisory document for practical tree work. The full title is BS 3998: 1989 'Recommendations for Tree Work'.
There is a range of arboricultural qualifications, often seen against advertisers’ names. Broadly, there are about four levels of qualification ranging from short course certificates, to near degree level. Examples starting at the lowest levels are as follows:
- C & G Tree Surgery/Arboriculture; NTPC eg. Chainsaw Certificate
- Cert Arb. (RFS); NCH (Arb)
- AA Technicians Certificate; ND Arb.
- HND (Arb); M Arb (RFS); DIP Arb (RFS)
Forestry, landscape, horticultural or degree level qualifications do not necessarily indicate an in depth knowledge of practical arboriculture on the part of the holder.
Claims may be made by advertisers that require further questioning eg. "Lopping & Topping" services might be highlighted. These terms have almost no validity in professional arboriculture. You may need to question more closely what is meant by this. Another example is "Council Approved": you may need to ask; Which Council? Approved to do what? How long ago? Was there a vetting or examination process?
Tree work can be hazardous. You should check that the contractor you choose is insured against accidental damage or injury.
In the interest of economy it is advisable to get more than one quote for works. There is a further advantage of getting more than one opinion on the works you intend to have carried out.
Please contact our Planning Officer (Trees) for advice or further information.
Our page: Trees and Hedges provides links to further information about dangerous trees, trees in parks, highway trees.