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Employing tree experts and tree work surgeons

Advice and sources of information on employing tree work contractors and tree consultants. Before you authorise or commence any work, contact our Tree and Landscape Officer to check whether the tree(s) is subject to planning controls such as Tree Preservation Orders, conservation area or development sites. Failure to observe statutory requirements could lead to substantial fines for both you and the tree contractor.

Tree work operations (arboriculture) require a high degree of technical competence, supported by training and experience. For these reasons tree work should only be undertaken by well trained, competent arborists.

Competent arborists or tree surgeons will have certificates to show that they have been trained and assessed. They will often have other academic qualifications in arboriculture or horticulture and will use safety equipment to protect you, your property and themselves. An employee working with chainsaws who has not been trained to do so is breaking the law.

Reputable tree care companies will be happy to provide copies of their insurance, qualifications and professional memberships and will work to nationally recognised standards.

Online search and directory

The Arboricultural Association (AA) publish a directory of approved contractors and consultants (professional and insured). Alternatively, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) publish a list of certified arborists. Other arborists may be equally competent but have chosen not to take part in these schemes.

The following directories may be helpful with finding a competent tree surgeon or a qualified tree expert: