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Choosing an Arborist

The cost of tree pruning or removal can vary greatly depending on the contractor used, as can the outcome of the work. It can seem quite daunting contacting multiple companies, arranging visits, explaining your requirements and understanding the advice and quotations provided by the contractor.

With that in mind, here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an arborist.

Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to take notes Even if you are a complete novice when it comes to trees and don’t know your ash from your oak, it can help to contact a few arborists and compare their recommendations. An accomplished arborist should be able to identify the trees in question and provide recommendations based on your requirements and the characteristics of the tree. If they seem unsure of these things on site when pricing, it doesn’t bode well for when they have a chainsaw in their hands! The rule of three is a good place to start with this and offers the chance to compare both the advice given and the costings for the work.

Qualifications, Accreditations, Insurance Arboriculture is a highly skilled industry, and for a good reason. It takes a lot of training and experience to safely and skilfully prune and remove trees. This is especially true in urban environments where the cost of getting it wrong can have a drastic impact on your property from an aesthetic and safety viewpoint. It is worth checking that your chosen arborist has the relevant qualifications to carry out the task at hand. The most common arboricultural qualifications in the UK are awarded by City & Guilds (NPTC) and Lantra.

Further to this, accreditation from a professional body goes the extra mile to show that the arborist holds themselves to a high standard of professionalism, both at the practical tasks undertaken and the ethics and business practices backing it all up. The Arboricultural Association is the professional body for arboriculture in the UK and their ‘Arb Approved Contractor’ status shows that a company holds themselves to the highest standards in the industry.

With the best will in the world, occasionally things go wrong. If this happens when a contractor is working at your site/garden it is important to know that they have the appropriate level of insurance cover to ensure that things can be put right without you ending up out of pocket or with unresolved damage to your property.

Not all quotes are created equal It is important to check the finer details when comparing quotes. For example, does the quote include removal and disposal of arisings (the leaves, branches, stems etc.) from the work. If you are in a Conservation Area or the tree(s) in question is covered by a Tree Preservation Order, are local authority checks and applications included in the cost.

Pruning recommendations can vary in amount and type. When it comes to tree pruning you can often get three different recommendations from three different arborists. It is important to take note of what is being quoted for so that you can compare appropriately.

Finally, here is a list of handy links to help when deciding on your arborist, and the works to be carried out.


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