What does a tree surgeon do?
If it weren’t for the vast swathes of forest covering the UK, the countryside would surely look quite different to how it does now. In nature, trees are an integral part of the ecosystem, providing sanctuary for various flora and fauna, as well as fertilising the ground once it dies and begins to rot. However, trees that are located in private grounds and near to where people live or work often need special attention to prevent injuries from falling branches and additional protection against disease and infestations – and for this you need a tree surgeon. But what exactly does a tree surgeon do?
A tree surgeon’s job is to care for and maintain the health of trees. Tree surgery is extremely dangerous and each case must be assessed for safety. The tree can then – if necessary – be pruned, felled, supported, braced, or transplanted, or even treated for the presence of invasive species.
Does tree surgery require qualifications?
Whilst there is no legal need for qualifications, many educational institutions offer courses in arboriculture to provide you with a good grounding in the subject, with some even offering master’s degrees. Many tree surgeons, however, learn the trade while ‘on the job’, or via an apprenticeship – however a large amount of personal study is required to learn about the differences between various species of plants and trees, as well as how to treat them.
Do tree surgeons have to be accredited?
Tree surgeons do not need to be accredited, but gaining accreditation with certain recognised schemes such as The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (or CHAS) are a great way to exhibit their skills and willingness to go above and beyond.
What does a tree surgeon do when they are working?
The majority of jobs for which a tree surgeon is employed are for the sake of safety a legal oversight. Branches from privately owned trees can often overhang public walkways and roads, potentially leading to injury during windy weather. In this case, pruning is used to cut the tree back without damaging it. This limits the size of the tree, helping its internal resources go further and lowering the likelihood of it collapsing under its own weight.
If a tree has been damaged or its structure has become weakened due to poor weather or human interaction, then a tree surgeon can brace the tree using cables, ensuring it is supported until it reaches a point where it can support itself.
Of course, sometimes, the structure of the tree is in great condition, but its location can be causing issues for visibility, construction, or similar. In these situations, a tree surgeon can use specialise tools to remove the tree and have it transplanted elsewhere on the property.
Unfortunately, some trees reach a point where they can not be saved. This can be due to the presence of invasive flora or fauna that have eaten away at it, or it can simply have reached the end of its life span. In these situations, most individuals will employ a tree surgeon to fell the tree to avoid the risk of it falling down and hurting someone in the future.
If a tree has been removed, more often than not there will be a stump left with roots that a buried deep in the ground. A tree surgeon will often be called to remove this eyesore via stump grinding, using a powerful machine that ‘grinds’ the leftover organic matter into an easy to remove material.
Why is tree surgery dangerous and what does a tree surgeon do to protect themselves?
More often than not, tree surgeons are very physically fit, as the job demands that they are able to climb trees to a great height to perform their work. And at this height, they are often required to use extremely dangerous equipment such as chainsaws to remove branches which in most eyes would be a recipe for disaster. It is, therefore, essential that safety clothing is worn at all times including a hard hat and protective glasses.
Trees themselves are also extremely heavy, it is therefore important have excellent situational awareness as an unbraced tree with a weak structure can fall of its own accord, destroying or killing anything that it lands on. Experienced tree surgeons are more than aware of these dangers, and that is why they always carry out a full inspection of the tree in question before beginning work.
Many tree surgeons are also known to work alone, which can easily make any possible accident much more dangerous. This is why many of today’s companies assign a team of individuals to any potential precarious task and ensure that they are up to date with any health and safety related qualifications.
No matter whether you need grass cutting, line marking, landscaping, tree surgery or more, with 15 years’ experience, SBF are always available to provide you with a courteous, efficient service at competitive prices.