Have you ever wondered, what is a tree surgeon and what does their job consist of on a daily basis?

A tree surgeon is a professional who specialises in the care and maintenance of trees. This can include tasks such as planting, pruning, removing dead or diseased branches, and removing entire trees if necessary. Tree surgeons often have specialised training in arboriculture, the study of trees and their care. They may also be certified by professional organisations such as the International Society of Arboriculture.

What is a tree surgeon more specifically?

Tree surgeons offer a variety of services to care for and maintain trees. Some of the common services they provide include:

  • Planting: Tree surgeons can plant new trees, including selecting the appropriate species for a specific location, preparing the soil, and properly planting the tree to ensure healthy growth.
  • Pruning: Tree surgeons can prune trees to remove dead, diseased, or damaged branches, promote healthy growth, and maintain the tree’s shape and size.
  • Crown reduction/lifting: Tree surgeons can reduce or lift the crown of a tree, which involves removing some of the branches from the top of the tree to reduce its height or spread.
  • Pollarding: Tree surgeons can pollard a tree, which is a pruning method where the upper branches are removed to encourage a dense head of foliage and branches.
  • Felling: Tree surgeons can fell a tree, which involves cutting it down, either for safety reasons, or too clear the area for other use.
  • Stump grinding: Tree surgeons can grind out the stump of a tree after it has been felled to ground level.
  • Cable bracing: Tree surgeons can install cables or braces to support weak branches or to prevent a split trunk.
  • Tree inspections: Tree surgeons can inspect trees to identify any potential hazards or issues, such as structural weaknesses or disease, and recommend appropriate action

What is a Tree Surgeon, other than cutting trees?

Tree inspections

Tree inspections typically involve evaluating the overall health and structural integrity of a tree, including the trunk, branches, roots, and surrounding area. The inspector may look for signs of disease, insect infestation, damage from storms or other external factors, and any potential hazards such as dead or cracked branches that could fall and cause injury or damage. They may also assess the tree’s potential for growth and any potential impact on nearby structures or utility lines. The inspector may take measurements and note the species, size, and condition of the tree, and may also make recommendations for maintenance or removal.

Health and Safety

To us at Hassell Trees health and safety is of upmost importance. Here is an insight to what we have to consider and the procedures we take;

  1. Conduct a risk assessment: Before beginning any work, a tree surgeon should conduct a thorough risk assessment of the tree and the surrounding area, taking into account factors such as the tree’s condition, location, and potential hazards.
  2. Use proper equipment: A tree surgeon should use proper equipment, such as safety harnesses, helmets, and goggles, to ensure their own safety and that of others.
  3. Follow industry guidelines: Tree surgeons should follow industry guidelines and best practices for tree care and maintenance, such as those set forth by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).
  4. Maintain proper certifications: Tree surgeons should be properly trained and certified by organisations such as the ISA and TCIA.
  5. Communicate effectively: Tree surgeons should communicate effectively with their clients and other professionals, such as arborists and landscapers, to ensure that the work is done correctly and safely.
  6. Dispose of waste material responsibly: Tree surgeons should dispose of any waste material such as branches, leaves and trunks in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Understanding the weather and its effects on the job

The weather can have a significant impact on the work of tree surgeons. Extreme heat or cold can make the job physically demanding and potentially dangerous. High winds can make it difficult to safely climb and work in trees, and heavy rain can make the ground slippery and unstable. Thunderstorms can also create a risk of lightning strikes. Additionally, in the case of snow or ice, it can make it difficult to access the trees that need to be worked on, and heavy snowfall can damage branches and make them more likely to fall. Tree surgeons need to take these weather conditions into account when planning and executing their work, and may need to delay or reschedule certain tasks if the weather is too severe.

Access issues

Access can be a major challenge for tree surgeons, as it can be difficult or impossible to reach certain trees if they are located in hard-to-reach or remote areas. Factors that can affect access include terrain, vegetation, and obstacles such as buildings, power lines, and other structures. Tree surgeons may need to use specialised equipment such as cranes, bucket trucks, or rappelling gear to access certain trees, which can add to the complexity and cost of the job.

In urban areas, access may also be affected by traffic, parking restrictions, and other logistical considerations. Tree surgeons may need to coordinate with other trades or contractors, such as utility companies, to ensure that the work can be safely and efficiently carried out. Additionally, access can also be affected by the ownership of the land, if the tree is on private property and the owner is not available or unwilling to allow access, the work can’t be carried out

Other heavy machinery 

Tree surgeons use a variety of tools and equipment to safely and efficiently carry out their work. Some of the most common machines and equipment used by tree surgeons include:

  • Chainsaws: These are used to cut through branches and trunks of trees. They come in different sizes and power levels, and are used for different types of cuts.
  • Wood chippers: These machines are used to shred branches and other wood debris into small pieces that can be easily removed and disposed of.
  • Stump grinders: These are specialised machines that are used to grind down and remove tree stumps.
  • Aerial lift equipment: This includes bucket trucks, cherry pickers and cranes, which are used to safely access and work in trees that are too tall to climb.
  • Climbing and safety equipment: This includes harnesses, ropes, lanyards, and other equipment that is used to safely climb and work in trees.
  • Hand tools: Tree surgeons also use a variety of hand tools such as pruners, loppers, hand saws and hand held chainsaws for precision cutting.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Tree surgeons use helmets, goggles, gloves, boots and ear protection to protect themselves from hazards that they might encounter while working.

These are just a few examples of the types of machines and equipment that tree surgeons use. The specific tools and equipment needed will depend on the type of work that is being done and the conditions of the site.

Teamwork is essential.

Tree surgery is a team-oriented profession, and effective teamwork is essential for the safe and efficient completion of tasks. Tree surgeons typically work in small teams of two to four people, depending on the complexity and scale of the job. The team leader, who is typically a more experienced tree surgeon, will be responsible for overseeing the work and ensuring that it is carried out safely and in accordance with industry standards and regulations.

Effective communication and coordination are key components of teamwork in tree surgery. The team leader will typically give clear instructions to the other members of the team and ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. Team members will need to work together closely and communicate effectively to ensure that tasks are completed safely and efficiently.

Safety is a top priority in tree surgery, and teamwork is essential for maintaining a safe working environment. Team members will need to be aware of each other’s positions and movements at all times and be prepared to assist each other if necessary. Each team member is responsible for their own safety, but also for the safety of the team.

Tree surgeons also need to work with other trades or contractors, such as utility companies, to ensure that the work can be safely and efficiently carried out. Coordination and communication with these other trades is also key to ensure a successful outcome.

In summary, teamwork is critical in tree surgery. Clear communication, coordination, and a shared focus on safety are essential for ensuring that jobs are completed safely, efficiently and to the highest standard. At Hassell Trees and Garden Maintenance, we are proud to offer 40 years expertise in the tree surgery industry. We are qualified to operate in all of the services, and all of the extra curricular parts of the job. If you require any of these services, please contact us at any time and we would be happy to offer our advice to you.