The Tree Specialist or Arborist has a combination of years of formal training and experience behind them.
Aside from every other aspect of tree care, they have learnt how to prune or fell properly and safely. Unfortunately, tree felling or pruning often attracts amateurs who pretend to be knowledgeable.
It takes years, even decades, for a tree to grow to full maturity. A chainsaw in the wrong hands can maim it forever in less than twenty minutes. Your prized specimen oak is now a stunted eyesore.
When needing tree advice or work done, assure yourself you’ve got the right person on the job by:
- Asking targeted questions. Examples: ‘Do you practice natural pruning?’ Listen carefully to the answer. Each species of tree has its own unique requirements. What will kill one will enhance another. ‘We’ll just take the top out of it.’ will not solve all your problems. On the contrary it may make them worse. Ask how and where they are going to make the cuts. Too close to the main stem will compromise the trees natural defense mechanisms as will leaving hangers or stubs. If you do not receive satisfactory answers, find another person to do the work.
- Observing the professionalism of the person. Do they present themselves well? Is their appearance, the vehicle they drive, and the contact details they give you congruent with what they say they are? A person who appears uninvited at your door telling you your trees need work and they’ll do it cheaply and quickly should not be trusted without investigation. A cell phone number is not enough as a contact address, and cash up front is not the usual way a reputable arborist conducts their business. Many people have been conned in this way – and left with their trees completely ruined and facing expensive clean-up bills.
- Asking for references and evidence of work done well. Most people will be happy to provide names and addresses of previous happy clients. Go and look to reassure yourself before entrusting your trees to their care.
- Checking the safety measures your chosen contractor intends to use. It is their duty to observe all the rules of sensible safe practice in regards to the public, their staff, your property and themselves. A single ladder and a chainsaw is not enough to ensure good practice. It may give you the cheapest price as proper safety equipment is expensive and needs replacing regularly.
- Contacting the New Zealand Arboricultural Association (http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~crysalis/) for a list of registered workers in your area.
Contacting your local council to ask who they recommend or use for their own work. You can use our Council Finder to help you find them.