What qualifications should a tree surgeon have?

A life-threatening job indeed, tree surgery risks the lives of tree surgeons in embarking on pruning or cutting down trees. The tree surgeon covers major responsibilities in removing unwanted trees in your surroundings. In order to carry out the job of a tree surgeon, he or she must possess certain qualifications, education, and certification in the industry. While the undertakings are crucial both for the life of humans and living plants and trees, tree surgeons should have had gained extensive training before they can be sent to the field.

Tree surgeons are responsible for adding beauty to your community.

In your community, you will notice that there are some places, such as parks, historical places, government institutions, or universities, and even sidewalks with plants, hedges, and trees well pruned and trimmed. You might wonder how they make their surroundings well kept and free from debris that might endanger passersby.

The people behind the beauty of a well-kept and maintained surroundings are the tree surgeons. Sometimes, they are called arborists.

What do you think these tree experts do and what skills they need in order to complete their job?

They must be:

  • Trained in handling power tools.
  • Experienced and highly skilled in aerial operations, such as tree climbing
  • Physically fit (tree surgeons are out in the open and experience different weather conditions).
  • Knowledgeable in conducting inspection and making assessment on trees’ health or if they are endangered or serve as threats to humans.
  • Observant of the safety rules in tree felling.
  • Skilled in chopping, felling, pruning, maintaining, and even planting trees.

How tree surgeons gain their qualifications in Guildford

Tree surgeons deal with enormously tall trees that require them to climb and cut problematic branches and trunk with efficiency. The mix of skill and knowledge in this kind of job is worth everybody’s praise.

In Guildford and surrounding areas in the UK, tree surgeons must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Further degree in arboriculture is encouraged but not required.

The role of tree surgeons is risky.

While tree felling involves working with heights and other dangerous undertakings, tree surgeons should follow safety standards to protect themselves from hazards.

What are the works involved?

  1. Tree climbing—Climbing gears and chainsaws are tools needed by an arborist to climb a tree. Natural disasters bring trees devastated by storms. Tree surgeons take a major part in cleaning up such a mess.
  2. Using climbing spurs—Spurs are dug on tree barks that will serve as a leverage for tree surgeons to climb up the tree, along with using lanyards.
  3. Rope throwing bundle—This not a bungee jumper act but a skill needed by an arborist to make sure they are securely fastened to be able to move their body up and down the ground.
  4. Pruning—It’s not a botanist’s job but something that has to with pruning, insect control, fertilisation, and maintaining trees’ health.
  5. Machine operation—This involves the use of cranes, stump grinder, all kinds of chainsaw, and other heavy equipment in tree felling.

Who we are

Alpine Tree Surgeons in Guildford prefer to be called “surgeons” as it sounds more appealing and easier to understand. Though tree surgeons and arborists can, in fact, be used interchangeably, we chose the lighter side so our customers would better identify us as someone who treats and cure trees in all aspects.

A tree surgeon’s job is physically demanding, and yet, our tradespeople here at Alpine Tree Surgeons enjoy what they do. We take pride in offering our services for commercial, government, or residential settings. Our work is extremely important and helpful for the overall environmental health of our communities. Besides, our tree surgeons are qualified, licensed, and certified in their chosen field.

There are no small or big jobs for Alpine Tree Surgeons. Just give us a call and we’ll deal straight away with your queries.

What Is There to Know About Hedge Trimming?

Hedge trimming or hedge cutting is trimming tall hedges or overgrown shrubs for many purposes. Passersby would only have the impression that hedges are trimmed for landscaping. A beautiful landscape reflects an eco-friendly environment.

However, there’s more to hedge cutting than simply trimming the overgrowth.

The principle in trimming hedges goes primarily with cleaning the place and making it appear pleasant with plants cut and shaped into different forms. Hedge trimming, too, now becomes an art. If you have seen various shapes of plants formed into what the imagination of the trimmers can do, you can only admire how they were able to come up with masterpieces and works of art that simulate sculpture.

Hedges, too, serve as boundaries for homes or sidewalks and yards lined with shrubs and trees. When branches are sticking out, dead leaves fall frequently. Hedge cutting prevents the place from being cluttered with unwanted parts of the plants. A tree standing on a non-strategic spot, and whose branches and fruits are unpleasant seen, can also be included in the trimming job.

Techniques in pruning

Pruning involves cutting overgrown plants by removing first the thickest branch, starting from the base to promote regrowth. For new hedges, they need to be pruned for the first two years after they have been planted. This is called maintenance trimming. It usually conducted at least once in a year or twice for informal hedges. Bur formal hedges need at least three times in a year.

When is the best time to trim?

If you opt for maintenance trimming, the best times of the year should happen in the middle of spring and summer. However, this is not always the case. What’s important is knowing the proper timing of pruning ensures productive, healthy, and attractive plants. Shrubs and trees have their different pruning time, according to plant experts.

Plants covered for trimming are deciduous trees and plants. Deciduous plants are those that shed their leaves every fall. Most of the trees that shed are those with broad, wide, and flat leaves.

Deciduous shrubs, on the other hand, are pruned or trimmed based on their growth habit, season of blooming, or health.

For example, neglected flowering shrubs should be pruned by early spring or late winter to relive the plants. The purpose of rejuvenation is to restore the plant’s health. For healthy and maintained shrubs, they can be pruned after their flowering season, and they only require light pruning. This way, you’re giving ample time for these plants to grow flowers anew intended for the coming season.

Importance of trimming

Trimming shrubs or hedges are not only to improve the home landscape. Admittedly, they serve a valuable part in your garden, offering beautiful and colorful foliage, flowers, or fruits. More than these, shrubs provide a sense of privacy, blocking the unnecessary view of your home or the streets. They also serve to attract wildlife.

Proper and regular pruning keep your shrubs in good shape and health.

Other reasons for hedge trimming is when the plants encounter different problems:

  • Nesting of wild birds on your shrubs or trees could damage the plant.
  • Overgrown branches on the pavement block pedestrians and walkways.
  • Extended branches and thick foliage can entangle with electrical wirings on the street.

Safety trimming methods

When trimming hedges, you need to have shears. Shears are best for small shrubs those below eye level. But for larger shrubs, an electric trimmer or the one run by petrol is better to cut thicker stems. A sharp or well-lubricated shear provides greater efficiency in trimming your plants.

For safety, it is always recommended to wear goggles to keep your eyes from catching shredded plant remnants. Gloves protect your hands against the weight of the shear and from picking loose stems and leaves compared to bare hands.

When using power tools, make sure you are using a ladder or a sturdy platform to reach for the problematic hedge. Using such tools above your shoulder is a little dangerous as you can lose control of the equipment, especially when it is connected to an electrical outlet. Check the cable and see that it does not entangle with anything on the ground or serve as an obstacle.

For a better understanding of overgrown hedges, ask our team of tree surgeons. They have years of experience and training in handling nuisance hedges. Arborists in Alpine Tree Surgeons can help you for hedge and shrub trimming tips and provide you information on step-by-step pruning method.

How Do You Recognise a Diseased Tree?

The signs of a dying tree are not conspicuously displayed on their branches. Knowing that trees have a long life, they can last for thousands, or ten thousand more, of years and observe the changing times. The oldest known trees have been in our history and religious books to witness remarkable events that happened before. Unfortunately, trees can’t talk to retell interesting stories occurred way back in time. But they can do more than just talking.

The oldest trees traced back to biblical and historical times.

Just like any living being, trees are not invulnerable to maladies. If you have a tree in your yard and it’s been standing there way before you built your home on that lot, perhaps you spared not to cut the tree because you’re aware of its usefulness. Sometimes, you forget that trees need attention, too. The tree in your lawn could have acquired problems that could damage your property and could hurt people in many ways.

How can you recognise that your tree has a problem or is dying?

When a tree is diseased, it can’t bear fruit. Worse, the aesthetic appeal of the tree will lose its luster and will weaken its strength. If a tree is damaged, more likely it’s going to crumble inside and fall. This is dangerous because it can damage your property or it can cause severe injuries on people due to the falling branches or the trunk itself.

The periderm, the outer most layer of the bark, protects the tree from damage.

Recognising tree problems beforehand will protect you from serious consequences. Tree ailments could not be identified unless you are aware of the diseases, especially that they vary according to species, location, and season. But from where to start, it’s a little bit easier to spot a diseased tree.

Tree trunk

The tree trunk is protected by the bark. The bark is composed of layers that make up the periderm, the layer that prevents infection and injury attack. It serves to protect the tree from pests, loss of moisture, mechanical damage, and pathogens. When the bark is compromised, the tree will eventually fail. And usually, the infection from the bark will proliferate fast to infest the entire tree.

Notice the ant line or any other insects that thrive on one portion of the bark. This leaves an opening for more insect activity, slowly killing your tree from the hollow cavities within the trunk. A weakened trunk will eventually kill the tree. Looking for cracks on the bark will help you notice any problem on the tree.

Tree canopy

The tree canopy includes the branches and the leaves. When dead leaves and broken branches abound the ground, it could mean something: they are a sign of threat on the tree they came from. If branches dislodged from the trunk, they could either be dead or diseased.

It is easy to spot problematic tree branches by looking for weak attachment. It understandable that new branches may sprout over the old one, but sometimes, this only happens when the branch is broken.

Base or roots

If the tree has cavity building up within the trunk, it is likely that it is being infected from any fungal growth coming at the base or the roots. Though roots are embedded beneath the ground, most old and huge trees have massive roots overly seen above the ground. But if there are roots that had just surfaced near the ground, there could be something wrong with the tree. A root that breaks the soil may want to uproot the tree; either there’s a problem to the soil that it’s not fertile enough to hold the tree or weak piping system may have hampered the root trail of the tree, destroying the soil and the roots. This could be dangerous, as the tree is prone to be dislodged and because it’s dying. Once the roots die, the stability of the tree will start to weaken.

A tree surgeon doing a tree evaluation.

Looking for tree surgeons?

Recognising a tree with the disease is helpful. But understanding the science behind these diseases is not your scope unless you’re a tree surgeon or arborist, or you knew a considerable knowledge of trees. In tough times, identifying a diseased tree will help you get quick help, especially if the tree is in your property or nearby. While the aesthetics of the tree surmounts to adding beauty to your home and your surroundings, removing or treating the problematic tree will prevent it from damaging structures nearby and will help you save lives.

To be prepared on the brink of its falling, report your sick tree. Here, at Alpine Tree Surgeons, we do what is best for the peace and convenience of every home, in Guildford and any other areas in the UK. Call us or fill the form found on this website if you want more information on trees and their diseases.

The Equipment Used by Modern Tree Surgeons

The job of a tree surgeon is not simple. It is one of the most dangerous jobs in our community. Even though someone knows how to climb even the tallest tree, it is not all there is.

Tree surgeons, or arborists, are faced into life-threatening situations whenever they undertake a tree felling task. It is required. Therefore for those tree surgeons to have the experience, the skills, and the expertise to use high-powered and heavy equipment to carry out their mission. More importantly, the equipment they are going to use should not fail them because if not, tree cutting could only end in a disaster.

The Tools Tree Surgeons Use

No matter how skilled tree surgeons are in climbing up trees, swinging from one tree to another and cutting those huge branches could not be possible if they do not have the knowledge to operate heavy machines and if these machines are not available

A tree surgeon at work.

What are the tools that make the work of tree surgeons complete, and how do these work?

  1. Chainsaw. If you notice on tree and shrub works, chainsaws are the most commonly used tools. A lightweight and compact machine, a chainsaw is run by gasoline. Some models are electrically powered. A chainsaw is composed of a rotating chain with a set of teeth that cuts the barks of trees. It is uncommon for tree surgeons not to carry a chainsaw. Many types of chainsaw are applicable in tree pruning and cutting. For example, one can be able to cut hard to reach tree branches using a hand saw. Or a type of chainsaw, such as the ground saw has a handle situated differently to cut large branches of felled trees.
  2. Axe. Compared to a chainsaw, an axe is a tool of the old times. Way before tree surgeons came by, axes were used to cut or chop limbs of trees. They are popularly used for cutting wood from felled trees used for as firewood.
  3. Helmet. Hard-hat helmets are required for working tree surgeons. A helmet is a protective gear to keep the head from falling debris from tree felling. Whether a tree worker is up there or working on the ground, he or she needs a helmet for safety.
  4. Harness. Not only mountaineers are seen with a harness. A harness is a vital tool while climbing up the trees. With belts, rings, and loops that need to be worn by a tree surgeon, these elements should be durable to stand the weight of the person wearing and that the gears are tight enough to ensure that the job can be safely completed.
  5. Boots. Crafted with thick fabric to protect from chainsaw cuts, boots are a necessity when working in the field. The boots should be resistant and waterproof because a tree surgeon will come across using chemicals and gases. Along with the boots, climbing spikes are also required so when an arborist climbs the tree; the spikes will penetrate the trunk, giving more adherence and support.
  6. Cranes. Even if you have the complete rigging equipment, but the situation cannot be handled using some techniques, cranes are used to reach parts of the tree that need felling and to direct the path where they should fall. Cranes safely remove trees without damaging your landscape.
  7. Ladders. In addition to cranes, ladders are important tools to carry out the works of climbers. It is pure common sense why you need a ladder for tree works.
  8. Log loader truck. This type of truck removes massive logs and debris when finishing the job and cleaning up the mess in your property.
  9. Stump grinder. A machine with a rotating wheel in front used to shred stump into mulch. Some jobs on tree felling become unfinished when the stump is left out. Although property owners can remove stumps if they have the tool, the removal is faster when done by a skilled arborist, because other stumps have thick roots that run deep in the ground.
  10. Communication gadgets. In a crucial job like this, radios for communication is highly essential in order to observe the exact steps in tree felling. They also serve to keep everyone safe while on duty.
Stump grinder

Experienced tree surgeons from Alpine Tree Surgeons will keep you safe at all times, including themselves. The company ensures that they have the complete equipment to carry out the most dangerous and cumbersome task in the community. They gained their expertise from this business by serving residential, commercial, and industrial settings for many years.

Rigging equipment and radio communication gadgets are required while working on trees.

If you need further information on the equipment we use on tree surgery, fill the form below or contact us and one of our staff will be happy to help.

Stump Grinding versus Stump Removal—Which is the Best Option?

Tree stumps are an eyesore in your yard or in spots where people flock, stroll, or just pass by often. Looking to get rid of tree stumps in your yard, there are different ways to get it done. Whether you have these stumps ground or removed, they both fall to the same objective–removing the stump. Literally, stump grinding is a much different process in removing a stump, but the latter doesn’t employ grinding but of different methods.

If you own a tree that has to be discarded for good, which method you think is the best?

Stump grinding

Removing a tree stump can be done manually. First, by digging the stump out by hand or burning it if it is permissible in your area. But a simpler and more effective method is to use a power tool, such as the stump grinder, which is a very quick and inexpensive procedure. It typically takes a couple of hours to remove a small tree stump. More time will be needed if you have more stumps to tackle.

A stump grinder makes the removal of the stump quicker.

When removing the tree stump, trim the stump to the ground using a chain saw. This will help speed up the process, which is especially convenient for a large stump. Also, dig up rocks around the tree stump. Rocks and stones can damage the teeth on the grinder’s cutting wheel.

When you think the stump has totally disintegrated, simply spread the cutwood chips over the hole made by grinding. Repeat the same with mulch, and then add topsoil, and then spread an even layer of grass seed into the soil. Finally, water the area. Monitor and treat the area just as you would treat your lawn.

In stump grinding, a stump cutter is used. It is a powerful tool built with a rotating disc that cuts away the wood. If you want the quicker way of getting away with the stump, power tools should be used instead.

Stump removal

Although stump grinding is the same concept as stump removal, perhaps the use of “removal” in this sense points to a different method of “eradicating” the stump in a more specific way.

After a huge and tall tree has been cut down, tree surgeons still have something left behind the massive workload, that is, the stump. Stump removal is another laborious work but can be done easily by using the right techniques.

Before getting on removing the stump completely and immediately, it is important to assess the stump beforehand, because some stumps take a few days before they are completely wiped out, and some take a few hours only.

Consider that trees have varied roots and branches. The thicker and wider the stump is, and depending on the characteristic of wood of the tree, removing the stump may take a while. Also, the age of the tree is another indicator of how easy or hard to remove the stump. Old stumps are easier to remove.

Methods to remove a stump

By hand

Do you know that you can remove a stump by yourself? Some old stumps are literally small, and it only needs a handful of tools in order to unearth the stump. If the stump is decayed or diseased, it is much easier to haul it up.

  1. You will be needing a shovel, ax, digging bar, limbing saw or chainsaw.
  2. Use the saw to remove the protruding portion of the stump but don’t cut them as leveled to the ground so you’ll have a remaining stump to use as leverage when you pull it up later.
  3. Use the digging bar and shovel to reveal the roots, and then cut the roots around the stump one by one.
  4. Push and pull the trunk and see if it is good enough to be removed.
  5. When the stump is uprooted, pour topsoil onto the hole and level the ground using the shovel. You can also add grass and water the spot from time to time so no trace of the stump is left.

By burning

If you feel hiring tree experts to remove the stump in your yard is costly, you can use the burning method. Although this is a little risky as it may violate certain rules in your area, try this method with some caution.

  1. Using a power drill, make holes on the top of the stump and on the sides, too.
  2. Remove the debris from the stump and pour kerosene (or pure vegetable oil if you’re not fond of harmful gases) on the holes.
  3. Using a matchstick, light up some dried woody stems (or coal) or anything flammable and insert them in the holes.
  4. Keep the fire burning until the stump slowly recedes its size and becomes hollow inside due to charred elements.
  5. Let it stay for a few days until the stump is weak and ready to crumble.

If you have several stumps to remove and you need the help of an expert, the men from Alpine Tree Surgeons in Hampshire will handle the heavy job for you. They had acquired the skill and years of experience in handling stumps and trees for the beautification of our environment.

All you need is call us or fill out the form, and all your queries will be given prompt responses.

Safety and Best Practices for a Tree Surgeon

The Importance of Trees

Trees and plants are an integral part of the planet we live in. With the movement of time, the presence of trees and plants is becoming a problem in urbanisation and industrialisation. To continue the legacy of our greens and help us benefit from them, arborists or tree surgeons play an important role in our communities.

An arborist is a professional individual with years of practice in arboriculture, which spans works on management, cultivation, and study of trees, shrubs, vines, and woody plants. This has nothing to be confused with a logger or a forester, but an arborist focuses on the management of health and safety of trees and plants.

It is the job of tree surgeons in Alpine Tree Surgeons to ensure that all aspects of landscaping and tree management are well sought and carefully carried out. They provide 24-hour emergency call out service in the areas of Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex, and recently, Guildford.

What entails good practice in tree maintenance

Tree maintenance is a crucial job, and it should only be executed by qualified teams with proper equipment and extensive experience. Sometimes, the job entails risking the lives of tree climbers. That is why in this industry, a certificate of competence is required for arborists before they can perform tree operations. Imagine how tall trees are, and most of the time, arborists deal with extremely tall trees that involve expert climbing and cutting. The courage that comes along with knowledge and expertise in engaging in this kind of job is worth the praise. A team of highly qualified tree surgeons, with their skills in using high-powered tools and equipment, could only be the one who can carry out the procedures of such a dangerous job.

In the UK, arborists gain qualification through formal education.  Besides a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, further education in arboriculture can be pursued.

With the wide scope of responsibilities and activities of arborists, there is no single and specific health and safety guideline available but directions and topics of discussion to observe good practice. For example, tree felling involves working with heights, encountering electrical posts and lines, hazards from using a chain saw and other high-powered tools, and using cranes. Arborists should also skilled and knowledgeable in trimming and pruning, which may involve pest removal, fencing, bracing, etc.

The list below includes some of the areas every individual working in arboriculture should take into consideration when looking for guidelines for their specific scope of work.

  1. Tree climbing—It takes a lot of skills to climb a tree. Arborists who climb high on large and tall trees need to be equipped with chainsaws and climbing gears when the job requires cleaning up brought by storm or any natural disaster.
  2. Using climbing spurs/spikes—Spurs and spikes are a great stepping platform to ascend a tree. Spurs are dug on the bark of a tree and using these as leverage for the body to lean back and hold it in place using a lanyard. Digging spurs on the bark may damage a tree unless the purpose is to cut it down.
  3. Rope throwing bundle—Use a carabiner and a rope to support your weight when climbing up or down. Make sure the rope or lanyard is securely fastened on ends and can safely pull you up or down the ground.
  4. Working with heights—Like mountaineers and hikers, arborists should never be afraid of heights. The highest tree can stand as high as a multiple-story building. Felling a tree that stands more than a hundred feet requires skill and special techniques to keep the surrounding area safe, including the arborist himself. If you have trees within your property, you still need to secure permission to prune or fell a tree, especially when it is covered by certain regulation on tree preservation.
  5. Ground works—Arborists should have a great deal of understanding how to care for trees in terms of pruning, insect control, and fertilisation. This is essential before they can make recommendations on the health condition of the tree or if it is needed to cut it down.
  6. Machine operation—When working with trees, arborists should have the expertise to operate machines.

Tree management and tree surgeons should look at the following qualifications when they employ arborists:

  • Highly critical in identifying potentially hazardous trees
  • Can repair, remove, prune, or apply fertilisers on declining trees or any wooden plant
  • Can operate equipment used in aerial operations
  • Can do landscaping jobs and groundworks, such as soil modification using specialised tools and equipment
  • Can perform periodical inspection

As described, tree surgeons have one of the most dangerous roles in our community. Arborists can be injured while at work. What are these dangers? Are they life threatening?

To ensure the safety of their community and to serve homes and business areas, tree surgeons also seek for their own safety; the reason why they need to comply with national safety guidelines for a mutual benefit.

Arborists can experience the following:

  • Falling from trees, ladders, or any elevated equipment
  • Struck by bark parts or cutting tools
  • Insect bites
  • Electrocution from cable wires
  • Poisoning from harmful chemicals
  • Accidents from natural disasters (wind, snow, storm)

The next time you are in search of reliable arborists, Alpine Tree Surgeons have the complete men skilled in all aspects of tree care. Visit our website and know more about our services. Wherever area you might be in the UK, we are there to serve.