Things to Consider When Looking for a Professional Tree Surgeon

By: Candice Hubbard

When you find yourself in need of a good local tree surgeon (arborist), knowing where to start looking can be a bit complicated. Yes, it's true that tree surgeons do advertise, and all you have to do is open up the yellow pages or go online and you'll find plenty of choices to select from. Yet it's really not that simple. An advertisement is no guarantee that you'll be hiring someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to tree surgery, is reliable, experienced, and professional. Here are some tips about looking for a professional tree surgeon:


Get estimates from about three different tree surgeons for the tree surgery, and be sure and ask for a written quotation. Ask if they give free estimates, before they come to call. Normally they do, but it pays to be sure.

Arboricultural Association- Approved

Try and get at least one quotes from an Arboricultural Association-approved contractor. What this means is that Arboricultural Association (AA) members must undergo a rigorous assessment every five years. It is also necessary for them to show that they have adequate insurance, and have the proper equipment.


Now before the wood chips start flying stop to consider what you need to know about the situation and the tree surgeon himself. There's nothing wrong about asking questions, even if they're about something as mundane as wood chips. Don't allow yourself to be intimidated, after all, you will be paying for this service, it sure isn't going to come free. A good tree surgeon will not only be skilled, but will know what he's talking about and not mind some respectful questions. That's really the key, you know. Asking whatever questions you need to, but doing so in a courteous manner.

And under questions I'd also add to be absolutely certain you know exactly what is covered by the quote. For instance, is stump grinding and clearing included along with the process of reducing your tree to wood chips? Don't assume anything unless you specifically ask.

Planning Permission

Get in touch with your local planning authority to discuss whether or not permission is required for your tree surgery. Any tree surgeon worth the price of his chain saw will know the answer to that question, but it is always best to be sure. Under normal circumstances there should be no problem whatsoever, but again, better to play it safe.


Regardless of who you select to do your tree surgery, you have to be certain that they have both third-party liability insurance and also professional indemnity insurance coverage.

While not every tree surgeon will carry the original policy documents with them, it doesn't matter. Just make sure that the insurance details are clearly stated in the written quotation. This will protect you by making certain that you'll be covered in the event something unexpected occurs. Look out for those flying wood chips!

Remember that nothing is foolproof, but the above listed suggestions are ways in which you can protect yourself when you have to hire a tree surgeon.

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Candice Hubbard is an experienced tree surgeon with years of tree surgery and dodging flying wood chips behind her. She's qualified to write on these topics and had been doing so for years.

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