How to become a Tree Surgeon

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: October 2015
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Tree surgeons are arboriculture professionals who provide felling and maintenance services such as pruning, lopping and topping of trees, hedges and shrubs, and consultancy about issues such as tree preservation orders and health and safety risks from storm-damaged trees. Typical clients include private householders and housing associations, highways agencies, local authorities and other public sector organisations. Self-employed tree surgeons often work on a subcontract basis for property developers, garden landscapers, and larger tree surgery services.

Some tree surgeons, particularly those with professional arboriculture qualifications, also provide reports for valuation, mortgage and insurance purposes and act as expert witnesses in legal cases involving injuries or damage caused by trees.

Arboriculture is the care of individual trees and groups of trees, primarily for amenity purposes such as in residential and public gardens, public parks, at the roadside, in hospital grounds and in public car parks. Forestry is the care of forests and woodland areas. Forestry professionals have similar skills and carry out similar work to arboriculture professionals, but are often employed by the Forestry Commission and only work on trees in commercial forests and woodland.

Tree surgery is an extremely high-risk occupation involving a variety of potential health and safety hazards. This is due to the requirement to work safely at height and use chainsaws, stump grinders and other hazardous equipment and machinery. Tree surgeons are also at risk from exposure to petrol fumes and sawdust, which pose an explosion risk and can also damage the respiratory system.

This profile provides information about starting up and trading as a tree surgeon. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information.

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