A True Professional Tree Surgeon!

If you have trees in your garden you may already be familiar with the services that a tree surgeon offers. Tree maintenance, in particular trimming, can be vital if you have large trees on your property. Without any form of maintenance larger trees can easily lose shape and even pose as a danger to people and surroundings.

Branches that grow at too much of an angle become susceptible to breaking as they have little or no support from the trunk of the tree. You don’t need a gusty day to bring down tree branches, they will eventually just fall which is dangerous if the tree is near other buildings, or where people are passing by. It is for jobs like this that tree surgeons are invaluable, as they can remove the branches safely whilst not causing any damage to the tree itself. Diseased branches can cause similar problems to those with breakages in them. A diseased branch can become weak and eventually fall, or can result in the entire tree becoming infected. By contacting a tree surgeon they will advise on the best course of action, from removing the diseased branches to treating the tree in an effort to save it.
Reasons for using a professional

There are two main reasons why it is advisable to contact a professional tree surgeon to take care of the maintenance and wellbeing of your trees:

Expertise – A tree surgeon does not just cut down trees or stray branches. Tree maintenance ranges from planting, pruning and watering to diagnosing and treating diseased trees. In each situation the tree surgeon will have the expertise to know how to prune trees (this can vary from tree to tree), the best seasons to plant new trees, and how to treat diseases accordingly. Tree surgeons are trained to keep trees healthy and to identify and correct problems that may be affecting a tree.

Safety – For those of us that are keen gardeners we may have a basic understanding of how to prune a tree, but it is unlikely that we’ll have the correct equipment and safety clothing to carry out the job. If you hire or even buy the equipment, you still won’t be equipped with the knowledge of how to use the equipment safely, or the safest way to work with a diseased or unstable tree. The potential dangers speak for themselves.

A true professional

Unfortunately there are rogue tree surgeons who will claim to be able to offer you a service which is both full of expertise and safety awareness. If you are looking for a tree surgeon, you need to be confident that they are fully trained, insured and competent in their work. Consider the following:

Quotes – When obtaining quotes, don’t assume that you have a ‘good deal’, if one is dramatically lower in price than the others. Tree surgeons are trained professionals that have high running costs to cover insurance, wages and equipment. If you are being offered a service at an extremely ‘cut-down’ price you need to ask further questions to guarantee the individuals integrity.

Qualifications – The governing body for tree surgery qualifications is the National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC). A good tree surgeon should hold the following certificates:

CS30 – Maintenance of chainsaws, on site preparations and basic cross cutting
CS31 – Fell and process of small trees
CS38 – Tree climbing and aerial rescue
CS39 – Use of a chainsaw from a rope/harness
First Aid at Work

The basics of Tree Surgery

Caring for the trees on your property is not always as easy as it may sound. If you’ve read any articles on Tree Surgery you will already know that it is a highly skilled profession, with many of the practices requiring equipment/machinery as well as knowledge and expertise in using them correctly.

As with any profession, tree surgeons have their own terminology when discussing work practices, and as a homeowner with limited or no knowledge it can seem a little daunting. Here are some of the basics that may crop up in conversation;

Crown – This is the foliage section of the tree which is formed by its branches. It does not include the tree trunk.

Deadwood – Non-living branches due to natural ageing or external influences.

Decline – When a tree displays a lack of vitality, poor leaf size or a reduction in colour this is known as the trees decline.

Coppicing – Cutting down a tree to within 12in of the ground at regular intervals.

Root pruning – Like pruning branches, the roots are pruned ensuring that the tree remains stable and does not interfere with anything else that may be in close proximity.

Bracing – Belts, ropes or cables are used to support the structure of the tree should it have become weak and unstable.

Fertilising – Applying a substance to the roots of the tree to aid and encourage healthy growth or to reduce the rate of a trees decline.

Cavity – A void in the solid structure of a tree usually caused by the trees deterioration.

Pollarding – The initial removal of the top of a young tree to encourage new growth.

When to call

Tree Surgeons work all year round. If you are responsible for the trees in/around your property it is important that you know when to contact a tree surgeon. If your tree has been severely damaged perhaps due to weathering, is growing towards a building or is not looking as healthy as you’d expect, then contact your local tree surgeon who can advise on what measures you need to take to keep the tree or alternatively to remove it completely.

In terms of caring for trees with regular pruning, most trees can be pruned at any time of the year although it is best to avoid the period where the tree is producing new leafs and is at its most active in terms of growth. Ideally do not prune if the weather is particularly cold and frosty, as pruning may leave the tree a little vulnerable until it has recovered.
If you have any queries on the health of your trees it is always advisable to seek professional advice so as not to place the tree at any risk.

Tree Surgery Forest of Dean

Have you ever wondered what is involved in nurturing a new tree into a healthy strong tree? This blog provides an overview of ‘all things tree care’, perfect if you are considering planting new trees in your garden.

Off shopping!

Do your research! Find out about the different types of trees that are available, and feasible for your garden and location. If outdoor space is limited you don’t want to select a tree that will grow to huge proportions and take over. If you need advice on the different types of trees suitable for you and your garden seek expert advice from a tree surgeon. Alternatively ask in a garden centre, use reference books or look on the internet, all wonderful resources should you need help in deciding.

Forward planning

Remember, once you’ve planted a tree the first two to three years of care will have a huge impact on the trees developing strength and shape. Those initial few years will determine the lifespan of the tree.


Be mindful of utility/power lines if you have any close to your garden, and don’t plant larger trees too close to your property. Avoid the potential of your well established trees clashing with power lines, or blocking natural light in the property. After the effort and time spent nurturing your trees it would be a shame if they had to be severely pruned or even removed because of their inappropriate location.

If possible, identify the type of soil in your garden (or location you intend to plant). Most trees will flourish in any soil conditions, but there are a few varieties that require specific types of soil.

TLC = Mulching & Water

A newly planted tree will require mulch to kick-start the growth process. Mulching the soil protects the trees roots from hot and cold temperatures, it retains enough water to keep the roots moist, and it will also prevent weeds from taking root around the trees roots.

New trees will also require watering as soon as they are planted. During the first 2 years (aka the toddler stage!), the tree will be expending lots of energy whilst its roots are developing and establishing in the soil, so regular watering is essential. This is even more-true during the trees first two summers. Moistened woodchip mulch is ideal for new trees. You need to remember that too much water can have a damaging effect, so if the soil around the roots feels moist, save watering for another day.

After these first few years the tree will be well established, able to stand up to all weathers, and be able to take all the nutrients and water from the ground.


Pruning because you have spotted some dead wood can be carried out at any time of year. More intrusive pruning must be carried out at specific times of the year, so as not to hinder the trees growth.
Winter – The ideal time to prune most trees, once we’ve made it past the cold snap. At this time of year the tree is dormant, so a good prune will lead to a burst of energy and growth come spring time.
Summer – With experience, you can prune trees during the summer months if you are aiming to slow down a trees growth. Wait until the seasonal growth period is over before you start.


You’ve planted your trees, nurtured them, successfully reaching the 2 year mark; what next?
Annual pruning is advised, but as your tree may have become rather large this may prove to be a difficult task, you may have times when you believe the tree has become sick, or requires some expert attention to ensure it remains in good health.
At Tree Surgery Forest of Dean no job is deemed too small, so if your trees require pruning, shaping or simply a health check please get in touch and one of our experienced team members will give you the help and advice that you need.

The Importance Of Being A Healthy Tree!

A happy, vibrant, well-nourished tree is a HEALTHY tree!

Whilst wandering around the garden you may not have noticed that a plant or two has seen better days, maybe the flower heads have dropped from one of your Hydrangea, or the neighbours’ cat has been playing in your Fuchsia so it’s no longer the vibrant splash of colour, but a splayed out patch of pinks and greens. This type of garden activity tends to go fairly unnoticed by the homeowner, yet an unhealthy dying tree can quickly become an eyesore.

Is your tree sick?

Different trees will display different symptoms if they are sick, but the common symptom shared by all is if you notice that the tree(s) in your garden have failed to produce leaves at the time of year they usually would. If the bark appears brittle and can be easily knocked off, or if you notice that branches are drying out, drooping or even falling off completely the chances are there is something wrong with the tree. Often the cause can just be the age of the tree, but referring to a tree surgeon for advice will confirm this either way.

Main causes

There are a number of factors to consider if you are trying to identify the reasons behind your unhealthy trees;
Water – Not a lack of (especially in the UK!), but a prolonged surplus of water can diminish shoot growth; rot the base of the trunk, which can eventually lead to the tree dying.

Chemicals – Many of us will douse the garden in herbicides/pesticides should we see a rise in the number of weeds that appear. If you also have trees in the garden ensure the chemicals are kept away from them, or purchase pesticides that are not harmful to them.

Insects – Insects (such as beetles), and certain bacteria’s can lead to irreversible damage to a tree which can lead to premature death.

Squirrels?! – Even the cute garden squirrel can result in an unhealthy tree. Commonly attracted to gardens where the homeowner leaves bird feed out, squirrels will sit in a tree and happily gnaw away bark from the branch. If this happens repeatedly this will weaken the tree and may cause the branch to die and drop off.

Soil – A change in soil depth or compaction can cause series damage to a tree, making it more susceptible to disease and insects. The roots of a tree take water, oxygen and minerals from the soil, so if this stops so will the tree’s nourishment.

Take action

Take a look at your trees outside. If you can spot any differences in appearance, growth, leaf density that is different to the normal cycles of change your tree goes through it is worth calling a professional tree surgeon for advice.
Given enough time a Tree surgeon may be able to save the tree by simply removing the dead sections, or the tree may have to be completely removed. If the tree is showing signs of disease, a tree surgeon should advise on what can be done to salvage the tree, assuming that is possible. If a trees decline can be linked to changes in the environment around it, the soil or water drainage, a tree surgeon can advise on the measures to take in an effort to bring the tree back to full health.