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How To Find The Best Tree Surgeon In Your Area: What To Look Out For And The Questions To Ask

Of course, we would love for everyone looking for a tree surgeon in Torbay, Teignbridge or Exeter to choose The Tree Man, but for those still deciding or those further afield we have put together our advice for making sure you find the best tree surgeon in your area.


- Check their qualifications:

Be sure to check any tree surgeon you hire is fully NPTC (National Proficiency Tests Council) qualified. As a minimum, they should hold the following certificates:

  • Chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting (NPTC 201 formerly CS30)

  • Felling of small trees (NPTC 202 formerly CS31)

  • Climb trees and perform aerial rescue (NPTC 203 formerly CS38)

  • Operate a chainsaw from a rope and harness (NPTC 204 formerly CS39)

If you are looking to remove a tree that is in a tight space or close to structures, you should also look for a tree surgeon certified in aerial tree rigging (NPTC 309 formerly CS41), meaning they will be qualified to sectionally dismantle the tree, bringing it down using a rigging system.

You should also check they work to British Standards and that they know the relevant ones (British Standard 3998:2010 Tree work Recommendations, British Standard 5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations).

- Check their insurance:

It is very important to check that your tree surgeon is fully insured, meaning they have employers and public liability cover. It is recommended to have a minimum public liability cover of £5 million. Remember, their insurance won’t be worth the paper it is written on if they don’t hold the relevant qualifications for the job they are doing.


- Get a written quote:

Your tree surgeon should be happy to provide you with a written quote following an in-person visit that details the specification so you are clear on what is included in the price. For example, does it include stump grinding, will all waste be cleared from the site, is there any plant hire, is it included in the price? etc. Where tree work is concerned, our view is that the quotation should be carried out in person, free of charge, to ensure all factors are considered and that there are no nasty surprises for either party on the day. Because of this, at The Tree Man we are happy to say that our quotes are fixed, meaning the price we quote is the price you pay. We recommend checking with your contractor if they are happy to guarantee their quote.

As a side note, it is not uncommon for contractors to offer stump removal / stump grinding quotes based on photos / videos and measurements as there are fewer variables to consider vs tree work. That said, you should always check whether the price given is a fixed quote or an estimate.


- Check their Terms and Conditions:

Any professional tree surgeon should be able to provide their terms and conditions; it makes clear what is covered and included from the outset and helps to protect both parties. Always make sure you have read these before accepting any quote.


- Avoid tree surgeons recommending and using terms such as lopping or topping:

These are outdated pruning techniques that are now considered to be harmful and most professional Arborists agree that it is a technique that should never be used unless the tree is being removed. We have written a blog post on why these techniques are so harmful if you would like to learn more.


- Find out who will actually be doing the job:

Always ask at quotation who will actually be climbing the tree. It is often the case that the person you meet at quotation is not present on the day and for big companies it is unlikely you will see the owner throughout the whole process. We believe that the owner of the company has the biggest incentive to deliver the best work, which is why at The Tree Man we guarantee that Daniel will oversee every job.


Hopefully these tips help to ensure you have a smooth experience when hiring a tree surgeon in your area. If you are looking for a tree surgeon in Torbay, Teignbridge or Exeter please get in touch, we would be happy to provide you with a quote, free of charge and no obligation of course!