Tree Surgery

We offer our professional arboricultural services to both domestic and commercial customers and offer free no obligation quotations.

If your tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or falls within a Conservation Area we will submit the application and deal with the local planning authority on your behalf at no additional cost should you accept our quotation.

We are Arb Approved Contractors with the Arboricultural Association and as such all our works are carried out in accordance with British Standards and industry best practice giving you peace of mind that you are dealing with industry professionals.

Aware of our health, safety and environmental responsibilities we are a CHAS approved contractor which underlines our commitment to the health and safety of both our staff and client alike. We also have ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems approval confirming our environmental compliance.

At S.P. Landscapes we provide all types of tree surgery works including:

  • Tree Felling – straight felling a tree from the ground.
  • Sectional Tree Felling – dismantling a tree in sections through climbing or with a Mobile Elevated Work Platform.
  • Crown Reduction – reduction in height and/ or spread of the crown of the tree.
  • Crown Thinning – removal of a portion of smaller internal branches to produce a uniform density of foliage around the crown allowing more light through the canopy of the tree.
  • Crown Lifting – removal of the lowest branches to increase the distance between the lowest branch and ground level.
  • Dead Wood Removal – removal of non-living branches normally carried out for safety reasons.
  • Pollarding – removal of the top of a tree, normally from a young tree, to encourage multi-stem branching and prevent the tree from becoming too large. Once started trees should then be re-pollarded on a cyclical basis.

Even if you don’t find the particular service you require mentioned on our website please give our friendly team a call. We’re always happy to hear about your project and will help you wherever possible.

For a no-obligation quotation please contact us.

Tree Surgery FAQs

This will depend on a number of varying factors but mainly consists of:

  • How long we estimate the job will take
  • How many Tree Surgeons are required to undertake the works safely and efficiently
  • What equipment is required such a wood chipper, cherry picker, stump grinder
  • Whether the arisings are remaining on site or being removed from site

The size of the tree is a factor but a large tree, that could be straight felled with good vehicle access, would likely cost less than a medium sized tree, with restricted access and that required a Tree Surgeon to climb and dismantle the tree. Due to the restriction around the tree and the fact the tree needed to be climbed, this would take longer to undertake the tree work and may require more Tree Surgeons to process the arisings.

If a tree is dead or diseased, it may not be safe to climb. In these circumstances, we would use a Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP), more commonly known as a cherry picker. This allows the Tree Surgeon to safely access the upper part of the tree, to dismantle or remove specific branches, without coming into contact with the tree. This will add cost to the work for the supply of the MEWP, as well as another vehicle to transport it to site, however, subject to the works, MEWPs can often make the works more efficient and can offer cost savings on larger jobs. Whilst many companies hire in MEWPs, we operative three 17m reach tracked machines of our own and only hire in MEWPs if we require a higher reach for taller trees.

In most cases, we are only requested to remove a tree to as close to ground level as practically possible, however you many choose to have the stump removed. Again, this will increase the cost of the work as a separate piece of equipment is required to grind the stump. Due to the specialist equipment required, the slow process of grinding a stump and to what extent you want the stump ground it, this can seem quite costly in comparison to the actual tree removal.

Finally, having the arisings removed from site doesn’t necessarily incur huge additional costs, as quite often the additional time taken to chip up the branches, or process the cord wood, can be often against the sale of the woodchip or logs. Where the arisings are difficult to remove, such as limited access for equipment or a long distance between the tree and where it can be processed, then this can add a lot of time and therefore cost to the quote.

As a rough guide a team of two Tree Surgeons with a specialist vehicle, wood chipper, chainsaw and climbing equipment would cost approx. £70 to £80 per hour but this would increase if additional Tree Surgeons were needed or additional equipment was required, such as additional vehicles, a MEWP, a stump grinder or a crane, or if there were large amounts of arisings to be removed from site. Due to these varying factors, we always recommend that our estimator attends site to fully assess the extent of the works so that we can provide you with a fixed-price quotation or, if preferred, we can provide a day rate cost.

Any tree could be protected, so you should always check to see if your tree is protected before undertaking any works. The main two things to check for are:

  • a Tree Preservation Order – This provides protection on the tree/s and you are required to gain written permission to have any works carried out to the tree. Any works must be justified and not be detrimental to the tree, however there are some works that fall under an exemption such as the removal of dead wood.
  • a Conservation Area – Any tree works to trees within a Conservation Area requires written notification. If there are no objections to the proposed works within 6 weeks of notification then you are OK to proceed with the works. There are some exemptions which include anything with a diameter less than 75mm or anything less than 100mm to help improve the growth of another tree.

If you engage with our services to undertake the tree work, we undertake these checks on your behalf as well as sending the relevant application, should permission or notification be required. We only undertake the works once the necessary permission has been received or the notification period has passed, so you do not need to worry.

Other permission to be aware of are:

  • Felling License – This restricts the volume of timber that can be felled within a calendar quarter to 5 cubic metres but does not apply to private gardens and there are exemptions for dead and hazardous trees.
  • Tree ownership – If you do not own the tree then you may need to seek permission from the tree owner. This could be a neighbour, the local council or a private business. Note, if a neighbouring tree is overhanging your property, you do have the right to cut it back to the boundary, however the cut branches remain your neighbours property. As such, you should offer the cut branches back to your neighbour. The Tree Preservation Order and Conservation Area restrictions always take precedence so these permissions are still required even if you are planning to work on someone else’s tree.

In essence, yes trees can damage your property, including buildings, paving and drains, however in most cases they do not. If you feel that a tree is causing damage to your property then further investigations are required to determine whether it is the tree causing the damage or whether it could be another factor.

The main types of damage that can be caused by trees are:

  • Physical damage – This can be caused by live branches moving in the wind and damaging roof tiles, or gutters, or could be damages caused by falling dead branches. Suckering branches or surface roots could also lift paving or lightweight structures, such as a garden shed.
  • Structural damage caused by subsidence – This is more difficult to determine but tree roots can absorb large proportions of the water within the soil, particularly during very dry periods, causing the soil to shrink. This shrinkage can affect the stability of the foundations, causing cracks in the building, and is mostly an issue with heavy clay soil types.
  • Root penetration – Roots can penetrate into drain, or other utilities, causing physical damage, or blocking drains, under the ground.

Unfortunately, we are unable to help undertake any repair work to your property but we can help with any tree work to prevent the issue re-occurring.

We offer free advice, and quotations, and can arrange for a site visit by our estimator, who will assess the tree, and the damaged caused, and provide work recommendations to prevent any further damage. Please note, trees are a living and growing organism so it isn’t always possible to act once and never repeat the process. If repeat visits are required, we will provide advice on the frequency and when to call us back (for example, when the tree branches get within 2 metres of the building).

We also offer written Tree Condition & Hazard Assessment surveys. This is a paid services where we undertake a ground-based assessment of the tree and record out finding. Any recommendations of work are noted and given a priority or risk rating and this can include where a tree is at risk of damaging a property. This is particularly useful for larger gardens or commercial sites and important if the site is accessible by the public, as there is a duty of care by the tree owner to take reasonable steps to ensure the safe condition of their trees.

We are able to provide informal advice on trees that may be causing subsidence but, in most cases, we would pass this onto a structural engineer with experience in subsidence claims. Advice, in regards to the tree, would be submitted to the Structural Engineer to aid in their investigation but it would be down to them to determine if it was the tree causing the subsidence.

This is dependent on the tree species but in most cases the best time of year to undertake tree work is from late-Autumn through to Winter, when the tree is dormant, and it is best to avoid Spring time and early-Autumn. The reason is that in Spring time the tree is actively growing and any tree pruning can be detrimental to the growth of the tree. Likewise, in early-Autumn the tree is pulling all the nutrients that it needs from the leaves and any tree work can put additional stress on the tree due to loss of nutrients.

There are a few exceptions to this general rule such as Walnut trees that should be pruned mid-Summer to early-Autumn as the tree is prone to bleeding sap through the open wounds. The other exception is if the tree, or a branch, is hazardous such as dead or diseased, as the safety of the surrounding public or buildings would take priority and, in most cases, any minor tree work or the removal of one branch, is not likely to have a detrimental affect on the whole tree.

If a tree or hedges is being removed, the time of year is mostly unaffected but one consideration would be bird nesting season. All species of nesting bird are protected all year round; however, they commonly nest between March to July. If there are no actively nesting birds within a tree then we can continue with the tree removal, however if there was a nesting bird within a tree, we would need to postpone the works until the birds had fledged the nest. In most broad-leaved species, with sparse canopies, it is easy to undertake a pre-work inspection for any nesting birds. However, with some evergreen species with dense canopies, such as Conifers, it is very difficult so we would look to schedule these works outside of bird nesting season, if possible.

In regards to hedges, it is dependent on how many times a year you plan to have the hedge cut and where the hedge is located. If cutting the hedge once per year then we would recommend cutting it between September to November. This falls outside of bird nesting season and is before the winter frosts. However, if you plan to cut you hedges twice per year then an earlier cut in June or July is recommended. In some circumstances, where hedges are close to paths or roads, they may require an earlier cut in June/ July to ensure that they are not impeding onto the paths or road.

Following a site visit to assess the extent of your works, and to provide you with a quote, our estimator will be able to advise and make recommendations on the best time of year to undertake your works.

Case Studies

Dismantling of a poplar tree