Sheffield’s Great Trees Are Up For Awards

It may be that you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about trees or what makes a great tree. It can be all too easy to pass trees by without a second thought, particularly if you have seen the same trees for years. However, there has been an ongoing row in Sheffield over tree felling and this has caused an upsurge in the volume of people who are talking about trees and action is being taken to capitalise on this debate and discussion. This is the backdrop for the Great Trees of Sheffield 2017 event that aims to find the best trees in the city.

Members of the public have been able to nominate their favourite trees in the city and the winners were decided by a team of judges with the event hosted at Sheffield Hallam University. This could be the sort of quirky event that gets publicity and then fades away quite quickly but it does look as though there has been a good level of interest in the competition. With celebrities like Jarvis Cocker and Chris Packham supposedly nominating trees, the event which has been organised by “tree hunter” Rob McBride appears to have been well received. It should be notes that the term “tree hunter” is one that McBride has given himself and you do wonder what his daily activities are if he feels that tree hunter is a term that describes him sufficiently!

Celebrity endorsements have increased awareness of this situation

The issue started when the Streets Ahead Initiative led by Sheffield City Council recommended that thousands of trees in the city should be felled. The aim of the project is to provide the city with a better standard of roads, street lighting, pavements and bridges; with a lot of work being lined up over a 25 year period. However, this would have seen a number of trees chopped down and as you would expect, this saw a number of people up in arms. It has never been easier to stage a protest and gather people around a cause, and there has been strong opposition to this work. There has even been a number of arrests due to protestors preventing contractors from going about their daily work.

The city council has said that for every tree that is removed during this process, there will be a replacement tree put in place. Sheffield City Council say they are committed to replacing trees on a “one for one” basis and that they believe more than 600 trees will be planted during this period. This is a good commitment but of course, if people have grown attached to trees or consider a tree to be part of their local community, it is likely that will be unhappy with anything that the council proposes to do in this field.

If this event helps to make people more aware of trees and their importance in a local community, all the better.

Rogue Tree Surgeons Are A Concern

One of the problems that blight a number of industries actually has nothing to do with the organisation or industry at all. This is because some scammers or fraudsters see an opportunity to make money and decide to latch on to the industry and take money from people who are duped by their presence. This is something that has been common in many roles involving the service industry and manual labour, and sadly, there have been incidents of rogue tree surgeons scamming residents out of their money.

The problem with this sort of situation is that some people in the general public will start to develop a negative association with tree surgeons. This would be harsh as the genuine tree surgeons, with qualifications and experience doesn’t deserve to be linked in with these criminals but you can see why people would make an assumption.

An 82 year old woman was scammed by rogue tree surgeons

A recent incident has occurred in Shoebury and an 82 year old woman has been scammed out of money by people claiming to be tree surgeons. The process started when flyers and leaflets were posted through doors in the local area offering the service. Essex Police believe that the firms listed on the leaflets are being used as a front by local criminals.

The elderly woman received the leaflet through her door and contacted the phone number listed on the flyer. She then received a visit from someone claiming to be a consultant and she was informed that the cost of pruning the tree would be £450. The woman immediately said that she wasn’t interested in the service at this price but the consultant made it clear he wasn’t going to leave the garden until a price had been agreed.

This left the woman feeling as though she was being intimidated into agreeing. There have been many instances of pressurised sales force over the years and this is where the line between bad business behaviour and criminal activity becomes blurred. In industries like double glazing or boiler services, there have been a lot of complaints about the high pressure sales tactics employed by professionals. It is often difficult for people to tell the difference between bad business behaviour and actual criminal behaviour.

After a fee of £280 was agreed, seven men turned up at the home and in the words of the woman, hacked the tree to pieces in a way that a qualified tree surgeon wouldn’t. The job was complete in around twenty minutes, leaving more of a mess than there had been in the first place.

It is essential that people should be aware that there are rogue traders operating as tree surgeons but equally, it is vital that people know that there are many professional and trustworthy tree surgeons operating in the industry. It is essential that tree surgeon firms that can be relied upon do what they can to ensure customers know who can be trusted and relied upon for all tree surgeon work.

Complaints Over Tree Felling

Whenever development work is taking place, you can guarantee that there will always be people looking out to see if there is any reason to stop the work being undertaken. Even though there is a dire need for new homes and property all across the United Kingdom, there will always be reasons for people and individuals to halt progress on a particular piece of work. This is why any developer undertaking work needs to know that they have full legal permission to work on the land and to take steps in changing the landscape.
There was an issue in Cornwall recently when local residents decided to intervene in development work taking place on Vinery Meadow. The issue started when residents heard chainsaws and the sound of branches falling, which immediately gave people the opportunity to question if the work was valid. The local council was contacted and it was only then that people were informed that consent had been provided for tree surgeons to work in the area. There are protected Monterey pine trees in this meadow but proper planning permission had been sought and then granted.
While the application had been made to fell the tree, permission was granted to allow dead wood to be removed from the crown initially and then a further review of the tree could be undertaken. The tree surgeon carrying out the work spoke to local press and said that the tree was in a very poor condition. It was decided that as the tree was falling and that there wasn’t a great deal of safe areas in the tree left, it was best to take the full tree down, removing it from the area.

A tree surgeon looks to protect trees

A tree surgeon is always going to do their best to keep a healthy tree in place so if the tree surgeon is recommending that the tree be removed, it is clearly in poor health or likely to present a danger to the general public. This is likely to be the basis of the next application to the council which could see the trees being removed. This sort of story will always cause debate and discussion. There will be local residents who claim that the condition of the tree appears to be convenient, allowing developers to remove a tree that causes them trouble or is a hindrance to their plans. Healthy trees should be protected but if there is an issue with a tree or there could be problems to come, it is vital that steps are taken to make the area safe.
This style of story is a strong reminder for tree surgeons and people operating in this field that their work isn’t as straightforward as it should be. A tree surgeon should be focused on the condition of the tree and the impact on the local environment but there are often many factors involved with an application to remove limbs and branches from a tree. This could be a story that runs and runs.

Spring Tree Care Steps To Follow

While hiring the services of a tree surgeon is a sensible step in caring for trees on your property, there is a need for people to be proactive in looking after their property. There are often issues with trees that cannot be seen easily, which is why calling on an expert makes sense, but if you want to minimise the extent of damage to your trees or you are keen to care for your property in a proactive manner, there is a lot to look out for.

When weather starts to turn to spring, many homeowners undertake a spring cleaning, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to cleaning inside your home. You can set your property up for spring and summer by cleaning around your tree. If you used any winter decorations, or you used covers to protect your tree trunks, this is the time of year to remove these.

Look at the base of your tree

You should also look to see if there is any debris gathered around the base of the tree. Leaves, fallen fruit and even twigs may not seem like too much of a problem but if left in place, they can cause problems, particularly for trees that are susceptible to fungal diseases.

However, you should be looking to add a layer of mulch around your trees if you can. The benefits of mulch come with helping the soil to retain its moisture and it also plays a role in suppressing weeds. This is a great step to take if you are caring for young trees but all tress can benefit from this sort of activity.

If the soil is still frozen, there isn’t much point in watering the soil because it will only lead to a run-off. When the soil starts to thaw, this is the time to water your trees ensuring that the trees don’t dry out. If the weather is warm or the temperature is dry, you should look to water your soil on a regular basis.

Pruning your tree is a smart move

Before the end of winter, you should consider pruning your trees as many experts suggest that the period of winter dormancy is the ideal time to do so. However, any broken, damaged or dead branches can be removed in spring time.

Inspecting your tree or trees is an important task and if you have the time and inclination to study the topic, you should do so. However, many people don’t have the time or required level of interest to study this topic so it may be something that is best left to the professionals. Being proactive and calling on the services of an expert can make a massive difference when it comes to getting the very best from your garden.

With so many pests and diseases to be aware of, it can be a difficult task to stay on top of the damage that can harm a tree, so a helping hand always makes sense.


Tree Surgeon Receives Unusual Injuries In Line Of Work

Working as a tree surgeon is exciting but there is some risk and danger involved, which means that there is a level of bravery associated with the role. There is a need to be skilled and experienced in the use of equipment, such as chainsaws, and of course, any job involving working at height will incur some risk. People who are not good working at heights will find that the role of being a tree surgeon may be a step too far for them. However, once you are confident in dealing with these problems, there are always one or two surprises that can occur which may cause some problems.

A tree surgeon in Haverhill has picked up some interesting injuries after carrying out their job at the start of January. Greg Mariutto owns his own firm and he was called out to rescue a cat. This is the sort of work that is commonly associated with the fire service but after they had been out and failed to get the cat down, it was obvious that a specialist professional was needed for the job. The RSPCA were also involved in trying to get the cat down before calling on a tree surgeon but given that the cat was at a height of close to 25 feet, it was a very difficult task.

Cats can go up but they sometimes don’t want to come down

The cat is eight months old, goes by the name of Vinny and made his way up the tree on the 1st of January. Two days later, the cat was still there and it hadn’t eaten or benefited from shelter in this time. The fire service attempted to soak Vinny with water to get him to come down but when this didn’t work, it was decided to call on a tree surgeon and Greg Mariutto answered the call.

The tree surgeon was actually working at a job a few doors down from where the cat was stick and his services were called upon. In the end, Mariutto climbed the tree and while he was able to rescue Vinny, he received a few scratches from the cat who was hanging on to a tree limb for dear life. It was clearly a distressing time for the cat and cat experts would tell you that Vinny’s reaction was a standard one. This will be no comfort to the tree surgeon who braved the heights to collect the cat but this is an indicator that tree surgeons don’t always get a normal day.

This is certainly not the standard line of work for a tree surgeon but it does indicate that there is a need to have a broad range of skills. It also shows that tree surgeons can provide a valuable service even more traditional professionals are unable to get the job done. When it comes to maintaining a good standard of life in a local community, tree surgeons have an important role to play.

Tree Surgeon Scales New Heights

While the everyday activity of a tree surgeon can vary greatly, on the whole, there will be a similarity associated with the role. This is because people hire tree surgeons to look at their trees, determine the health and condition of the tree and then make a judgment if any action has to be taken regarding the tree’s health. If no action has to be taken, the tree surgeon can move on to their next project but if action is required, the tree surgeon will need to work on the tree. Aside from the administrative and regulatory issues that a tree surgeon has to take care of alongside their main job, this is pretty much the basis for a working day in the life of a tree surgeon.

However, there will be times when an unexpected task comes up and a tree surgeon needs to carry out work which is quite uncommon for the role. This was the case for a tree surgeon for a Devon based company when they receive a call from Exeter City Council. The job request was in relation to the removal of an orange traffic cone which had been placed at the top of the tree. This probably isn’t an uncommon request because traffic cones have a habit of ending up in unusual places. In Glasgow in Scotland, there is a tourist attraction, the statue of the Duke of Wellington is rarely seen without a traffic cone atop the Duke’s head and sometimes one is placed on the horse too!

Great views but a scary fall

The situation in the heart of Exeter was slightly different though because the top of the tree was 65 feet above the ground. The tree surgeon that climbed the tree, Christopher New, used professional climbing gear to ascend the tree and recover the cone. Given the size of the task in climbing the tree with professional equipment, the tree surgeon was lost for words on how the cone actually made its way to the top of the tree.

Incidents like this are usually written off as high-jinks or a student prank but if someone did actually climb to the top of the tree to place the cone up there, it was a very dangerous act that could have had some serious consequences. There is also the fact that if the cone had fallen from that height, it could have caused great harm to people walking underneath the tree.

In the end, it took two tree surgeons and a total of three man hours to get the cone down from the tree which is one of the tallest trees in Rougemont Gardens in Exeter. The tree surgeon said it was the oddest issue he has had to deal with in his time within the role, which has been the past two and a half years. Another issue which was deemed to be noteworthy was the time when he had to recover a bicycle which had been thrown into a tree from a council house.

Tree Surgeon Looks To Smash World Record

No matter what you do for a living or what you want to achieve with your life, you should always look to be the best that you can be. There are some professions and sectors that lend themselves to fame, glamour and recognition more than other but this doesn’t mean that people will never get a chance to stand in the sun for a day or two.

You may not think that there are many ways in which tree surgeons can make themselves known as being the best in the world but there is a tree surgeon from Carmarthenshire who is looking to break a world record. Dyfrig Gibbs isn’t just doing this for the glory and glamour that goes along with being a record holder, he is looking to raise sponsorship funds that will assist his dreams of becoming a pilot.

In order to raise funds, Gibbs is going to attempt to plant as many trees as possible in a 24 hour non-step session. If he is to reach his target, he will plant over 8,000 Douglas Fir trees, which will be some going. This is great for him but it is also something that will have an impact on the local community and the wider environment, so there are plenty of benefits to be gained from this action.

Charity will benefit from the attempt too

Another very strong benefit is that will 50% of the funds will go towards the cost of his Private Pilots Licence, the remaining half of the money raised will be making its way to a very worthwhile charity. Gibbs currently runs a forestry business with his father so if anyone is going to know a thing or two about trees and how to plant them quickly and effectively, it will be him.

Many people associate tree surgeons with the removal of trees or taking them down, but it should be remembered that tree surgeons are more interested in preserving trees and ensuring that there is a healthy life for these trees. The company, Future Forests, has developed an excellent reputation in the local area, and the industry, for planning over 500,000 trees on the hillsides of Wales.

There will naturally be some people unhappy at the thought of funding one person’s dream but for the charitable aspect and the additional trees being planted in the area, there will be a line of people wanting to help out. It may not be the most exciting or headline grabbing world record but it is one that will be relevant to tree surgeons across the country and the world.

In fact, if the attempt is a success, you will hopefully find many other professionals will attempt to do the same, which could create a lot of awareness about the work of tree surgeons. Anything which shows another side to the profession and reinforces the fact that it is not just about chopping down trees will be a good thing for all concerned.


Tree Care Tips For Your Garden

A good looking tree or trees can make your garden more stylish and it is easy to see why so many homeowners appreciate the appeal of trees. Whether you are looking to add some shade protection, edible produce or you just love the appearance of trees, planting and caring for trees at your property makes sense.

Here are some tree care tips for your garden that will ensure your property is blooming for many years to come.

Find the best time to plant new trees

You’ll find that the best time to plant new trees is during a dormant period. This means before the buds start to appear at the beginning of spring or after the leaves have dropped near the end of autumn. The cooler weather conditions of these periods assist in helping the tree to establish roots. Warmer weather and rain encourage a level of top growth so having a good level of grounding in cooler conditions is of benefit.

You should always do some research about the type of tree you have before you decide where to plant it. You need to provide your tree with enough space to allow it to reach its full potential & also the type of soil you have in your garden will suit different species. If you have any concerns about what sort of tree/s you should plant in your available space, one of our tree surgeons would be more than happy to provide you with some advice.

Factor in time for pruning

You may think that once you have planted a tree you can sit back and let nature do all the work. This is predominantly true but there will be times when being proactive will enhance the appearance and condition of your trees.

If you are wondering why there is a lot to be said for caring for your trees and maintaining their condition, the impact of trees on property value may be of interest. A study undertaken by Money Magazine ranks tree health and the garden landscape to be of significant importance in the value of a home. They stated that homes with an “excellent” landscape are likely to reach a sales price that is 6% or 7% higher than property that hasn’t focused on this area.

With trees offering shade and privacy, not to mention an opportunity to provide insulation at a property, the quality and condition of trees in your garden can have a large impact on your life in the long term.

If all you care about is how your garden looks and ensuring people are safe, you have enough reasons as it is to care for your trees and ensure everything in your garden is in good working order. However, if you really want to impact on your property value, devoting time and energy to caring for your trees makes perfect sense.

If you are unsure of where to begin when it comes to caring for trees or you would rather leave it to the experts, call on us your leading local tree surgeons for the best guidance and support.  – Main office: You can contact us at 0333 577 7663 or you can send us an email at

Finding The Right Tree Surgeon

Finding The Right Tree Surgeon

If you want to ensure that your garden is well cared for and that your trees receive the best standard of protection, it is best to call on the leading tree surgeon in your area. If you have a number of tree surgeons to choose from, you want to ensure you find the best tree surgeon, and here are some tips for finding the right tree surgeon.

Ask about their qualifications and experience

If you want to be confident about hiring the best tree surgeon for your garden, you want to find out about them. This means you should ask about their qualifications and what experience that they have. A reliable and reputable tree surgeon will be able to provide you with this information in an instant.

A reputable tree surgeon is likely to have a website where you can read about their qualifications and explore links to professional bodies that they are a member of. They should also be able to provide testimonials or recommendations from previous clients detailing the work they carried out for them. If you contact a tree surgeon and they cannot provide you with this information, you should discard them and look for a tree surgeon that can provide you with the peace of mind you desire.

Ask them about regulations

If you attempt to carry out work at your property, there may be rules and regulations in place that you need to adhere to. Don’t just assume that because a tree surgeon is going to carry out work at your property that they will be responsible for meeting all regulations or that they know which regulations they need to meet.

There is a responsibility on the property owner to care for their property, so make sure you ask questions about what regulations may impact on any work being undertaken on your property.

Ask about insurance

Some people may wonder if asking about insurance is an indicator that something is likely to go wrong, but this isn’t the case. The majority of insurance cover isn’t called upon but if it isn’t in place, and it is needed, it can cause a considerable amount of difficulty for all parties. If you are hiring a tree surgeon, you need to ensure that they have Public Liability and Employers Liability insurance in place. This will hopefully never need to be used but it is always best to ensure that it is in place.

Professional Indemnity insurance is also valuable for contractors to have in place.

Ask for a quote

Another thing that you should discuss with your tree surgeon is the cost of the service and what you receive for the money. Don’t naturally assume that the most expensive service provides you with everything that you need or that the cheapest service will give you what you need. It is best to focus on value for money so make sure you receive a detailed quote which lists the work you will receive and the total cost you will pay.

If your tree surgeon can confidently answer all of these queries and place your mind at rest, hiring them is a sensible option.

A sensible place to look is on the Arboricultural association website:

Chalara Disease

While there are many ailments and conditions that can have a serious impact on the health of a tree, Chalara dieback of ash is an extremely serious disease that can have fatal consequences. The disease is caused by a fungus which is known as Hymenoscyphus fraxineus (while previously being referred to as Chalara fraxinea,) and the symptoms of the disease lead to the loss of leaves and crown dieback.

Symptoms of Chalara dieback of ash

The initial symptom of Chalara comes with leaves looking as though they have wilted with the next step seeing a discolouration of the leaves. It is common for affected leaves to grow much darker in colour with affected autumn leaves looking dark brown or black as opposed to the yellow and greens that should be seen on these trees. In later stages, the stem will also appear discoloured which occurs as the fungus makes its way through to the stem. After this, there are often diamond shaped lesions (commonly black or purple in colour) caused by the fungus making its way through the tree to the main trunk.

Development of disease in Britain

The condition was first uncovered in Britain in February of 2012 and it was related to sites where there has been the introduction of saplings from nurseries over the past five years. This led to ash imports from European countries being banned and in October of 2012, the government announced that around 100,000 saplings and nursery trees had been destroyed in an attempt to quell the spread of the disease but it was dubbed “too little too late” by many specialists.

The serious nature of the disease can be seen in the fact that comparisons have been made with the 1960s and 70s outbreak of Dutch Elm disease. However, the real extent of the concern over this disease comes with the fact that estimates suggest between 90% and 99% of UK ash tree population, standing at 80 million, could be wiped out by the disease.

Even taking a more balanced approach to the disease, there is no denying that Chalara dieback of ash has been responsible for significant damage to Europe’s ash population. There are enough findings to indicate that young ash trees can be killed off in a short period of time although more mature trees show a greater level of resistance. However, even mature trees which are exposed to the condition for a lengthy period of time or which are weakened and then impacted by another pest are at risk.

The key steps taking place in the United Kingdom are focused on:

  • Slowing down the rate at which the disease is spreading
  • Assisting trees to develop resistance
  • Improve awareness of the condition to ensure people are looking out for the symptoms

While there is no strategy that has been declared as wholly effective for containing this disease, it has been found that the removal of infected trees or areas can be counter-productive as this doesn’t affect the fungus growing or living on the floor of the forest and it can also lead to many resistant trees being destroyed.

One step that is being encouraged, which is where calling on the services of an experienced tree surgeon can help, is to take branches from trees with a strong level of resistance and then grafting them to the rootstock in order to produce seeds that will hopefully be resistant to the disease. Early diagnosis and swift action has a big role to play in preserving the future of ash trees in Britain.