Fines After Protected Trees Cut Down

While you would think that tree surgeons and professionals in this sector would know the risks of cutting down protected trees, there doesn’t appear to be any change in behaviour. 2018 has started in the same manner as 2017 and previous years had continued with a company director and a tree surgeon receiving a fine after a protected sycamore had been pared back without the appropriate permission.

John McAllister and Helen Kelly-Howe were ordered to pay a fine in excess of £2,000. This was in relation to the unauthorised work which had taken place in High Street in Roydon. This dates back to June of 2017 when Epping Forest Council officers received notification that the branches of a tree located within one property had been cut back. These branches had been overhanging into land owned by a neighbour.

A council investigation took place

The council started an investigation and it was found that Kelly-Howe, a director for the company which owned the property, instructed John McAllister, the tree surgeon, to pare the branches back. This was done so to the level of the boundary of the property.

It transpires that no checks were carried out to determine if the tree was a protected tree. There was also no attempt to obtain consent for the work that would be carried out. The property is located in a conservation area in Roydon which means that a six week notice period has to be provided for any work on the trees. If this notice period had been followed through, it would have revealed that the tree was protected and that work should not have been carried out, and that consent for this work would not have been given.

Major fines were handed out to all parties involved

Kelly-Howe issued a plea of guilty to “causing or permitting unauthorised work to a tree in a conservation area”. The Magistrates believed that Kelly-Howe had a major role to play in this incident and she was fined a total of £1,000 while also being required to pay a sum of £750 towards the prosecution costs of the council and to the victim surcharge fund.

McAllister also received a fine, of £300, while he was ordered to pay £250 to the prosecution costs of the council and a further £30 as a victim surcharge. There may well be some surprise at the fact that the tree surgeon has received the smaller fine of the two people involved with this incident. All tree surgeons should be aware of the importance of consent for work like this and the fact that proper procedures have to be followed when it comes to removing branches or paring trees back.

This is a costly reminder that there are strict rules and regulations in place when it comes to protected trees and that people cannot just do as they feel or like.

Tree Surgeons Busy With Storm Caroline

We love to talk about the weather in the United Kingdom and it looks as though we are going to have a lot to talk about in the next couple of days. This is because Storm Caroline is making its way to the country and it is believed that some of the winds will reach close to 90 miles per hour.

There was an increase in the warning level issued by the Met Office, increase from yellow to amber. Certain parts of the country were issued with a “be prepared” alert and it looks as though winter is finally upon us. One thing that is apparent from this storm is that the entire country looks likely to be affected in some way or another. Northern Scotland was issued with the be prepared warning by the Met Office but there have also been plenty of areas in the South and London which are expected to be hit by high winds.

High Winds are expected around the UK

The north of England is bracing itself for winds that will reach about 45 to 50 miles per house while in the English capital; the winds are expected to reach speeds of 35 miles per hour. There have also been warnings issues to English coastal regions who are likely to be hit by strong winds.

One of the most common tips for dealing with Storm Caroline is to listen to the experts and seek help from the professionals. As you can imagine, this will be a very busy time of year for tree surgeons, so make sure you know which professionals are in your local area. If the issue looks to be an emergency impress the danger on them but if you are not overly concerned, it is worth getting in touch with these experts to seek any guidance they may offer.

Do not panic

It is important not to panic or worry at these times but equally, if you have trees on your property and the winds affect their condition, you need to take action. Even if the trees look in good condition, there may be problems inside the tree or in the roots so it never hurts to call on the experts for help and support.

Once the bad weather has calmed down, there is a need to make sure things are in good condition but there is also a need to plan ahead. You will find that it is best to be proactive when it comes to dealing with trees on your property and calling out the services of a tree surgeon makes perfect sense. This is a time of year when tree surgeons are busy, which is understandable, but there is definitely a great deal to be said for calling on them and making changes in your property.

Hopefully Storm Caroline won’t make too much of a difference to the UK in December of 2017 but there is a need to know that problems can arise around a person’s property if the conditions are challenging.

Fine For Tree Surgeon After Working On Protected Trees

A professional tree surgeon should be well aware of the fact that some trees are protected, which means that they cannot undertake some work on them. However, with so many stories of tree surgeons working on protected trees, you wonder if many professionals are ignorant of the law or are unaware of what trees are actually impacted or affected by these regulations.

The latest reminder that a tree surgeon faces the risk of prosecution if they undertake work on a protected tree has come from Leicester Magistrates Court. This is because Thomas Bale, from Longfield Tree and Hedge Care, has been fined for unauthorised work which was carried out on two trees located in Littlethorpe. These trees had tree preservation orders on them, and have done since 2011.

The restrictions of the protection order meant that the trees couldn’t be felled or even reduced in size without having permission from the local council. This protection was put in place due to the role the trees played in creating the style and identity of the local area. In many parts of the country, trees have a huge role to play in creating a mood and atmosphere, which many people love, and which local councils and authorities seek to reserve.

A request was made to the local council

The work was undertaken in April of 2017 and the trees were horse chestnut and lime trees. In this specific case, a request was made to Blaby District Council for permission and the response was to allow for certain work to be carried out. This included the removal of a small amount of deadwood, to sever ivy and to remove small branches which were located on the lower limbs of the tree.

However, an investigation by the planning enforcement team of the local council deemed that the work that had been carried out was “far in excess of the consented works”. The imposed fine was £569. The total level of fine which can be imposed on tree surgeons in this manner amounts to £20,000. Mr Bale submitted a plea of guilty in breaching the Tree Preservation Order, with the fine being broken down into an actual fine of £440 with costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £44.

Councillor Sheila Scott, who is the portfolio holder for the Disctrict Council in Blaby, said; “I hope that this prosecution highlights to residents that we will not accept the bludgeoning of protected trees in the district. Both trees have become unsightly for residents, with the lime tree looking like a tall bare stick. Tree Preservation Orders are in place to protect trees for the public’s enjoyment, and we will not hesitate to prosecute if such orders are ignored.”

The local council has also called on local residents to familiarise themselves with Tree Preservation Orders and to be aware of any suspicious work taking place in the local area. A lot of the investigation work undertaken by the council on this matter comes from tip-offs or recommendations from local people.

Tree Surgeons Investigate Poisoned Trees

While many people adore trees and a lot of people probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about trees, it would appear that some people are not too fond of trees in their local area. This has been the case in Norfolk of late where there has been a case of protected trees being poisoned. This has taken place in Gorleston-On-Sea in a private woodland, and all of the affected trees have been classed as historic and protected.

Eight trees in total have been affected with the culprit or culprits drilling holes into the tree and then pouring a chemical into the gap. The hole is then covered up. At this point in time, one tree has died due to this action but after review, many trees have been classed as “distressed”, including beech trees, holm oaks, poplar trees and horse chestnut trees. Given that many of these trees have preservation orders imposed on, this story takes a turn for the malicious. The oldest affected tree is close to being 200 years old and many of the affected trees have been left with no leaves.

Some of the trees have a fine history

Most of the trees that have been attacked are found in the area surrounding Koolunga House, a property which dates back to 1826. Nowadays, the property is split into seven flats and the management team responsible for running the property have put up a £700 reward for details or information that may lead to the conviction of the person that has been taking this action. The investigation into the attacks has seen tree surgeons from Great Yarmouth Borough Council involved and they have taken wood and leaf samples from the trees. These have been analysed in the hope of uncovering clues about who may have carried out this attack and in the hope of finding a cure for the trees.

The issue was first spotted by the local council and after some of the trees which were under a protection order were found to be looking distressed, and this set up a bigger investigation. A tree surgeon found the drilled hole in a loose piece of bark and after closer examination, there has been a total of 30 holes found across eight trees.

The council has contacted all of the householders at the property detailing the law with respect the preservation order for the tree and detailing the importance of complying with these laws. This letter also outlined the criminal nature of attacking a tree and that a fine of up to £20,000 can be imposed on anyone found guilty of such an act.

It is natural that some suspicion will fall on property owners in the area because they may have a reason to get rid of the trees. However, there are many other people with reasons who could want rid of the trees and there could be just people who like acting maliciously. All of which means that there are things to consider in determining who is behind this action.

This may not be the sort of work that is common for tree surgeons to carry out but it showcases the skill and talent that many of these professionals have.

October Storms See Tree Surgeons Called Into Action

While many people are looking at the weather forecasts for winter and bracing themselves for a lot of damage, some parts of the country have already experienced hardship and difficulties due to challenging weather conditions. This has led to many people getting to work in clearing up their local area and in Ludlow, many volunteers have been on hand to improve the look and safety of the area after the storms of October.

There is a volunteer group caring for Whitcliffe Common in this part of the country and the October storms has seen them called into action. In fact, there has also been a need to call on the experts for support and assistance; such was the need to carry out urgent safety work. The main issue was caused by high winds with a number of trees being significantly damaged.

Opinion was sought from a local tree surgeon

The damage to one ash tree was so bad that the group had to inform the local council and request permission for the tree to be felled. This saw the Friends of Whitcliffe Common contacting Shropshire Council Environment department due to concerns to pedestrians would be placed in jeopardy due to the storm damage. The tree lies on the route of one of the most commonly used paths in the area and there is always a need to ensure people are kept safe.

This led to a tree surgeon from Shropshire Wildlife attending the area and a case was put forward to have the tree removed. The findings of the tree surgeon and images of the tree were placed in front of the council and this resulted in immediate permission being granted to have the tree removed for reasons of safety.

While there would have been some people who wouldn’t have been happy with this decision, a spokesperson for the Natural Environment Team of Shropshire Council said that the only option they had was to fell the tree. The ash tree was deemed to be of imminent danger and this meant that the standard conservation area notification guidelines were overlooked.

The tree surgeon was assisted by seven members of the Friends of Whitcliffe Common to take down the tree and then ensure that the area was cleaned up. Some of the trunk has been left in place, which will be of benefit to the local wildlife and some of the smaller branches were cut into wood which has been passed to senior citizens in the local area. This is an example of where good news and positivity in the local community can from a difficult situation.

While a tree surgeon would prefer for a tree to remain in place, there are times when public safety is a far more pressing issue than the condition of a tree or not. With many people fearing that the weather will be difficult this winter, it could be that there will be many decisions of this nature across the country.


Tree Surgeon Heading Out For Post Hurricane Clear Up

When you have skills, talent and experience, it is understandable that you will be in high demand. This is something that many tree surgeons have found. There is a wide range of skills utilised in the work of a tree surgeon and whether it is the confidence of working at height or the ability to work safely with a range of dangerous equipment, tree surgeons are needed in many places for all manner of work. This is why a tree surgeon from Moray is heading to Puerto Rico. This is one of the areas that has suffered thanks to Hurricane Irma and a quick estimate believes that there has been £750m worth of damage.

Andy McPherson was initially meant to fly out after the first wave of the hurricane hit but then a second hurricane, Hurricane Maria, delayed these plans. After the second hurricane, it was believed that the entire island was without power. When you take on board the fact that the island has a population of 2.5 million people, this is an awful lot of people whose daily lives are being affected by the hurricanes.

Dart International UK bringing relief around the world

The tree surgeon is working as part of a disaster relief charity, Dart International UK, and this specialist charity is now in its third year. While it would be better if there was no need for this organisation, the fact that they have undertaken work in South Pacific, Asia and West Africa indicates that there is a huge need for this level of support. Andy will be heading to Puerto Rico for two weeks, and he will be working alongside a number of professionals.

You may think that two weeks working in the Caribbean sounds live heaven but of course, this is a very difficult time in this part of the world and the work that Andy will do will hopefully help return things to normal. Much of Andy’s work will focus on clearing trees from roads and making sure access routes, paths and the grounds of hospitals and schools are clear. This work is a top priority in the wake of a hurricane, so Andy’s role is hugely important and hopefully it will have a positive impact in this part of the world.

This will be the second time that has been deployed in this style of role. He was previously utilised in Vanuatu, which is just off Australia, back in 2015. That area was affected by a cyclone and an earthquake, with a lot of devastation in the region.

Dart is a registered charity and it is virtually completely funded by the arborist industry in the United Kingdom. Even though there are trees all around the world, there are not too many organisations set up to make sure that a swift and reliable clean-up process in the event of a disaster. The work carried out by these professionals helps to get life back to normal as quickly as possible, which is definitely an important task in the modern day and age.

Tree Surgeon Hailed As Cat Man Of Grimsby

There are certain things you can do in life that will colour how people see you or impact on what they think of you. This may not always be a good thing but if you act in a nice manner, you will hopefully receive a name or accolade that is becoming or fitting of the work that you carry out. The nickname of “Cat Man” may not be the best name in the world but given the circumstances that a Grimsby tree surgeon has earned this name, it is a name that he should be very proud of.

Ross Jones is the tree surgeon in question and he received this nickname after rescuing a third cat in the Grimsby area. The latest rescue mission about when he rescued a cat that had been stuck in a tree for a period of two days. The cat was in a tree in Grant Thorold Park and Ross’ reputation clearly went before him. This is because he received a high volume of calls and social media messages about the plight of the cat. As soon as he had the chance, he leapt into action and before you know it, the cat was safe and well, with the Cat Man of Grimsby having another story to tell.

Ross jones making a habit out of saving cats

Just weeks ago, Ross Jones, who runs his own tree surgery company, saved a six year old cat called Dolly. This was in Cleethorpes and Dolly had been stuck in a tree outside of her home for over a day. Dolly had been chased by a dog, so no doubt was in a great deal of distress over the whole ordeal. Another incident occurred in November of 2016 when Mr Jones rescued a cat that was in a tree 35 feet up in the air in a pine tree.

While all of these rescue missions had a degree of difficulty about them, which is why there was a need for a professional to get involved, Mr Jones said that the most recent rescue mission was the moist difficult. This was down to the fact that the cat was in a difficult position and the fire service were unable to help as their cherry picker wasn’t capable of reaching the heights. The cat was actually positioned over the road, which added further complications.

Rescuing cats isn’t always easy

At first, Mr Jones and another tree surgeon, Ryan Welbourn, thought that it was going to be too difficult to rescue the cat, and called it a day. However, after considering the problem overnight and calling in some other people to assist, a fresh rescue attempt was made with a different cherry picker.

The cat had been without food or drink for two days, so it was starting to feel very distressed, which made the timing of the rescue all the more important. The work of a tree surgeon contains many different aspects and as long as cats climb trees, there will be a need to rescue cats.

Large Fine For Cutting Down Protected Trees

If you are looking to have trees taken down, it is always best to call on the services of a licenced tree surgeon. A reminder of this comes with news that an individual received a fine of £4,000 for having protected trees cut down in Fleet. The story is centred on the removal of two trees while a third was damaged, and this took place in December of 2016.

Hart District Council took a local resident to court and it was found that a tree surgeon did more work than what was asked for. However, the tree surgeon couldn’t be found and this meant that the individual involved was prosecuted by the courts, with the fine being placed on the individual. This was a very costly lesson for the individual to learn and sadly, the whole situation could have been prevented if they had hired a licenced tree surgeon.

This led to Cllr Graham Cockarill, who is a Cabinet Member for Planning in the District Council for Hart to release a statement. The main focus of the statement was about how it is vital that people don’t turn to the services of tree surgeons who turn up at their door or who cannot show their credentials. There is always a risk of low quality work or of the work not being insured but in this instance, the biggest risk comes from the fact that sometimes it is impossible to later track down the tree surgeon that carried out the work.

Some research would have saved a lot of trouble

The district council in Hart has an interactive map that people can use to see if the tree they want worked on is in a conservation area or has a TPO. This is great information for people because it means that if you have any doubts or concerns, you can be proactive and check it out for yourself. With this in mind, this sort of issue shouldn’t have arisen. If the tree you are looking for doesn’t have a restriction on it, work can be carried out on it but if the tree you examine is restricted, people should have obtained permission before carrying out work.

Of course, if you are going to have work undertaken without carrying out the proper checks, you leave yourself open to getting into trouble.

There was also the issue about the unlicensed tree surgeon and there was some guidance from Adam Maskill, who is the Tree Officer for Hart District Council. Maskill reiterated the need to ask for qualifications and a copy of the tree surgeon’s public liability insurance. There was also a reminder to the public that in looking to hire a professional, it makes sense to carry out some research and to obtain quotes from three professionals.

Anyone looking for peace of mind when calling on the services of a tree surgeon will find that there is an “Arb Approved Contractor” programme which is run by the Arboriculture Association. At this point in time, this is the most comprehensive accreditation scheme when it comes to tree surgery professionals across the United Kingdom.


Tree Surgeon Scales Great Heights

While the majority of work undertaken by tree surgeons is to ensure the safety of trees and surrounding areas, there are times when these professionals are called upon to do other jobs. The skills that a tree surgeon has, which includes climbing trees and being able to work safely at great distances, can be utilised in other ways and this was the case recently when RSPCA Cymru called on the services of one local tree surgeon.

Lee Symes runs his own tree surgeon company and he hails from Blaenavon. He was called on by the local RSPCA to rescue a cat which was stuck up a 50 foot tree in New In. A member of the public had spotted the cat in the tree on Sunday the 13th of August and very quickly there was a call to action, and before you know it, a tree surgeon was making his way up the tree.
This wasn’t a quick job, with Symes spending 90 minutes up the tree safely removing the cat. Thankfully the cat was rescued and after an inspection from a local vet, it appears that the cat is doing well. The inspection also managed to uncover a microchip which made it possible to contact the owner, who came along to collect the cat and take it home. This story should also act as a reminder for pet owners to have their pets chipped if at all possible. Hopefully the information will never be needed but if it is, it can save a lot of time, hassle and heartache.

A Sunday service provides quick help

The fact that the tree surgeon attended on a Sunday indicates the level of service that many professionals offer and this is certainly something that people are thankful for. You are not going to class a tree surgeon as a professional who operates in the emergency services but there will be times when a tree surgeon is called out at short notice and in an emergency. While a tree surgeon is entitled to their downtime as much as any professional, this is an area of work where a swift response is often needed, and this is why it is good to know that there are tree surgeons who will operate quickly if required.

The tree surgeon, Lee Symes, spoke to local media saying; “This was certainly one of the more unusual jobs I’ve done. We’re happy we could help a cat in the local community.” There is definitely a great deal to be said for being flexible and having skills that can be utilised in a number of ways. When tree surgeons train for the role, it is unlikely that rescuing cats will be at the front of their mind but it is a story that crops up on occasion. You will sometimes find that it is professionals from the fire service that rescue cats from a great height but if you’re looking for a reliable service from an expert who is confident in dealing with trees and great heights, you will find that a tree surgeon is the ideal professional to call on.

Mystery Tree Surgeon Acting In Slough

There is no denying that many people consider tree surgeon to be an exciting job. You get to work with some exciting (and dangerous) equipment, you can work at heights and if you are looking for a role that will always be in demand, a tree surgeon is as good a job as any other. Not everyone is going to be cut out for working in this manner but it would be fair to say that a lot of people would love the chance to serve as a tree surgeon, even just for a day or two.

Of course, there is a need for tree surgeons to be professional and to have proper qualifications. This can be a very dangerous role if you don’t know what you are doing, so most people should steer clear of being a tree surgeon. This is why the appearance of a “mystery person” who has been posing as a tree surgeon in Slough is causing concern. The person has been operating in Upton Court Park and has cut down a number of mature willows and oaks in the park. A warning has been issued by the council in the light of six trees, which have been classed as “substantial” were knocked down.

It transpires that the person has been using a chainsaw and research into the work indicates that this has been carried out by a professional and not, in the words of the council, by “kids mucking about”. The council has also asked that if anyone sees someone felling a tree in the park, the police should be contacted.

The person may look like a council worker

One issue comes with the fact that there is a suspicion that the person working in this manner may have a high-visibility jacket and clothing that looks similar to the ones worn by council staff. This means a member of the public is likely to assume that a park official is carrying out the work and will think nothing about the process.

The first instance in this wave occurred around six months ago and it was hoped that this was a one-off at the time. However, a stack of logs have been found in the park area and the council has raised fears that the person who has been cutting down the trees have been doing so in order to sell on the wood.

The fact that someone is going around the park with a chainsaw is definitely a concern when it comes to public safety. There is nothing to suggest that the person cutting down trees would do anything dangerous around people but with an unauthorised person acting in this manner, it is important that all steps are being taken care of and all issues are planned for.

There is no denying that many people would love to be a tree surgeon but this is a profession for people who get qualifications and work their way through the process in a correct manner. Cutting trees is fun but it should be left to the experts.