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Is Your Tree Surgeon REALLY Qualified for the job?

We’ve talked a lot in our blog posts about the importance of using only qualified tree surgeons. The danger and false economy surrounding engaging unqualified individuals to undertake tree works cannot be emphasised enough.

So you know you need to hire a qualified tree surgeon, but that’s not the whole story. You really need to delve deeper if you are going to get the service, safety and expertise you need and expect.

What you need to know about tree surgeon qualifications

It is possible for the average man in the street to take an NPTC course and gain a basic qualification in as little as four weeks. Said man in the street can then advertise himself as NPTC qualified. But when you think about it, all they have behind them is four weeks in a classroom. What about on the job experience? What about doing the real-world apprenticeship? Learning the ropes bit by bit, facing a range of situations and developing ways of dealing with issues faced and devising solutions?

NPTC courses do not train students on how to deal with typical urban issues that tree surgeons come up against and need to be prepared to deal with safely and efficiently. Things like how to work around obstructions like overhead power cables, telephone lines, sheds and greenhouses, walls and fences, etc. All these are vital skills that a good, experienced tree surgeon will have under their belt.

The importance of experience

Proficient tree surgeons need a good 8-10 years’ experience behind them. Over this time they will learn, hands-on, how to work safely and in complex situations. Think about the potential dangers. You hire a tree surgeon to cut down or remove a tree. The tree is in an urban area. It is surrounded by property, residents, passers-by and passing or parked vehicles. Imagine a scenario where a tree worker with just a few weeks in a classroom and little time on the job is undertaking hazardous overhead work. The consequences of lack of experience do not bear thinking about.

What to demand when hiring a tree surgeon

When seeking a quote for tree services, always start by asking for proof of NPTC certification. This is just the first step. Next ask what certificates are held. You need to be aware that there is a suite of certificates required in order to be able to claim you are ‘fully qualified’ and to be fully covered insurance wise.

If your tree surgeon only holds the tree felling certificate NPTC CS31, and they have insurance, then they will only be covered to fell trees no bigger than 380mm wide. If they attempt to fell a larger tree above 380mm and something goes wrong then their insurance provider will most likely refuse to pay out, potentially leaving you liable for the costs associated with any resulting damage or personal injury.

In summary

When choosing a tree services company, our advice as professional tree surgeons with 10 years’ experience is as follows … check:

  • Your tree surgeon is qualified for the specific task you require
  • How long they have held such qualifications
  • How many years’ experience they have
  • That they hold valid insurance cover and meet all the policy warranties

Refuse all quotes that do not provide proof of NPTC qualifications and insurance for your own protection against potential liability.

Remember your failure to check that you have engaged a suitably qualified, experienced and insured contractor to carry out work on your property will leave you at enormous financial risk.

Whilst it may sound like a bit of effort just for a quote to prune your trees, you must understand that in today’s litigious society people are quick to blame then claim. But as long as you conduct due diligence right from the start when seeking quotes you should rest assured your professional tree surgeon with appropriate qualifications and experience will always protect you from liability.

Fantastic service

Polite, professional and tidy.
The team were punctual, very polite, kept me well informed of what they were doing, anything I asked them wasn’t an inconvenience.
Service with a smile and the tidy up job was fantastic too.
I would certainly recommend TH Tree services and happily use them again.

Hi Mrs Easton, thank you for leaving a lovely review. The team are really pleased they come across professional and friendly.

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