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Tree Felling and dismantling

Why shouldn’t I choose a tree surgeon based on price alone?

Location: Reading
Tree Species: Berkshire Copper Beech Tree

Arborfield Tree Care performed another tree felling and dismantling job today in Caversham, Reading, Berkshire after significant storm damage.  The heavy rain had damaged the already failing root systems and the tree had also become too dangerous to climb.  It was a dead tree and therefore unstable, so we used a ‘Narrow Access’ platform to perform the removal.


Arborfield Tree Care performed another tree felling and dismantling job today in Caversham, Reading, Berkshire after significant storm damage.  The heavy rain had damaged the already failing root systems and the tree had also become too dangerous to climb.  It was a dead tree and therefore unstable, so we used a ‘Narrow Access’ platform to perform the removal.

We use these platforms / cherry pickers when there’s a threat that the tree may collapse if climbed upon. This is a highly specialised service, which overcomes many safety concerns. All our platforms at Arborfield Tree Care have a range from 15 metres to 30 metres in height. They are best suited for projects with uneven terrains and narrow access. The tree was dismantled and felled by our experienced and knowledgeable team.  As a specialist arborist and tree management company, our core services include tree removal, crown thinning hedge maintenance and stump removal to clients in Reading, Woodley, Earley, Shinfield, Caversham, Tilehurst, Arborfield and Wokingham, as well as throughout Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Oxfordshire.

All trees, due to the life-span have to be felled at some point, due to death, disease or structural issues. When human health and safety is a serious consideration, tree-felling becomes a high priority.

Like all our tree surgery projects, removing and dismantling trees is performed carefully and in manageable sections, often involving the use of professional equipment in very tight, rough terrain or complex surroundings and environments, such was the case with this project.

We strongly believe in recycling tree waste, so once a tree is felled, we make good use of the wood by delivering cheap but good quality kindling wood, wood chippings and seasoned firewood locally.


Tree Surgery is a specialist trade and it takes many years of training and experience to be fully confident in carrying out tree work safely. In many instances, this can be very complex and requires a good level of judgement and expertise. Professional tree surgeons make large financial commitments in training in arboriculture, the use of specialist machinery such as chainsaws, equipment maintenance, climbing, aerial rescue, comprehensive public liability insurance and much more.


It is an extremely dangerous trade if procedures are not followed correctly.  The danger implication to both people and property is high if those undertaking the work do not have the appropriate training, experience and equipment.

As a reputable company with over 20 years’ experience of working with trees, we feel that the fees that we charge are very fair and reasonable.  They are certainly not overpriced, they are based on experience, the high standards to which we operate and a veritable passion for trees. It is interesting, therefore, to hear from some people that we have quoted for that they have ‘managed to find a much cheaper quote’. At Arborfield Tree Care, we believe in the age old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ springs to mind and a good analogy would be the difference between flying First Class with British Airways or flying with a cheaper low cost budget airline.

Why shouldn’t I choose a tree surgeon based on price alone?

  • Good accredited tree surgeons have very high operating costs such as
  • Comprehensive public liability insurance
  • Employee wages
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Tool and machinery maintenance
  • Replacement tools and cutting equipment
  • Staff training
  • Appropriate workwear and uniforms
  • Accreditation costs for professional memberships

Some operators have none of the above costs and as such can quote very cheaply as they are not fully compliant and possess insufficient public liability insurance to touch trees and hedges on or overhanging public roads and highways. If not carried out professionally, bad tree surgery can result in:

  • Injury to people
  • Damage to property
  • Damage to vehicles

Poory completed tree surgery can often result in long-term damage to the health and appearance of a tree, thereby resulting in higher maintenance costs in the future.  It may even require the tree to be ultimately removed as it may be so badly damaged that it sadly may not be deemed worth keeping.

Who then is liable if anything goes wrong?

A good established tree surgeon will have public and employers’ liability insurance, which is recommended with a minimum £5 million value.  This will cover themselves, any employees and any third parties affected by an accident. Some operators very often keep their prices down by by-passing overheads such as insurance premiums. In the event of an accident, the customer may unfortunately find themselves liable for any incident caused by employing incompetent tradesman on their property.

Which qualifications should I check for?


The governing body for tree surgery qualifications is the NPTC (National Proficiency Tests Council). A minimum requirement for a good tree surgeon or tree surgery company will hold the following certificates:

CS30 – Maintenance of the chainsaw, on site preparation and basic cross cutting

CS31 – Fell and process small trees

CS38 – Climb a tree and perform aerial rescue

CS39 – Use of a chainsaw from a rope and harness

First Aid at Work, Health and Safety in the workplace compliance

Any additional NPTC qualifications, Royal Forestry Society qualifications or degree level qualifications demonstrate more advanced training. Reputable tree surgeons pay a lot of money for their ongoing training; this is generally why they will be more dearer than other unregulated operators.

What types of questions should I ask a tree surgeon?

Whether or not they are insured?

If yes, ask them to show evidence of their Employers and Public Liability insurance. If they cannot prove their insurance, think seriously before soliciting their services.

Does the company work to a British Standards?

If yes, which one? They should tell you they work to BS3998:2010 Tree Work – recommendations

What qualifications do the company and your staff hold?

They must have NPTC certificates for chainsaw use, both on the ground and aerially. For other NPTC qualifications, see above. Further training and qualifications are recommended.

Do you belong to any regulating trade bodies like Checkatrade or Which?

Trade bodies check qualifications and monitor companies and help customers find reputable tradespeople. Arborfield Tree Care are Checkatrade registered. Checkatrade helps customers find reputable and reliable tradespeople in their local area.  It is a free to use service that covers the whole of the UK.  In 2018, Checkatrade helped over 12 million people in helping them find a reputable tradesperson.

Will Arborfield Tree Care provide a written quotation?

We will provide free written quotations either in a letter or by email always confirming in writing work to be carried out. Some of our competitors do not and we have heard that in some instances, people who were charged more than the initial verbal figure confirmed to them. Protect yourself and always ask for a quotation in writing and ask how long it is valid for.

Can you provide a reference?

Professional tree surgeons are happy to show you examples of their work and provide references of people they have worked for.  This can take many different forms such as:

  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • On line reviews on platforms such as Google, Checkatrade and Facebook
  • Any photographic examples of completed work

We hope that this information may help you to avoid the high risks involved in employing unqualified tree surgeons. At Arborfield Tree Care, we are fully confident in the high levels of service that we provide.  We are one of many reputable firms operating in and around Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire and Oxfordshire. We are more than happy to recommend other companies to customers wishing to obtain comparable quotations.  It is worth remembering, that with tree surgery, you really do get what you pay for. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The heartbreaking part is being asked to put right a butchered tree when the damage could have been avoided in the first place. More often than not, the damage to the tree is irreversible and the tree will never get back its natural form. In some instances the damage is so bad that the tree may need to be felled.  We would strongly advise not employing any tradesmen who knock on your door. Professional tree surgeons do not have a need to do this and would never do so.  Additionally, there are recommended times of the year when certain species of trees can be worked on in order to maintain optimum health and vitality.  Make sure that your tree surgeon knows his onions.

Local & Family Run, Since 1997

Arborfield Tree Care is a local, independent family business, providing a customer-focused service.

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Industry-Leading Workmanship

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All our staff are fully qualified and have many years’ experience in all aspects of tree felling and removals.

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