In last week’s Kingston Tree Surgeon blog, we discussed how to plant your young tree, this week we will explain the pros of hiring one of our team of Kingston Tree Surgeon experts to take care and maintain your trees for you, ensuring they are kept in a happy, healthy disease free state.
If you choose to DIY you need to be aware that Tree Surgeons have spent several years studying and working towards becoming an experienced professional. They have to be willing to work outdoors in adverse weather conditions such the freezing cold, heavy downpours, heat and wind. Be physically fit with strong upper body strength, able to climb while lifting heavy equipment, without having a fear of heights. For obvious reasons they have an absolute commitment to comply with a high level of health and safety awareness, particularly when handling dangerous equipment. They should also maintain all recommended British standards.
What do Tree Surgeon’s do?
Tree surgeons’ responsibilities include tree felling, pruning trees, hedges and shrubs, planting and replanting. As a doctor would treat a patient, they diagnose and treat diseases and pests that prey on trees. They also provide emergency care, for example, after a storm. Additionally, they undertake the planting of shrubs, trees and hedges.
Since working at height is dangerous, after a number of serious injuries and deaths were reported, Parliament decided to set out regulation requirements for employers and contractors to follow. In addition, Tree Surgeons must comply with the statutory legislative laws for trees and are recommended to be Accredited to meet professional standards.
In a lot of cases, you must obtain written permission from the local planning authority before hiring a tree surgeon to operate on trees. A word of warning, Trees are legally protected and you could be prosecuted if you fail to get permission for felling, or pruning a tree before informing your Local Planning Authority.
If you believe that a neighbour’s tree is causing cracks to your house, you are required in the first instance, to hire an independent qualified structural surveyor. They will carry out a comprehensive survey with clear evidence and proposals for remediation, you will need to produce this particularly if you want to make an insurance claim and/or to file for litigation.
The equipment used by Tree surgeons as you would expect, are extremely dangerous and could result in serious injury or death. Specialist training is a must to protect both the surgeon and tree, as well as hazardous to others within range of equipment falling.
Completed training will include the ability to use specialised equipment for tasks such as climbing and pruning while handling heavy equipment and tools, for example, chainsaws, wood chippers, shredders, strimmer’s, pruning shears, hedge cutters, ropes, harnesses, lowering devices.
Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs) are frequently used to create a secure working platform, however, if overloaded or improperly cared for they can topple and runs the risk of injury or death for passers-by.
For further protection, they need to wear appropriate protective clothing, for example, Safety helmet, ear and eye protection, gloves, high visible clothing, leg and groin protection.
Another important piece of safety equipment is the harness, which tree surgeons use to secure themselves by using an anchored rope. Tree surgeons can use a variety of harnesses, including full-body and work positioning harnesses (a belt with two loops attached to it). These should all be kept in good condition and inspected regularly.
Now you have an understanding of the professionalism, experience and knowledge that a Tree Surgeon has accumulated, it makes sense to hire one of our team to take care of your trees for you. If you are still unsure remember that we will.
• Ensure you are meeting all the health and safety requirements.
• Make proper use and availability of specialised equipment.
• Your Trees are protected and free from disease and pests.
• Professional standards are delivered.
For further advice, please call Kingston Tree Surgeons on 0208 050 1398 for a free quotation.
Newly planted baby trees, i.e. those planted less than three years ago, need a lot of care and attention. They must be replenished with regular water for the new born tree to grow and thrive. As in the case with a new born baby, not giving the young tree the recommended treatment it deserves in the early years, will be counterproductive for its growth and development in adulthood. It will not build the strength and immunity it needs to ward off pests and runs the risk of disease and eventual death.
However, you do not need to worry, try following the simple steps below to help you give your tree the proper care it deserves:
The best time to plant a Bare-rooted tree is in the winter from November to February, when they are dormant.
Before planting, notice the size of the roots of the tree and dig a square hole that is slightly wider and deeper to allow the roots to spread.
Try to place the tree at the same height as it was in the nursery, by back-filling the hole with soil, ensuring that it is not too tight as to prevent air and water circulating, as this will kill the roots by starving it of oxygen and hydration. Furthermore, ensure the roots are not above the ground, or too deep below ground, as the stem will die.
Finish by watering the tree and cover the soil with a pile of Mulch.
It is important to water as much as you can during the spring and summer months. Once the tree has been planted, the ground will absorb the water so you must regularly water it early in the morning or late at night, (watering in the daytime will cause the water to evaporate). This will prevent it from dehydrating and ultimately dying. For a 2m (6ft) ‘standard’ tree it will need at least 30 litres (approx. 6 gallons) per week.
If possible, use recycled 5 litre water bottles with handles and or a lid, they weigh roughly 5kg when full, or you can use a normal garden hose to regularly wet the ground.
Check the tree for signs of dehydration, for example blistered or cracking on the bark, small leaves, yellow leaves, brown leaves, drooping leaves, brittle leaves or the tree shedding leaves.
Remove a 1m diameter circle of grass and or weeds around the base of the tree to prevent them absorbing the water and nutrients, reserved for the tree. You can do this by hand, but if you want a faster and more effective result, you should use a chemical based killer.
To protect the tree, whilst weeding, the recommended weed killer to use is Glyphosate. The weeds usually die in around 2 weeks, but will also become inactive as soon as it touches the soil and therefore protecting the tree. You can buy Glyphosate as Tumbleweed from most garden centres. Always check and apply the instructions carefully and if possible, the first application should be on a dry day in April, wait at least 6 hours to dry and apply it for a minimum of three years.
You can also place Mulch (bark chippings, well-rotted manure, leaf mould, etc.), with a thick, 8cm (3in) layer around the tree during spring to lock-in the moisture, as well as to prevent weeds from reappearing. You can also cover larger areas with plastic, landscape material to prevent weeds from germinating.
To protect the tree from damage particularly from dogs, foxes, cars, lawn mowers, strimmers and vandals, a guard can be erected around the base.
Stakes should be used to support the tree until it anchors its roots. The tree must be attached tightly with a tree tie to the stake, 1/3 clear of the stem, to prevent the wind from rocking it and detaching the roots before it fully plants itself into the soil. The ties should be loosened as the tree grows to give it the space it needs to grow and develop.
We love hearing from you! Please share any tips or suggestions with us by posting a comment below.
Well, everyone else is doing it, so we thought it's only fitting we start a blog on our site too!
We're a team of tree surgeons that are based in Kingston, but we also care for trees all over west and south London and Surrey!
We'll keep this blog updated semi-regularly with goings-on, news about tree surgery in the UK, some things we think are interesting to both us and you, and any info on tree care special offers we'll start. So bookmark this page!
If you ever need tree surgery, then contact us!