FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Understand more about tree, shrub and hedge care and what trimming and cutting techniques are involved.  Here is a collection of the things we frequently get asked about.

Please contact us if you have any tree, shrub and hedge care related questions.

What is a Tree Surgeon?

A tree surgeon, also known as an arborist, is a professional who specializes in the care and maintenance of trees, shrubs, and other woody plants. Tree surgeons are trained to provide a range of services, including planting, pruning, trimming, and removal of trees and shrubs.

Tree surgeons are skilled in assessing the health and condition of trees, and can provide advice on the best ways to care for them. They may use a variety of tools and techniques, such as chainsaws, ropes, and rigging equipment, to safely carry out tree work at heights.

In addition to providing maintenance and care for individual trees, tree surgeons may also be involved in larger-scale projects, such as urban forestry initiatives, tree planting programs, and woodland management. They also maintain and manage trees that line roadways and railways.

Tree surgeons typically undergo specialized training and certification to ensure they have the knowledge and skills required to carry out tree work safely and effectively. They may work for local councils, private companies, or as self-employed professionals.

What is a Tree Protection Order (TPO)?

A Tree Protection Order (TPO) is a legal term that protects trees and woodlands in the United Kingdom from unauthorized felling, uprooting, or damage. A TPO is typically issued by a local planning authority, such as your local council, and is enforced by law.

The purpose of a TPO is to preserve and protect trees that are of significant value, in as much as they:

  • enhance the local environment,
  • provide habitats for wildlife,
  • contribute to the character of an area,
  • have historical or cultural significance.

A TPO can apply to a single tree or a group of trees, and it can cover trees on public or private land.

If a tree is protected by a TPO, it is illegal to carry out any work on the tree, such as pruning or felling, without obtaining permission from the local planning authority.

The local authority can grant or refuse permission or impose conditions or limits on any work that is allowed to be carried out.

Breaching a TPO can result in a fine or even imprisonment.

What is Stump Grinding?

Stump grinding is the process of removing a tree stump by using a special power tool called a stump grinder. A stump grinder uses a rotating cutting disk with embedded sharp metal teeth to cut small fragments from the stump and roots, leaving behind wood chips.

Stump grinding is typically used after a tree has been removed, when the stump has been left behind. It is often an advantage to remove the stump if it presents a trip hazard, or it is in the way of a landscaping or construction project. Additionally, stumps can attract insects and other pests, and can take many years to decompose naturally.

The process of stump grinding begins by using a chainsaw or other cutting tool to reduce the height of the stump to just a few inches above the ground. The stump grinder is then used to grind the remaining stump and roots into  small wood chips that can be disposed of or used as mulch.

It is recommended that stump grinding is carried out by professional tree care companies, as it requires specialised equipment and training to be done safely and effectively.

Stump grinding is generally considered a more efficient and effective method of stump removal than digging out the stump by hand, which can be hard manual work.

What is Pollarding?

Pollarding is a pruning technique where the upper branches of a tree are removed, leaving only the trunk and lower branches. This is typically done to promote new growth and maintain a tree at a specific size or shape. Pollarding is often used on species such as willow and poplar, but can be applied to other trees as well.

The process of pollarding involves cutting back the tree’s branches to a point just above the previous year’s growth. This creates a “knuckle” or swelling where the new growth will emerge. When done regularly, pollarding can result in a dense growth of shoots from the knuckles, giving the tree a distinctive, bushy appearance.

Pollarding has been used for centuries, and was traditionally used to provide a regular supply of wood for fuel, fencing, and other uses. Today, pollarding is often used for aesthetic purposes in urban areas, where trees need to be kept at a manageable size or to avoid interference with power lines and buildings. It can also be used to prolong the life of old or damaged trees by reducing their weight and wind resistance. However, if done incorrectly, pollarding can also be harmful to trees and should only be carried out by trained professionals.

Contact us if you would like more information about pollarding.

What is a Tree Crown, and what is Crown Thinning, Lifting and Reduction

A tree crown is the foliage (leaves or needles) bearing section of the tree formed by its branches and not including any clear stem/trunk.

Crown thinning is the removal of a portion of smallerless important branches, usually at the outer crown, to produce a uniform density of foliage around an evenly spread branch structure.

Crown lifting is the removal of the lowest branches and/or preparing of lower branches for future removal.

Crown reduction is the reduction in height and/or spread of the crown of a tree. Crown reduction may be used to reduce mechanical strain on individual branches or the whole tree.  This can help make the tree more suited to its environment or to reduce the effects of shading and light loss.

What Does Hedge Cutting Entail?

Hedge cutting is the process of pruning or trimming a hedge to maintain its shape and size. Hedges are typically composed of woody plants, such as shrubs or trees, that are grown closely together to form a dense, uniform barrier.

Hedge cutting is important for a number of reasons. It helps to maintain the health and appearance of the hedge, promoting new growth and preventing the buildup of dead or damaged branches. It also helps to control the size and shape of the hedge, keeping it within the desired boundaries and preventing it from encroaching on neighbouring properties.

Hedge cutting can be carried out using a variety of tools, depending on the size and type of hedge. For smaller hedges, hand-held pruning shears or hedge trimmers may be sufficient, while larger hedges may require the use of powered hedge trimmers or even chainsaws.

Some taller hedges require a platform or frame to allow the person cutting the hedge to reach all sections safely.

When carrying out hedge cutting, it is important to follow best practices to ensure the safety of both the person carrying out the work and any wildlife that may be living in the hedge. This may include:

  • avoiding cutting during bird nesting season
  • using appropriate safety equipment
  • avoiding cutting back too far into the woody stems, which can harm the plant’s health and foilage.