In recent years there has been a wave of new tree surgeon businesses entering the market. This is not surprising since cities like Sheffield have a lot of green space and hold many like minded people who want to change jobs to something more rewarding. A career in this field offers people the opportunity to work outdoors and with nature. An influx in tree surgeons is great for Sheffield and surrounding areas as it keeps the trade competitive as well as ensuring the landscape is took care of. 

However it is really important to choose a tree surgeon shrewdly, if work is not carried out to standard then it could lead realistically to:

  • Serious injury
  • Threat to life
  • Damage to property
  • Damage to trees

The reality is that not all companies offering this service are reputable and also not all are experienced enough, after all it is quite easy to pick up some of the tickets (qualifications required for basic tree surgery). According to the law it is also the home owners responsibility to engage a competent worker to carry out the works. So how can you choose the right tree surgeon for you? Here are our top tips.

How to find the right tree surgeon:

Website: Their website should show evidence of their experience and skills. It should clearly describe their services and what they offer. Also check that it has been updated recently. Does it have real photos of the team working and a little bit about them. Beware of websites that look generic and like a template, these can be easy to create and can be used by scammers.

Reviews: Reviews are key. A reputable organisation should have excellent reviews online. This could be on Google, social media or forums such as Trust Pilot. For example Silver Oak has over 50 google reviews. Be careful to check the reviews carefully to make sure they are genuine as well.

Recommendations: If you cannot easily access the internet ask the company to give you the details of a few references who you could contact.

Questions to ask a Tree Surgeon

1. Are you insured? They will need to have public liability and indemnity insurance

2. What qualifications do you and your staff hold? They will need to have NPTC/LANTRA  qualifications in chainsaw use as well aerial rescue. Ideally they will also have National Diplomas in Arboriculture as well, these diploma's ensures the student has a good knowledge of arboriculture as well as chainsaw use.

3. Will you provide a written quote? Always agree a quote before letting work commence. All tree surgeons will be able to give a good estimate of how much the work will cost. 

  • What will happen to the waste?
  • Will any stumps be removed?
  • Who will obtain permission for the works on the trees to be carried out?
  • What measures will be taken to protect the property?

4. Do you work to a British standard? This should be BS3998: 2010 ‘Tree Work – Recommendations'.


It is also good if the organisation are accredited or part of a professional organisation such as the Arboricultural Association (AA) or the ISA (international Society of Arboriculture) although the ISA has headquarters in the USA so the AA is the more likely one for the UK. It is not necessary to have membership with one of these organisations but it is a goods mark if they are members.

Items to note:

  • The cheapest quote is not always the best, in tree surgery you often get what you pay for.
  • Don't be surprised if they are booked up a few months in advance, while there are a lot of tree surgeons in the market, the good ones are in demand.
  • All home/landowners have a responsibility to engage competent people to work on their property according to law.
  • Competent tree surgeons will wear PPE and be safe, more information on this is on the AA website here.


Find out terminology for tree surgery services here

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