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What Is a Tree Arborist and When Might I Need One?

Updated: Jun 25

Trees are one of life’s great joys. Beyond just the practical and crucial role they play in our very existence and the health of the planet, there are few things more pleasant than sitting under the shade provided by a big old lush tree. A leafy suburb is a desirable suburb and if you’re reading this then there’s a good chance that your own property is resplendent in foliage. Like all good things though, trees, if just left to their own devices, can deteriorate significantly or become out of control. Some trees in your yard may be within your own scope of management but many of them can be highly dangerous if attempting to manage yourself and may also be protected under strict council laws, which can place you at legal risk if tampered with. This is where you will need a tree arborist.


What is a tree arborist?

A tree arborist, also sometimes referred to as a ‘tree surgeon’ or ‘tree doctor’ are your go to source for all things tree related. As the ‘surgeon’ part of the name suggests, they are the ones to call upon when you have an emergency relating to a tree. However, their role stretches far beyond that of just emergency services when it comes to trees, as they can provide consultation for best backyard practices to ensure that your trees are as healthy as possible and that the residents at your place are as safe as possible. Hence the ‘doctor’ aspect of the name.

Tree arborists undergo extensive training to ensure they are well versed in the vast varieties of local plant and tree species. This allows them to accurately diagnose and treat whatever tree related needs they may come in contact with. These issues are likely to range from nutritional problems, disease or plant structure. Things like the texture and colour of a tree are often all a tree arborist will need to recognise the presence of decay or damage in a tree. Once the health of a tree is established a tree arborist can then engage in direct maintenance of the tree via activities such as pruning, trimming, cutting and in some cases felling, if the tree poses a risk to people or property.


When might I need a tree arborist and are there different types?

Beyond some of the reasons mentioned above about what services a tree arborist can offer you, there are certain instances where you will have to call upon the services of a tree arborist. The main reason is if your local council requests an arborist report in regards to a tree on your property. This is likely to happen if there is a tree on your property that you would like to remove but it is protected under the Tree Preservation Order (TPO). In this case you will need a tree arborist who is level five certified to provide an arborist report to the council detailing the viability of preserving the tree. Obviously, trees take an incredibly long time to establish and it is important that they are preserved whenever possible. If there are legitimate safety concerns around the tree remaining then approval will typically be given to remove it but if it doesn’t pose a threat then it is likely that the recommendation will be for it to remain standing.


Now that you are familiar with the roles of a tree arborist, don’t risk taking matters into your own hands when it comes to the management of the precious trees on your property. Keep your suburb leafy and safe.

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