Most of us have some kind of appreciation for trees. Beyond the critical role they play environmentally; providing oxygen, storing carbon, providing habitat and helping to increase rainfall, they are also just aesthetically pleasing. As they occur naturally, we can often underestimate just how important their management is though. In order to really get the most out of trees they require regular care and maintenance. This is particularly true in more urban environments, where the relationship between trees, people and structures is more interactive. This is where arborists come in, helping to ensure that their tree work creates a symbiotic relationship between trees and their surroundings.
Why might you need an arborist?
Now, you might think about calling an arborist if you have got a tree that needs removing but their tree work and expertise stretch far beyond simply removal. Arborists should be your go to for anything tree related. Trees are a major investment and can become a serious burden if not selected, placed and maintained properly. For these reasons, it is a great idea to involve an arborist right from the origins of planning out your garden. Not all arborists are equally qualified but many will be able to guide you through what will be best for your property, garden and the trees themselves. Such services include:
Assisting with selection to ensure that the trees you place on your property are appropriate to the climate and environment.
Helping with appropriate placements of trees to maximise their potential and to not threaten other trees or structures. Good decisions at the planting stage can save you a lot of headaches in the future.
Pruning trees whilst they are young to achieve healthy and well structured trees once they reach maturity.
Making sure that trees are protected during building projects that may threaten their wellbeing.
Maintaining trees’ health through pruning and lopping. They can also provide stump grinding and mulching where necessary.
Diagnosing the health of trees to resolve issues relating to pests and disease. Spotting these issues early can help to keep other trees and your home safe from these threats.
Assessing the risk of certain trees and acting to remove these where necessary.
Providing consultation and arborist reports when required by your local government.
Why is a trained arborist so important?
There may be some elements of an arborist’s tree work that you feel you could do yourself. It is important to remember that there is a big difference between simply hacking away at a tree and ensuring that a tree’s potential is maximised. When it comes to tree work you need to consider the dangers it entails and also the legal ramifications.
Each year more than 150 workers suffer injuries whilst engaging in tree work. A mature tree or even branch from a mature tree has the potential to break through roofs and even topple concrete walls, meaning they can be highly lethal to humans when they come down. Even if you are expecting it, branches can fall in unexpected directions when lopping. Working in trees, especially if you do not have the right equipment, poses a huge risk of falling. Furthermore, the equipment required to undertake significant tree work is highly dangerous. Chainsaws, shredders and other cutting tools can easily remove an entire limb, making experience and the correct safety gear an absolute must.
Beyond the safety concerns, tree work also involves significant legislation, recognising the important role that trees play at all levels of society. In NSW, laws around trees are handled by local councils. The two main tools they use to manage trees are known as Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and Local Environment Plans (LEPs). The maximum penalty for breaching a TPO in a local court is $110, 000 so it is absolutely in your best interest to consult an arborist before engaging in any tree work to protect yourself legally and financially.
So, make sure that you treat trees with the respect that they deserve by contacting an arborist before engaging in any tree work yourself.