Now we have been happily living in our renovation project for a while, the building works have thankfully gone very quiet. But what you realise when you think you have finished is that after a year or two wear and tear kicks in and things need to be maintained.
So a new project has come up that we never expected. The massive oak trees and a huge fern have started to lose branches when it gets windy. One of the branches came very close to smashing into our new roof!
So I am now learning the trade of tree surgery! Here is what I have learned thanks to some friends at Alpine Tree Surgeons in Southampton.
Tree Surgery, What is It?
Tree surgery is a professional practice by local companies under the hood of arboriculture. Arborists, or tree surgeons, do not work on trees alone. They cover other plants like shrubs. Tree surgeons aren’t even involved in forest conservation, but they uphold green principles that benefit our environment.
Tree surgery is focused on individual trees, checking their health, repair, or removing them if necessary. With the tons of tree works found in communities, tree surgeons are busy on different aspects of tree care. Often, tree surgeons are known only for climbing and cutting trees, nonetheless these are just two of the responsibilities of tree surgery.
Tree surgery is also a field of study that is physically demanding but rewarding. Climbing tall trees and working in heights is only a part of the adventure. Exposing oneself to all kinds of weather, dealing with pests, mastering the art of chopping and using sophisticated tools and equipment is not the typical classroom task and office work about tree surgery. But when you get all the qualifications you need, a career as a tree surgeon is one of the rare but needed professions in our community.
What is covered in tree surgery?
The term surgery itself implies ‘treatment’ and ‘healing’. Hence, tree surgery repairs trees in many ways. Tree felling is the most common tree care covered in tree surgery. Property owners who want to convert their lawn for landscaping include tree removal, stump removal and grinding, hedge trimming, crown lifting or reduction, and plant treatment.
Different tree care services
- Tree felling—Tree felling is cutting or removing a tree when necessary. Tree surgeons will inspect the targeted tree and implement the cutting by observing safety protocols.
- Tree stump grinding or removal—Once a tree is cut, there remains a stump. This stump is a trip hazard and has to be removed separately. Old and dead stumps with fungi and deadly bugs can infect other healthy plants.
- Tree pollarding—Tree pollarding is more than simple trimming. In tree pollarding, tree surgeons remove all the branches of the tree in which only the trunk is left. This process is done to help the tree grow healthy again.
- Hedge trimming—Hedge lines are a beauty in our surroundings. But their branches and twigs produce lush leaves and become bulky. Neglected hedges are those with dead and dried parts. If you trim them, almost everything is lost. Hence, tree surgeons do professional trimming and ensure that they restore the hedge’s health.
- Crown reduction—Crown reduction only involves trimming a tree’s crown. Unlike pollarding, crown reduction retains healthy branches. Only diseased or dead tree portions are removed to prevent infecting adjacent plants.
The process of tree surgery goes a long way. More importantly, it is far different from forestry, and it is not even a part of it.