A dramatic title to this article, but choosing to hire a tree surgeon could be the best decision you will ever make! As gardening power tools make the life of a DIY gardener ever more labour saving, more and more of us are tempted to ‘give it a go’. Yet accident statistics point to a harrowing truth; many gardening deaths and serious injury are a direct result of stepping out too far on the road to self-reliance, and in fact not recognising when we have crossed the line from what is sensible and realistic for us as individuals to achieve, and what requires skill, knowledge, experience, expertise and training beyond the level of most people.

Falling from ladders while cutting trees and bushes is an obvious risk – and a fall is statistically the most common type of garden accident – but there are other potentially fatal hazards as well. A cut from motorised equipment can be life threatening and so too is the danger of electrocution from electrically powered gardening equipment. Another very serious risk is blindness or eye injury caused by particle or chemical contact, as an alarming number of people do not wear safety glasses or goggles when it would be sensible to do so.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents provide an excellent set of guidelines for working safely in the garden, but when it comes to those bigger and riskier garden tasks like tree care, the only sensible advice is to hire a professional tree surgeon or arborist. Tree surgeons are formally trained in Safety procedures to British Standards and will carry out a formal risk assessment of a job before starting. Their training will include the proper use of powered tools like chainsaws. They also use protective clothing like Kevlar gloves and face guards. A tree surgeon is highly skilled in the use of ropes and harnesses to secure themselves safely when working above ground level. Ropes can also be employed to secure branches to prevent damage to property when removing them. Most tree surgery companies are committed to recycling their cuttings.

If you need the services of a tree surgeon, choose a local company who offer qualified personnel. The standard to look for in finding a tree surgeon is a membership of recognised professional body like the Arboricultural Association. Ask for a free estimate and references before hiring your tree surgeon. You should also check for Liability Insurance.

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