What Is A Tree Surgeon?

Tuesday, 01st May 2018
What is a tree surgeon?

Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t know what tree surgery jobs entail unless they’ve seen a team in action. In short, tree surgeons climb trees for a living, chopping off unhealthy or obstructive branches in the process. It’s a job that’s part groundsman, part conservationist and part Tarzan, all at the same time.

Despite the fact that a large part of tree work involves removal, tree surgery jobs are actually about keeping trees in their best possible health by removing the parts that aren’t helping it to thrive.

“You wouldn’t think of a removal being a work of art, but they’re all like a puzzle you have to solve” says Wychwood Tree Surgeons founder Dean Tucker. “You always have to figure out how to rig it down. It’s a work of art in my eyes.”

Typical day in the life

As a tree surgeon, every day is different, because no two trees are the same. One day you’ll be in the tree with a ground saw hanging from your harness and the next you’ll be using a hand saw to do a fine prune on a Japanese Maple.

“I can't believe I actually get paid to do this, it’s so much fun. It doesn't feel like work most of the time,” says Dean.

“From a climbing point, big sprawled-out trees are my favourite,” he shares. “To be walking out on a 50-foot-long limb that touches the ground and starts out from 40 feet is pretty amazing.”

How Did You Start?

"I worked within the job from the age of 18 predominantly working for large organisations gathering a wealth of knowledge for around seven years before deciding to go freelance," says Dean. "I found a good technique and life just got easy. On my tenth year in the industry, I started Wychwood Tree Surgeons and for the last eight years I haven't looked back."

Although there are no set entry requirements to becoming a tree surgeon, all staff at Wychwood are trained to British Standard 3998, as recommended for tree work. It’s important to always hire a trained and experienced professional.

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