Tree Surgery - Firewood - Tree Planting - Woodland Management - Orchard Planting & Restoration - Stump Removal - Free Quotations & Advice

 

 

 

 

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Company Qualifications & Experience

BSc (Hons) (2:1)

Tech Cert (ARBOR.A) – Distinction

 NPTC C&G Ph. II Arboriculture – Distinction

NPTC (National Proficiency Tests Council) certificates

CS 30, 31, 36, 38, 39

Qualified First Aid (St John’s Ambulance) in accordance with the HSE (First Aid) Regs. 1981

Insurance:

Professional Arboricultural Insurance:

£5 million Public Liability

 £10 million Employers Liability

Memberships & Affiliation:

National Trust, Woodland Trust

Work in Accordance with:

BS3998: 2010 -  Tree Work

BS5837: 2005 -  Trees in Relation to Construction

NHBC 4.2

NJUG Volume 4

 

Working with and trained by:

 

 

   

 

Tree Surgery East Herts, North West Essex & South Cambridge

 

Professional Tree Surgery operated from our base in Buntingford, and centred around Bishops Stortford, Ware, Hertford, Royston, Stevenage, Baldock, Letchworth, Saffron Walden and working through most of Hertfordshire, North West Essex and South Cambridgeshire for both small domestic and large commercial clients; Please see our current Working Area for clarification, or Contact Us to arrange a no obligation quote

 

Green Man offer free quotations for all our tree surgery work, and free advice on the law and best practice for both the client and the trees in our care. We are fully insured with £5 Million Public Liability cover and £10 Million Employers Liability cover

 

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Or scroll down to view examples of our work

 

 

Tree Surgery - Large Trees Sectional Removal

 

This veteran Oak was suffering from crown necrosis and Ganoderma fungal infection. At 350-400 years old, and measuring 22 feet around the base, there was an estimated 75 tons of timber that over time would collapse, posing a significant risk to the property owners. Making the tree safe whilst retaining a monolith for wildlife was the aim of this tree surgery work Sectional removal of the tree was still possible despite the die back in the crown, as one side of the tree had retained life and was able to be used as an anchor point to gain a safe working position. 35 tons of cord wood was removed from the crown of this Oak Tree and the operation took 2 days The Last 6-8 feet were removed with a 4 foot chainsaw bar and winched over safely, this lump alone weighed over 3 tons. Experience and careful planning are vital when working trees of this size The finished tree standing as a monument and important habitat, it will be decades before any further threat will be caused - Herts Tree Surgeons

 

Tree Surgery Herts - Above Left; This veteran Oak was suffering from crown necrosis and Ganoderma fungal infection. At 350-400 years old, and measuring 22 feet around the base, there was an estimated 7.5 tons of timber that over time would collapse, posing a significant risk to the property owners. Making the tree safe whilst retaining a monolith for wildlife was the aim of this tree surgery work - Above Centre; Sectional removal of the tree was still possible despite the die back in the crown, as one side of the tree had retained life and was able to be used as an anchor point to gain a safe working position. Above Right; 3.5 tons of cord wood was removed from the crown of this Oak Tree and the operation took 2 days Below Right; The Last 6-8 feet were removed with a 4 foot chainsaw bar and winched over safely, this lump alone weighed over 3 tons. Experience and careful planning are vital when working trees of this size Below Right; The finished tree standing as a monument and important habitat, it will be decades before any further threat will be caused - Herts Tree Surgeons

 

 

Emergency Tree Surgery - difficult and dangerous tree work

 

 This Ash Tree was brought down by a combination of blizzard conditions and previous damage to the root plate by a neighbouring garage build, plus recent exposure to wind by the removal of trees next door. The tree landed on an old Mulberry and the roof of the house. Very fortunately, the Mulberry stood the impact and bore most of the weight of the tree. Swift and safe removal of the tree is now a priority as further movement would cause more damage After roping off the tree to minimise likely further movement, careful removal of all limbs and cord wood that are free moving is undertaken, while concentrating hard on any compression or tension that may unsettle the tree further, or weight distribution that may unsettle the crown     Removing the bulk of the weight from the tree without unsettling the remaining trunk is a challenge, and requires careful planning particularly in bad conditions and with light fading The Mulberry still stands and the fallen Ash has been removed safely with no further damage or threat to the property   The clients were very lucky, and damage to the roof is minimal with only one branch penetrating the roof. Emergency Tree Surgery Herts

 

Emergency Tree Surgeons Herts and Essex - Top Left; This Ash Tree was brought down by a combination of blizzard conditions and previous damage to the root plate by a neighbouring garage build, plus recent exposure to wind by the removal of trees next door. The tree landed on an old Mulberry and the roof of the house. Very fortunately, the Mulberry stood the impact and bore most of the weight of the tree. Swift and safe removal of the tree is now a priority as further movement would cause more damage - Top Right; After roping off the tree to minimise likely further movement, careful removal of all limbs and cord wood that are free moving is undertaken, while concentrating hard on any compression or tension that may unsettle the tree further, or weight distribution that may unsettle the crown Centre Left; Removing the bulk of the weight from the tree without unsettling the remaining trunk is a challenge, and requires careful planning particularly in bad conditions and with light fading Centre Right; The Mulberry still stands and the fallen Ash has been removed safely with no further damage or threat to the property Below ; The clients were very lucky, and damage to the roof is minimal with only one branch penetrating the roof. Emergency Tree Surgery Herts

 

 

Tree Surgery - Use of specialist access equipment for dead standing and dangerous trees

 

Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery Herts - Above Left; A Lime Tree (Tilia x europaea) with extensive rot at the base caused by Armillaria Mellea  Above Right; Balanced removal of limbs from around the tree ensured mechanical stability was not compromised Below Left; A carefully planned route through the crown is required, and cuts made so as not to shock the tree which could result in failure Below Right; The last 5 metres or so of this tree had hardly any sound wood - the presence of trees around it formed protection from the wind - if it were standing alone it would have failed before this stage

 

 

 

Use of a MEWP (Mobile Elevated Work Platform) to Sectionally Remove a Dangerous Dead Standing Ash Coppice From Over A House Dead Standing Ash Too Dangerous To Climb - Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery With The Most Dangerous Part Of The Tree Removed, Our Customer Relaxes! Green Man Tree Surgeons

Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery Herts - Above Left; Use of a MEWP (Mobile Elevated Work Platform) to Sectionally Remove a Dangerous Dead Standing Ash Coppice From Over A House - Above Right; Dead Standing Ash Too Dangerous To Climb - Green Man Conservation Tree Surgeons Essex Below Left; The Most Dangerous Part Of The Tree Removed. Green Man Tree Surgeons Hertfordshire - Below Right; Removal Of The Last Few Stems - Surprisingly, This Coppice Stool May Spring Back To Life, So We Give It Every Chance By Finishing With Neat Coppice Cuts

 

 

Green Man Standards of tree work

  • All tree surgery is fully insured (£5m Public Liability) for your peace of mind

  • All Green Man operatives are experienced and fully qualified in a range of arboricultural operations and are the holders of both full NPTC certifications in tree operations and academic qualifications in the areas of Environmental Science and Arboriculture

  • Our tree work is carried out with due consideration to BS3998 'British Standard Recommendations for Tree Work'

  • Thorough awareness of Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 is maintained

  • Our tree surgery equipment is independently assessed by a LOLER ('Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations' 1998) accredited inspector every six months in accordance with the law

  • Green Man work with the Council's Tree Officers, and are aware of Conservation Areas, SSSI's and Tree Preservation Orders within our Working Area

Contact us to arrange a visit.

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Tree Surgeons - Crown thinning and species specific work

 

Some trees like Walnuts need very careful pruning to prevent introduction of disease and rot. A mature specimen before surgery The tree has retained all dignity, whilst letting light through to the garden and house and being thinned and reduced by approx 40%

Species often require pruning at specific times of the year, this Walnut is being worked in August to allow healing time while seasonal airbourne pests and diseases are relatively infrequent

Herts Tree Surgeons - Above Left; Some trees like Walnuts need very careful pruning to prevent introduction of disease and rot. A mature specimen before surgery - Above Centre; Species often require pruning at specific times of the year, this Walnut in Barley is being worked in August to allow healing time while seasonal airborne pests and diseases are relatively infrequent Above Right; The tree has retained all dignity, whilst letting light through to the garden and house and being thinned and reduced by approx 30% - Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery Herts and Essex

 

Herts Tree Surgeons - Above Left; This large willow had previously been heavily and inappropriately pruned, (known as a peg-monster), resulting in huge amounts of shock re-growth and therefore weak unions and lots of dead and dying material in the crown  Above Right; The tree has retained a dignified structure; all dead, dying, weaker and rubbing branches have been removed and the sensitive work will prevent the tree from panicking in response to pruning. We have become highly proficient at rescuing trees from an embarrassing and tortured existence due to prior insensitive management

 

 

Tree Surgery - Aerial inspections and making safe trees in high amenity settings

 

This Ancient Sprawling Ash Was Due To Be Removed As It Was In School Grounds, The Entire Crown Was Dying Back Causing Extreme Hazard In Such A High Amenity Area 8 Hours Later - No Deadwood Over The Size Of A Pencil Remains In The Tree, And The Ash Retains Its Maturity And Dignity - Green Man Conservation

Green Man Conservation Tree Surgeons Hertfordshire - Above Left; This Ancient Sprawling Ash Was Due To Be Removed As It Was Potentially Hazardous Tree Within A Hertfordshire School Grounds, The Entire Crown Was Dying Back Causing Extreme Hazard In Such A High Amenity Area - Above Right; 8 Hours Later - No Deadwood Over The Size Of A Pencil Remains In The Tree, And The Ash Retains Its Maturity And Dignity - Green Man Conservation Specialist Tree Surgery Herts and Essex

 

What is Tree Surgery?

 

Tree Surgery is necessary due to our close daily proximity to trees and the risks and infringements they subsequently impose upon us. Consequently there is a balance between their care and conservation in an amenity setting, and often judgment to remove and re-plant if they are inappropriate or pose a threat. Tree Surgery is the physical manifestation of the need to maintain trees in our environment for our benefit, and thorough knowledge is required of individual species and their habits, diseases and pests that influence viability and environmental issues that may impinge on the tree’s health.

 

In all circumstances the advice we give is based on a balanced holistic interpretation of the aims of the tree owner, the basic fundamental needs of the tree itself, health and safety, aesthetics and the impact upon the setting and the wider environment.

 

Tree Surgery is in many ways divergent from our aims with woodland planting and woodland management, where the tree is ruler of its own environment, and their natural forms, habits and historical management dovetail the needs of our natural environment.

 

Trees have a significant place in our environment, with amenity and aesthetic value through history as well as their uses for food, furniture and fuel and our spiritual attachment to them. Determining the type of work that is needed is a skill, and decisions on the type of work applied to them should not be taken lightly. In essence this is the difference between Arboriculture and Tree Surgery - an arboriculturalist will take an informed and holistic view, considering many factors such as species, position, disease, structure or form, historical use and value, and soil type to determine the type and extent of work appropriate to the tree. In most cases this should be the minimum amount of work deemed appropriate for the well being of the tree, the exception to this is when the tree poses a threat to safety in which case when the minimum amount of work to make safe would result in the trees' demise, removal is the last resort.

 

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Tree Surgery - Introducing management to mature trees

 

A Large Veteran Tree With Decay Leaning Over A Neighbouring Property A few hours later the tree is made safe yet retained as a future pollard - after epicormic re-growth in a few years the tree can be reduced further to ensure its continued survival and safety.

Green Man Conservation Tree Surgeons - Above Left; A large veteran overstood coppice Tree in Barkway with decay leaning over a neighbouring property - Above Right; A few hours later the tree is made safe yet retained as a future pollard - after epicormic re-growth in a few years the tree can be reduced further to ensure its continued survival and safety.  Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery in Herts

 

 

Sensitive tree management and conservation tree surgery

 

A sensitive and holistic approach to tree management dictates all our working operations at Green Man Conservation. Experienced, qualified and above all passionate about tree care A sensitive crown reduction to allow more light to penetrate garden without compromising the dignity of this mature ash. All those involved in Green Man Conservation, its cooperatives and suppliers share an uncommon passion for tree care

A wind-blown veteran willow is prepared for transportation to woodland copse as invertebrate and fungal habitat

 

Green Man Conservation Tree Surgeons - Above Left; A sensitive and holistic approach to tree management dictates all our tree surgery operations at Green Man Conservation. Experienced, qualified and above all passionate about tree care - Above Right; A sensitive crown reduction tree surgery in Buntingford to allow more light to penetrate garden without compromising the dignity of this mature ash. All those involved in Green Man Conservation, its cooperatives and suppliers share an uncommon passion for tree care - Below; A wind-blown veteran willow in Ware is prepared for transportation to woodland copse as invertebrate and fungal habitat

 

Aspects of Green Man tree work and tree management:

 

Green Man Conservation is proficient in all facets of domestic and commercial tree management and garden maintenance including:

 

·          Sectional felling of hazardous or inappropriately positioned mature trees

·          Crown-lifting and reduction operations

·          Removal of crossing and rubbing branches

·          Removal of limbs that interfere with wires, buildings, gutters, windows, etc

·          Removal of dead, dying or diseased limbs

·          Creating a more wind resistant structure

·          Thinning to increase light and air aesthetic

·          Removal of storm damaged or hung up limbs

·          Formative pruning of fruiting species to maximize cropping

·          Recommendations on species selection and re-planting

·          Wildlife habitat creation

·          Installation, surveying and maintenance of bird, bat, owl and invertebrate

       habitat boxes

·          Hedge-trimming and small garden tree maintenance

 

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Tree Surgery Techniques, Garden Tree Work

 

Before; Mature Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) requiring a sensitive 30% reduction to improve light, air, overall garden aesthetic and safety for adjacent children’s play area. Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery, Tree Surgeons in Herts & Essex After; the boughs of the reduced tree are shortened to growth points to continue the drawing of sap to the tips of the worked limb, ensuring re-growth and the sustaining of the branch. Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery, Tree Surgeons in Herts & Essex

During; where possible, the use of hand tools in the shortening of boughs allows for cleaner, more controlled cutting, minimising the impact to the reduced tree. Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery, Tree Surgeons in Herts & Essex

Green Man Conservation Tree Surgeons in Herts - Above Left; Before; Mature Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) requiring a sensitive 30% reduction in Royston to improve light, air, overall garden aesthetic and safety for adjacent children’s play area- Above Centre; During; where possible, the use of hand tools in the shortening of boughs allows for cleaner, more controlled cutting, minimising the impact to the reduced tree - Above Right; After; the boughs of the reduced tree are shortened to growth points to continue the drawing of sap to the tips of the worked limb, ensuring re-growth and the sustaining of the branch. Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery, Tree Surgeons in Herts & Essex

 

 

Hedge Pruning and Reduction

 

Careful trimming of a mature Yew (Taxus baccata) hedge in a manor house setting Facing and topping hedges should be done regularly to maintain a good shape The finished hedge ready for birds to find homes to nest and fledge

Green Man Conservation Hedge Trimming - Above Left; Careful trimming of a mature Yew (Taxus baccata) hedge in a manor house setting in Saffron Walden - Above Centre; Facing and topping hedges should be done regularly to maintain a good shape - Above Right; The finished hedge ready for birds to find homes to nest and fledge. Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery, Tree Surgeons in Herts & Essex

 

A Large Cypress Hedge Is Reduced And Faced By Our Tree Surgery Team The Finished Hedge Reduced By Circa 5 Feet And Faced By Our Team Of Qualified Tree Surgeons

Green Man Conservation Hedge Pruning Herts - Above Left; A Large Cypress Hedge Is Reduced And Faced By Our Tree Surgery Team in Bishops Stortford - Above Right; The Finished Hedge Reduced By Circa 5 Feet And Faced By Our Team Of Qualified Tree Surgeons - Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery, Tree Surgeons in Herts & Essex

 

How Much will it Cost? - A Guide to Pricing in the Tree Surgery Industry

 

The Tree Surgery industry is very coy when it comes to publishing information on pricing, and as far as we are aware this is the only guide to pricing on the internet. To find out any examples you will have to search through many blogs or ask friends or neighbours who have had work done in order to gain any insight into what you might expect to pay to have any work carried out on your trees.

 

To be fair to the tree surgery industry, there are five very good reasons for this:

  • Regulatory Factors. A company operating in the right way, i.e. within the strict legal framework regulating businesses within such a high risk sector, will have to charge far more than a company who is not. (More on this below)

  • Situational Factors. All trees are unique. Your tree will be very different to your neighbours tree despite a seemingly similar size or appearance, and there are many factors affecting the risk, skill and labour involved that will ultimately affect the price of the job. (More on this below)

  • Competition Factors. There may be many tree surgeons operating in your area. Lucky you. Get three or five quotes and you will find the differences can very wide ranging. We advise you do not go for the cheapest unless you are certain it is just a good deal from a good company. You should also find that there are a group of quotes around the same price - it is most likely these will be the companies offering a similar professional service with a keen eye on legislation and who are qualified and capable to operate your work

  • Seasonal Factors. September through to March (dormant deciduous trees and out of nesting season) are the busiest months for the tree surgery industry. You will find in these months prices may be artificially higher due to increased demand and waiting times to get the work done greater. If it is possible to have your tree worked out of this season, you will find companies are more hungry for the work. (Be careful here - arborists should abide by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and stop work if they find nesting birds or bats. It is always worth you monitoring your tree for a few days and see if there is any activity so you are happy that you will not be about to disturb wildlife

  • Equipment and Staff Factors. In terms of equipment the tree surgery game is a very expensive one to be in. In order to operate your work safely and to the best quality possible it may be necessary to use specialist equipment to access or process the tree. Qualified and reliable staff are also expensive - more on this and all factors below

Costs involved in Regulatory Factors:

  • Qualifications. All operatives should hold relevant NPTC (National Proficiency Test Council) certificates of competence, and update them when required by law. You can read more on this in our section Become an Arborist, but in short each worker is required to hold relevant certification to prove he or she is skilled to do the job prescribed. To reach a level of competence to tackle most tree surgery work, it is easily possible to spend £3000 - £5000 on training for each climber

  • Insurance. Public Liability Insurance is a must, and in such a specialist industry there are few providers willing to take on the risk of insuring tree surgeons. The normal costs reflect the company workload and work type, and are often dependant upon the height companies are prepared to work at, and the machinery used. Typically however, Public Liability Insurance can be expected to comprise 10% of an arboriculturalist company turnover. Employers Liability is an extra cost, not necessary to operate the company, but a must for conscientious operators.

  • Regulation. Some equipment is required to be checked by law under the 'Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998', or LOLER, and must be inspected by an accredited inspector every six months in accordance with the law

  • Risk Assessments and Health & Safety. Keeping risk assessment records and a keen eye on health and safety including provision of all appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is both an added administration and direct cost to a business operating within the law, and can easily add £15-£20 on the daily running cost of a professional tree surgery business

Costs involved in Situational Factors:

  • Tree Species & Past Management. The species of tree will affect the ability an arborist may have to access and work the tree safely. Hardwood deciduous trees are often easiest to access and work, and are more reliable to climb and therefore safer. Some trees like Poplar and Willow can be snappy and this affects the ability to access over-reaching limbs or the extremities of the tree safely. In some situations therefore, the species itself can dictate the use of specialist access equipment in order to provide the best solution. Also the past management of the tree affects its growth and therefore the ability to access safely. Overstood pollards or poor previous work for example can result in panic water-shoot re-growth that often forms tall straight poles with few substantial lateral limbs that make access by climbing unsafe.

  • Work Involved. The type of work involved will obviously affect the cost, as it will affect the time taken to work the tree, the skill levels required and the amount of arisings that are produced. Total removal of trees can result in all factors coming together and therefore be an expensive business

  • Location, Size and Condition of Tree. It stands to reason that a dying or dead mature tree on a roadside situated over a property with telephone or electricity services running through the branches will take a lot more thinking about than a small tree in the middle of a field with no impedances. A good arborist will note any such risks at the quotation stage and look at fungal infections or disease, services and proximity to buildings or public routes and make an assessment of this and many other factors determining how the job should be approached

Equipment and Staff Factors:

  • It is likely that even with a small job a reputable tree surgery company will attend the job with between £15,000 and £30,000 of equipment alone. Investment in equipment is necessary in any business, but the cost of tree surgery equipment is particularly high. It is likely an arborist will access your tree with £2000 of equipment attached to them! When undertaking large jobs that require specialist equipment, the costs involved escalate accordingly, and specialist lifting or access equipment can add to the cost considerably

  • Behind the scenes a tree surgery company will require storage and a yard to process all the arisings from their work. A good yard may cost a similar amount to a mortgage on a house. Storage of large amounts of wood chip and cord wood must be done safely ensuring leeching tannins and moisture do not affect local water sources and drainage. Maintaining and storing equipment and storing and processing arisings is another large cost to most companies

  • Staff are a factor in any service industry, but a skilled arborist can charge between £90 and £150 per day dependant upon the job, and ground staff between £60 and £100, add to this insurance, training and provision of protective equipment and staff costs can form a significant part of the price for a days tree work

So How Much will it Cost???

 

As the far from exhaustive detail and variant factors above indicate, it is impossible to apply a price to a days work without careful consideration of all of the above factors. On a job by job basis, it is vital to see the tree in situ and consider carefully the best approach to the work (another cost!) in order to provide an honest and fair price to both the arborist and the client.

 

The industry average for a three man work group is required to earn around £550 per day to cover costs and turn a small profit.  As a rough ballpark figure, an average day would be between £350 and £600. However if small jobs that will only take an hour or two demand a smaller price, a busy arborist will undertake this work by combining it with other work in the area, so it is always worth asking friends and neighbours as this will undoubtedly help the price of your tree work. In this case anywhere from £15 upwards could cover your work, so don't be put off by this too much! When considering difficult and dangerous work, the sky really is the limit dependant on the equipment needed and the approach required. Removing mature diseased trees in difficult to access locations could easily run in to thousands, if not tens of thousands.

 

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Tree Surgery - Specialist Conservation Arborist Techniques

 

Coronet Pruning, Natural Fracture Pruning, Retrenchement Pruning -  Conservation Tree Surgery Herts

An old Willow after re-pollard work - knowing which trees will respond to tree surgery work requires experience and knowledge Only one year on, the willow is a mass of healthy regrowth and can now be managed safely for years to come in this high amenity school setting

 

Working with conservation organisations and at the forefront of modern arboriculture are new techniques of pruning designed to mimic natural occurrences and yet increasing the longevity of the trees and enhancing their value to wildlife.

 

Chainsaw pruning cuts result in a flat surface not found in nature, usually as close to the main limb or trunk as possible to provide a neat finish. Most species struggle to repair these cuts fully, (over 4 inches in diameter), and such finish cuts often lead to rot being introduced to the main structure of the tree, resulting in early failure. Experiments within conservation organisations such as The National Trust (examples of this work can be seen locally at Hatfield Forest near Stansted Airport) have lead to developments in natural fracture pruning, retrenchment pruning and coronet pruning techniques.

 

The purpose of such pruning is two-fold. Firstly the form of the cuts after pruning is more natural, replicating natural occurrences such as storm damage or crown die-back, especially important in historical sites where tree surgery must be conducted but the results should not be obvious within the setting. Secondly the type of wound created by limbs snapping out is much more different to a chainsaw cut - the wound generally occurs some way along a limb, allowing rot or disease more time and space before it affects the tree structurally, also the wound has far more surface area and creates fibre separation and tearing in many different directions, all of which combines to provide a habitat for dependant species. In short if this is the type of damage that has happened to the trees for millennia, the chances are that they have learnt to deal with them far better than modern pruning cuts, plus new research indicates an interdependence between the life of the tree and the life within the tree - a symbiosis where nature knows best.

 

Deadwood has been, (and still for the most part is), treated by forestry and tree surgery as an evil which must be removed, to prevent the spread of disease into healthy trees. Apart from the obvious result of nutrient release back into the soil through deadwood presence after fungal breakdown, deadwood provides the base environment for many fungal and invertebrate species upon which other larger predators rely, such as woodpeckers, tawny owls, bats, willow tits, nuthatches, who survive on deadwood insect larvae and adult insects, or who nest or roost in the cavities created by deadwood. In turn these creatures disperse tree seed ensuring continued survival and interdependence within their natural environment. Treating anything in isolation as a pest and attempting to eradicate is dangerous and in most cases a huge waste of energy and resource.

 

Retrenchment Pruning is a technique named by Paul Muir of Treework Environmental Practice, and is a technique designed to increase the longevity of veteran trees, particularly overstood pollards, (trees which were historically managed as pollards but have not been for some time). The technique involves a replication of the natural dieback in trees - a safer and more controllable form of 'self-pollarding' that many mature trees undergo. If these overstood pollards were to simply be re-pollarded, the resultant shock and large wounds would certainly lead to demise, either very quickly or over 2-5 years. Retrenchment pruning involves reducing the crown slowly over several visits, allowing re-growth to occur in between mimicking natural die-back. This is a skilled technique, sometimes requiring a less than 10% reduction on the first visit to a veteran tree, but the long term result is a tree that is more stable and far less likely to suffer from fatal storm damage.

 

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Some Reviews of our work

Reviews of Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery Work

 

View our full profile in the FreeIndex Tree Surgeons Directory directory.

 

Trees and the Law

Most disagreements regarding the ownership and management of trees are best (and more cost effectively) resolved through old fashioned discussion and agreement, and if necessary mediation from someone with expert knowledge within the industry. A qualified tree surgeon should be able to advise on the law and help mediate disputes using this knowledge and a working knowledge of the practical and biological implications to the tree itself.

 

If, however, disputes cannot be resolved through mediation, a knowledge of the law is useful as is the process by which it is upheld. there are two types of law in the UK, Common Law and Statute Law - common law is otherwise known as the 'Law of Precedent', which changes over time and is based on judges decisions. Cases are heard in a Civil or County Court. Statute Laws, or 'Law of the Sovereign Power' are determined by Acts of Parliament and Regulations - UK Legislation (Acts), Regulations and EU Regulations all come under Statute Law. Lesser offences are heard in a Magistrates Court, and serious offences heard in a Crown Court, where a Judge and Jury preside over the case.

 

Common Law related to Arboriculture:

There are certain 'givens' that relate to trees, ownership and management that common law dictates. Over time these have formed useful handles on which to resolve issues without the need for legal action - some relate to a time when the value of trees by most was perceived very differently, encompassing the physical value of the timber or fruit for example, and in today's world where the shift in value is more toward amenity and privacy, some may seem a little dated. They are however, very useful guidelines and very commonly used to resolve minor disputes. A summary of these below:

 

Ownership:

  • The person who owns the land that the tree is on, owns the tree. (The deeds or plan should show who is responsible for a boundary)

 

Overhanging Branches:

  • The right exists to cut back to boundary, and the tree owner has no obligation to pay for this

  • However, if the tree fails as a direct result of pruning activities damages may be payable, so it is best to seek advice from someone with a knowledge of good pruning practices - (the tree is also important here, and doesn't have a voice except by proxy to an 'expert' - if you value your tree, good advice is equally valuable)

  • The tree owner also has a responsibility to stop anything 'escaping' from their property that will stop a neighbour enjoying theirs

  • Any work must be carried out in accordance with other relevant laws - i.e. with the awareness that legally protected wildlife may be present, where lack of knowledge of the law is now no longer a valid defence against prosecution

Arisings:

  • The arisings from the work remain the property of the owner of the tree, and should be offered back to the owner before disposal, (though they have no legal obligation to take them - oh, and they can't be thrown back over the fence!)

Fruit:

  • Fruit (including fallen fruit on neighbouring land) remains the property of the tree owner

  • The owner has a common law right to enter neighbouring property to collect fruit without permission (as long as no damage is caused and they do not linger)

  • Equally, the owner does not have to collect fruit or leaves from their tree

Access:

  • If a boundary is to be crossed in order to access a tree or a part of a tree, this cannot be done without permission from the owner

Damage or Prediction of Damage from a tree:

  • If a tree is causing or predicted to cause damage to a neighbouring property, ('actionable nuisance'), the neighbour can apply to the Civil or County Courts for an injunction forcing the owner to manage the tree

  • An injunction once served can be for the lifetime of the tree

  • (This can also be dealt with under Statute Law using the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. See below for more details on this

Poisonous elements:

  • There is a 'duty of care' owned to a neighbour by the tree owner - i.e. if an animal eats poisonous parts of a tree and then dies, the owner is liable

  • If an animal pushes over a fence and consumes the poisonous elements, the person responsible is the owner of the boundary

Law of Joint and Several Damages:

  • This is a bit of a funny one - verbatim as follows: "If action is taken against a named individual, and then it is discovered that trees in other ownership are also causing problems, if the judge finds in favour of the plaintiff, it is the named individual's responsibility to show others' liability, or he will be held liable for all damages"

  • In summary it is legally up to the person who action is taken against to prove that they are not liable for the other trees and do not own them

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Statute Law related to Arboriculture:

Acts of Parliament or European Legislation often become relevant where common law is not sufficient, or where areas require individual legal clarification and protection. In relation to trees and associated activities, click the following areas to read relevant Statute Laws relating to them:

 

 

Access:

Access to Neighbouring Lands Act 1992

  • If a viable need for access is required to neighbouring land to carry out maintenance on property, and the owner unreasonable refuses, an order can be served upon the owner forcing allowed access

Occupiers Liability Acts 1957 and 1984

  • Under the 1957 act, the occupier or owner has a 'duty of care' to those accessing their property, and this covered two types of people; 'Invitees' (a person entering the land on business of interest to both himself and the occupier) and 'Licensees' (a person entering the land with expressed or implied permission, but no community of interest)

  • The 1984 Act extended the duty of care to 'persons other than visitors', including trespassers and those exercising private rights of way

  • The duty of care is owed by the occupier if they are aware of the danger or have reasonable grounds to know it exists, has reasonable grounds to believe the non-visitor is in the vicinity, or knows of a risk which he may be reasonable expected to offer some protection

  • There is a different liability owed to children, people with expert knowledge, and, fortunately, trespassers

Highways Act 1980, and as amended 1986

  • Should an owner receive a Section 154 notice relating to pruning vegetation from their property obstructing the passage of vehicles or pedestrians, and they choose to ignore it, they will subsequently receive a Section 294 notice, whereby courts will have allowed access to the Highways Agency to access the land and carry out the work. The owner would then have to cover costs involved, and clear the arisings from the work

  • Vegetation overhanging a vehicular right of way should be pruned to a height of 5.2 Metres, and 2.4 metres overhanging a pedestrian right of way

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

  • Under section 23 / 24 of the Act, if a tree is causing an 'actionable nuisance' to a neighbour, the Local Authority can serve a notice to the owner forcing them to carry out the work. If they refuse, the Local Authority can access the land, deal with the problem and seek to recover reasonable costs

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW)

  • CROW gave the public rights of entry for the purposes of recreation to 'access land'

  • 'Access land' was defined as 'open country' - i.e. moor, heathland, mountain etc

  • It encouraged the creation of new Public Rights of Way, and enabled easier diversion of existing ones to protect SSSI's

  • The Act also removed the liability from owners and occupiers of the land - a 'duty of care' is now not recognised on natural features, so tread carefully and encourage accident prone suing types to stay indoors

Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 (Trees with ASBO's)

  • More on this section of the Act later in the 'Right to Light' section, but in terms of access, if a formal notice to reduce a hedge height is ignored by the owner, much as in the Highways Act 1980 and as amended 1986, the Local Authority may then force access, carry out works and seek to recover costs

The Plant Health Act 1967

  • Under this Act and the various subsequent orders since, officers can access land to take samples if certain pests or diseases are suspected to be present, and to take action against them in order to prevent their spread

Wildlife:

There is an awful lot of legislation relating to wildlife in the UK, the following is that which is most likely to be encountered in relation to trees:

 

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)

The Wildlife and Countryside Act is the principle piece of legislation in the UK relating to the protection of wild birds, mammals and plants. In relation to arboriculture, an knowledge of this Act is vital, and an awareness of the legal implications of operating tree work in the presence of wild birds or animals in terms of disturbance. Generally, bird nesting season is the most sensitive time for tree related operations, but equally the presence of bats and other wild animals must be considered all year round

  • Schedule 1 - Wild Birds - "It is an offence to kill, injure or take any wild bird, or to take, damage or destroy its nest while in construction or use, or to take or destroy any of its eggs"

  • Schedule 2 - Wild Birds - Part 1 of Schedule 2 listed wild birds that were exempt from Schedule 1 - as of 1993, no birds are treated as pest birds, and any that are killed or taken outside the closed season can only be done under license

  • Schedule 5 - Wild Animals listed in this section are protected - "it is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take, or intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place used for shelter or protection, or to disturb any animal while it is occupying such a place"

  • Schedule 8 - Wild Plants - "It is an offence to intentionally pick, uproot, trade in, possess for the purpose of trade, or destroy any plant listed in schedule 8. It is also an offence for anyone, other than an authorised person, to uproot any wild plant". There is one tree in the list - Pyrus cordata, or the Plymouth Pear

  • Schedule 9 - Non native species - a list of non-native species which it is illegal to release or plant

  • Licences can be granted to allow otherwise illegal acts, but only for the well being of protected species, or where there is a threat to public safety

  • Penalties include prison for up to 6 months, and/or a level 5 fine (£5k at present) per single offence

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW)

  • The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 introduced a concept of reckless offence being committed against wildlife, whereby it is no longer an offence to plead ignorance

Protection of Badgers Act 1992

  • It is illegal to "wilfully kill, injure, take a badger or attempt to do so. Possession or control of a dead badger, or any part of, or anything derived from a dead badger. Cruel ill treatment of a badger (use of tongs while taking or killing, digging, and use of a firearm other than those permitted). Interfere by damaging or obstructing a badger sett which shows signs of current use, causing a dog to enter a badger sett, disturb a badger within a sett with intent or recklessly. Sale, possession or control of a live badger. Unlicensed ringing, tagging or marking of a badger" In short, as a wise badger once told me, you cannot do anything to a badger

  • License required to work within 20 metres of a badger sett, or to plant within 3 metres of a hole

  • January and February are the most sensitive time for badgers, when they are likely to have young

The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 (From the Environment Act 1995)

  • Criteria for designation as an important hedgerow under the regulations include archaeological, historical, wildlife or landscape value - there are 8 criteria listed for these

  • Wildlife value consists of those protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) in Schedule 1, Schedule 5, and Schedule 8

  • Or those categorised as a declining breeder in Red Data Birds in Britain, or those categorised as endangered, extinct, rare or vulnerable in the Red Data Books

The Conservation (Natural Habitats etc) Regulations 1994

  • This European Regulation brought into focus law concerning 'EPS' - or 'European Protected Species'

  • It brought in new designations for sites - 'SAC's' (Special Areas of Conservation) relating to birds , 'SPA's' (Special Areas of Conservation). Although our native SSSI sites still exist, and a site can be a SSSI, a SAC and a SPA, the European designation has more power as offence cases would be heard in a European Court

  • Made it an offence to 'deliberately' capture, kill, disturb, or trade in animals listed in schedule 2 and pick, collect, cut, uproot, destroy, or trade in plants listed in schedule 5

The Conservation (Natural Habitats etc) (Amendment) Regulations 2007

  • This amendment clarified the word 'deliberately' - there was no longer an incidental offence - basically "I didn't mean to me lud" no longer washed. After all, deliberately means 'deliberated' or thought about it

  • Any disturbance also had to affect a significant population of the local distribution or abundance of that species

The Conservation (Natural Habitats etc) (Amendment) (England and Wales) Regulations 2009

  • Disturbance now extended to anything likely to impair ability to survive, breed or reproduce, rear or nurture young, hibernate or migrate

  • Plus any existing guidance or publications in circulation would be taken into account - i.e. you should be up to date

The Conservation of Habitat and Species Regulations 2010

  • All the last three now come under this banner

  • Licensing now required to work with an EPS

  • Licence applied for via Natural England or Forestry Commission

  • Licence only granted if there is a risk to public safety, in the interests of conservation, there will be no detrimental affect, or no alternative

Red Data Books

  • First created in 1964

  • Categorises species according to how endangered they are: Extinct; Extinct in the Wild; Critically Endangered; Endangered; Vulnerable; Near-Threatened

  • Violet and Scarlet Click Beetles for example are on the list, and only exist in veteran trees

The Birds Directive 1979

  • This is a European Directive and led to the creation of SAC's

'Right to Light'

Well, despite the well-oiled phrase, a right to light has to be acquired over 20 or more years before it can be enforced. On the plus side, there are various elements of the law designed to tackle this:

 

The Prescriptions Act 1832

  • An early one - the Prescriptions Act 1832 claim a right to light, but the circumstances are somewhat dubious in arboricultural terms

  • If an owner has enjoyed (and can prove this) undisturbed light for at least 20 years, and an instant detrimental change occurs where that light is removed, the abatement or physical removal of the structure can be enforced

  • This does not apply to incremental growth however, so unless someone plants a row of mature evergreen trees right outside a window there is little likelihood of this one coming to bare

Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003

  • Entirely through the fault of man, and largely due to the crossing of Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey Cypress) and Xanthocyparis nootkatensis (Nootka Cypress) to create our much loved X Cupressocyparis leylandii, we now have ASBO trees (although they are very effective when kept trim and birds just love to nest in them)

  • Part 8 of the Act deals with high hedges, specifically where "reasonable enjoyment" of one property is being adversely affected by a next door hedge, and that high hedge is defined as any barrier to light or access comprising a line of two or more evergreens or semi-evergreens rising to a height of 2 metres or more

  • The Act covers loss of light to gardens, and loss of light to windows - both should be considered

  • The acceptable height of the hedge is described as the AHH or Action Hedge Height

  • If good old fashioned talking over the fence (or shouting to the neighbour 20 feet away through the dense foliage, lost footballs, shopping trolleys, the odd tree surgeon and other detritus the hedge has eaten) doesn't work out, the next step is mediation. If both processes fail miserably, as a last resort the Local Authority can be called in to adjudicate

  • The Local Authority may charge for this at their discretion (up to £700 and possibly higher) - they will consider the wider interests (i.e. conservation area, TPO's, protected wildlife etc) and undergo the necessary calculations to determine the AHH

  • The loss of light to the garden is calculated, as is the loss of light to main living room windows (not toilets, stair cases, halls etc), and the lower of these two figures is taken - if less than 2 metres, it will be rounded up to 2 metres - the resultant number is the AHH (60-100mm can be further taken off to allow for re-growth)

  • A few points - the AHH cannot result in the destruction or death of the hedge; 2 metres is the lowest enforceable height (in line with garden fencing); it applies only to dwellings, not outbuildings, summerhouses, sheds, garages, or conservatories; there are various calculations which will adjust the AHH such as the orientation of the hedge, the distance set back from the boundary and the degrees of slope; in short it is complex - try a cup of tea and a chat first if possible

  • Once the AHH has been established, the LA may issue a formal notice to the hedge owner

  • Failure to comply is an offence (although both parties have a right to appeal)

  • The order remains with the property, so if any new owner were to buy the property they would still be bound by the AHH

  • Fines for non-compliance are up to £1000, plus the LA may force access and carry out the works, and seek to recover costs

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Tree Removal

Should there be a viable need to remove a tree or multiple trees, it may be necessary to gain permission for doing so. Although under common law the owner of the land 'owns' the tree, that does not mean the trees 'owner' can do what they like to the trees without due consideration to the consequences, in the same way that an extension cannot be built without planning permission. It may be for example, that the tree is part of an historical boundary or archaeological feature, or has value in the interests of amenity as part of the local landscape, or of course has significant wildlife value, or it may be a rare or fine example of a particular species, or may have historical interest in terms of when and by whom it was planted. It can be a very quick decision to condemn a tree, but once it is gone the character of a place is dramatically (and usually detrimentally) changed, and like-for-like replacement is a very long waiting game. Therefore and thankfully we have an element of control in terms of what we can and can't do with our trees:

 

The Forestry Act 1967

If you are lucky enough to own some large trees or woodland, you may need a felling licence form the Forestry Commission in order to carry out any thinning, felling or coppicing. Felling Licences are not required under the following circumstances:

  • If you are felling less than 80mm diameter trees (at 1.3m)

  • If you are thinning less than 100mm diameter trees (at 1.3m)

  • If you are coppicing less than 150mm diameter trees (at 1.3m)

  • As part of pruning operations

  • If the tree is dead, dangerous, or causing an 'actionable nuisance'

  • If an existing Forestry Grant Scheme is in place

  • If an Act of Parliament is in place (i.e. Section 154 notice from Highways Act 1980 and as amended 1986)

  • If the tree is in a garden, churchyard, orchard, public space (The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999 / Amendment 2008/2009 covers these ones - see below)

  • If planning permission has already been gained and work is part of implementing that development

  • For the purposes of maintaining utilities

  • If you are felling no more than 5 cubic metres and selling no more than 2 cubic metres in any one calendar quarter

Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas - Town and Country Planning Act 1990 / Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999 / Amendments 2008 & 2009

A Conservation Area is an area designated by the Local Authority or in some cases English Heritage in London as an area of special archaeological or historical interest; "the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance" [Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990]. There are more than 8000 across the UK, and trees are an important part of the unique character and virtue of these areas, inextricably entwined with the historical value and sense of place.

 

Tree Preservation Orders or TPO's are designed to protect individual trees, groups of trees, areas or woodlands and are separate to Conservation Area status. A tree within a conservation area may also have a TPO served upon it.

 

Conservation Areas:

  • The Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999 make special provisions for trees within a Conservation Area which are not the subject of a TPO

  • Conservation Area status requires that anyone wishing to cut down or carry out work on a tree within a Conservation Area must first notify the council of the intended work through a Section 211 notice

  • This notification gives the Local Authority six weeks from the date of receipt in which to decide whether the tree(s) concerned require extra protection in the form of a Tree Preservation Order

  • Within that time, the Local Authority will inspect the tree, and they then have three options available to them; 1) Serve a Tree Preservation Order on the tree if justified in the interests of amenity; 2) Allow the six weeks to expire, after which the work can be carried out (within two years of the notice date); 3) Decide not to serve a Tree Preservation Order and inform the applicant that work can go ahead

Tree Preservation Orders:

  • Tree Preservation Orders prohibit the following actions; 1) Cutting down; 2) Uprooting; 3) Topping; 4) Lopping; 5) Wilful Damage; 6) Wilful destruction of trees, and this includes the root system

  • Tree Preservation Orders can be applied to individual trees, groups, whole areas or woodlands

  • Tree Preservation Orders can be effective immediately (Section 201 Direction)

  • Objections can be made at least 28 days after a Tree Preservation Order is served with the accompanying Regulation 3 Notice

  • Objections can be made on the basis of; 1) Challenging the LPA's view that it is expedient in the interest of amenity to have serves a TPO; 2) The tree is dead, dying or dangerous; 3) The tree is causing damage or there is a prediction of damage to property; 4) There have been errors made by the Planning Authority in the serving of the notice; 5) The LPA have not followed the correct procedural requirements of the Regulations

  • The 2008 and 2009 amendments to the Act require evidence from an expert be included if structural problems or ill health of the tree are posed as reasons to object

  • Should the tree be removed on the basis of ill health or it being dead, dying or dangerous, a replacement tree will have to be planted (if outside of a woodland) under the Section 206 notice (so having it cut down overnight by an irreputable tree feller to build a house is pointless)

  • When applying for work on a tree with a Tree Preservation Order, the intended work should be made in writing and specified, a map or plan provided of the location of the tree, and the reasons for the intended work clearly stated

  • The Authority have eight weeks to respond to a TPO application, and can either; 1) Refuse consent; 2) Grant consent unconditionally, or; 3) Grant consent subject to conditions

Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999

  • An Environmental Impact Assessment is required if deforesting an area over 1 hectare, or afforesting an area over 5 hectares

 

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Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery Tree Surgeons Herts Hertfordshire and Essex, Mycorrhiza inoculation, Firewood Logs and Organic Mulch, Tree Planting, Woodland Planting, Hedge Planting working range by town and village that we work most regularly

Albury, Allen's Green, Amwell, Anstey, Ardeley, Arkesden, Aspenden, Audley End, Baldock, Barkway, Barley, Barwick, Benington, Berden, Birchanger, Bishop's Stortford, Braughing, Brent Pelham, Broxted, Buckland, Buntingford, Chapmore End, Cherry Green, Chipping, Chrishall, Church Langley, Clavering, Clothall, Cole Green, Colliers End, Cottered, Cromer, Dane End, Dassels, Debden, Debden Green, Duddenhoe End, Essendon, Farnham, Farnham Green, Felsted, Ford End, Furneux Pelham, Good Easter, Graveley, Great Amwell, Great Chishall, Great Dunmow, Great Hallingbury, Great Hormead, Great Munden, Green Tye, Hare Street, Harlow, Hatfield, Hatfield Broad Oak, Haultwick, Hay Street, Hertford, High Cross, High Easter, High Ongar, High Wych, Hitchin, Knebworth, Kimpton, Langley, Letchworth, Levens Green, Litlington, Littlebury, Littlebury Green, Little Dunmow, Little Hadham, Little Hallingbury, Little Hormead, Manuden, Matching Green, Meesden, Melbourn, Much Hadham, Nasty, Newport, Nuthampstead, Patmore Heath, Perry Green, Puckeridge, Quendon, Reed, Reed End, Rickling, Rickling Green, Royston, Saffron Walden, Sandon, Starling's Green, Stickling Green, Sawbridgeworth, Stebbing, Stevenage, Spellbrook, Standon, Stansted Abbotts, Stansted Mountfitchet, Stocking Pelham, Takeley, Thaxted, Therfield, Thorley, Throcking, Thundrige, Tye Green, Ugley, Ugley Green, Upper Green, Wadesmill, Walkern, Ware, Wareside, Watton at Stone, Wellpond Green, Welwyn Garden City, Wendens Ambo, Westmill, Weston, Wicken Bonhunt, Willian, Wimbish, Wyddial

 

Green Man Conservation Herts & Essex Tree Surgery, Green Man Conservation Tree Surgeons, Mycorrhiza inoculation, Firewood Logs and Organic Mulch  working range by post code

Harlow CM17, CM18, CM19, CM20, Sawbridgeworth CM21, Cambridge, Bishop's Stortford CM22, CM23, Stansted CM24 , Welwyn AL6, Welwyn Garden City AL7, AL8, Hatfield AL9, AL10, Stevenage, SG1, SG2, Knebworth SG3, Hitchin SG4, SG5, Letchworth SG6, Baldock SG7, Royston SG8, Buntingford SG9, Much Hadham SG10, Ware SG11, SG12, Hertford SG13, SG14, Arlesey SG15, Henlow SG16, Shefford SG17, Biggleswade SG18, Sandy SG19, Broxbourne EN10, Hoddesdon EN11

 

 

 

 

Tree_Surgery_Herts_Large_Tree_Removal

 

Tree Surgery operated from Buntingford, and centred around Ware, Hertford, Bishops Stortford, Royston, Stevenage, Baldock, Letchworth, Saffron Walden, Hoddesdon, Harlow, Sawbridgeworth, Welwyn Garden City, Melbourn, Duxford and working through most of Hertfordshire North Essex, and Cambridge for both small domestic and large commercial clients; Please see our current Working Area for clarification

 

Tree surgeon performing sectional dismantling operation. Green Man Conservation Tree Surgery, Tree Surgeons in Herts & Essex

 


 

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