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When you need to have tree work done, it’s important to know what the differences are between the services on offer. There’s a huge number of tree companies out there ranging from those with limited skills and experience, right through to fully qualified, experienced professionals, who will ensure you get the highest quality service for your money, without putting your house and property at risk.


So, what exactly is the difference between a Tree Lopper and an Arborist?

A Tree Lopper is just that – someone who will come in and simply ‘lop’ your tree by removing the tree’s limbs or branches to stubs. While this may seem like a straightforward solution, it can actually lead to big problems. The tree’s overall structure and stability can be undermined, causing it to become unstable, the tree’s growth may be stunted, and the tree can become exposed to insect infection and disease.

Lopped trees are also more likely to re-shoot quickly, requiring more frequent work to be carried out than that of a tree that has been pruned correctly. These new limbs are mostly poorly attached and will have a much higher risk of breaking at this point of attachment.

Whilst tree loppers generally offer a cheaper service, they are often unqualified, inexperienced and offer a poor standard of work that can at best make your tree look bad, and at worst, cause your tree to become more likely to fail (fall over) in storms or strong winds, leaving your house and property vulnerable to major damage. Not to mention that this will increase the risk to your family and neighbours.

Due to a general lack of knowledge, skills and training, often a lopper won’t consider the positioning of the tree, how the tree will regrow or the overall health of the tree, all of which are extremely important considerations when undertaking any tree work.

Poorly pruned trees can result in the tree having a weakened structure as new growth can become too heavy, which can lead to the tree falling over in inclement conditions. You could end up having to pay thousands of dollars in remedial tree work, to allow the tree to regain a sound structure, so what may have been cheaper initially, could cost you a whole lot more in the long run.

Your home, car and property may also be at risk of being damaged while the work is being carried out if being done by someone that doesn’t know what they’re doing, as large limbs can be extremely hazardous if not felled safely. If an accident happens and someone is injured without the appropriate insurances in place, the homeowner can be sued for allowing the work to be carried out and fined by work cover if the worker is injured.

Tree lopping isn’t good for trees, nor for tree owners, and often creates more problems in the long run. Tree loppers may also cut corners to try and keep their costs down, and as a result, may not have the appropriate insurances to undertake tree work.


What does an Arborist do?

Arborists are certified, trained and qualified in all aspects of tree care and maintenance, and adhere to recommended pruning guidelines as outlined in the Australian standards AS473-2007.

An Arborist will offer professional advice on your tree and your desired outcome and will take into account a number of things when assessing your tree, ensuring a safe, aesthetically pleasing outcome.

The health and safety of the tree, where the tree is positioned, the surrounding area, how the tree is growing and access to the site will all be assessed. The Arborist will evaluate the tree from all angles and ensure that what, and where – they cut, won’t jeopardise the safety of the tree, nor your home and property. An Arborist will also ensure that regrowth will be healthy and strong and not require constant maintenance and pruning.

Arborists will know how different species of trees will react to different types of pruning and will recommend the best options for your particular tree, as opposed to a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Employing an Arborist will benefit your tree’s health, make it look more visually appealing and help to ensure its structural integrity. It’s also important to note that if you have a protected tree, you must use an Arborist to carry out any permitted works or you could be faced with fines.

The removal and pruning of trees can be technically challenging as well as dangerous, and should only be undertaken by qualified, trained professionals.

Before hiring anyone to carry out tree work of any kind at your property, always check they are fully insured and ask if they have qualifications and references.

When it comes to your family’s safety – don’t risk it, hire a professional Arborist for the job.

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