Avoiding tree damage – do you need a tree surgeon?

The rising autumn winds can cause havoc as leaves block your gutters, cover your pathway and delay your commute to the office by landing on the railway tracks. But that is not all the chaos that trees can cause once winter approaches. Dead wood can start to drop in high winds, branches can come away from trunks and, in extreme weather conditions, whole trees can fall.

Obviously, falling branches and trees can be a danger to anyone out in bad weather, but tree damage can also have an impact on your home, as branches crash through windows and falling trees take down sheds, fences and even walls. So as you prepare your home for winter you should also prepare your garden and the trees that are in or around it.

autumn trees

Image source: Pinterest 

You can care for your trees at any time of year, but the autumn and winter give the opportunity to see the tree without its full summer covering. You will safely avoid nesting birds and any cutting needed will have the chance to grow again once spring arrives. Additionally, the sap will not bleed from the tree if any surgery is done in the winter months, thus ensuring normal growth when the weather warms up.

The first thing to do in your autumnal tree check-up is a simple visual inspection of the trees on your property. Look up and see if any branches look to be hanging loose or coming away from the main body of the tree. Even small splits can turn into serious ones with a bit of wind, thus damaging your tree beyond repair. Having splits seen to and hanging branches lopped off in winter will improve the look and health of your tree and ensure that there is no danger to you or your home.

garden in autumn

Image source: Better Homes and Gardens

You should do the same for any trees that border your property or are big enough to fall on any part of it. You can always tell your neighbour or even offer to share the cost of any tree surgery if there are any potential problems. They should be pleased to do this, as it could save them claiming on their home insurance and increasing their premium should any accidents happen. If trees near your home are on land owned by a local authority or a private landowner then you should contact them with any concerns.

A qualified tree surgeon will cost you around £200-per-day to hire, but they should be willing to come out locally to give any potential job the once-over. They will be able to tell you what needs doing and how much it will cost within a few minutes. If they are dealing with high trees then the job may cost more, as they may need a second surgeon and also special rigging or other equipment to make the job safe.

sloped garden design

Image source: Better Homes and Gardens

Before you undertake any tree surgery yourself, or ask a professional to attend, you should check with your local council to see if the tree is protected in any way. If this is the case then you will need their permission for any work, although you may also find that they are willing to send someone out to take a look before you splash out on your own tradesman.

I would highly recommend that anything more than simple maintenance is done by an expert tree surgeon. Climbing trees to carry out maintenance can be very dangerous and the tools needed to work on your trees can also be a hazard to the amateur.

Iain Aitch

Iain is a London-based writer who works as a journalist for a number of newspapers and magazines. He has also written two books, one of which is a hilarious lexicon about Britishness – Iain is a Brit through and through!

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One Comment

  1. I’m a tree surgeon and I noticed you wrote an article about the dangers of trees. It’s good to see that people are starting to educate themselves on how trees can cause damage in winter as well as fall. Fall is a particularly dangerous time because many people have let their trees go un-checked all summer and now they are at risk of injury or even death from the onslaught of falling leaves.

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