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Tree surgery: Four things to know before you make it a new career

by John Saunders
7th Jan 21 12:33 pm

The life of a tree surgeon – the job of trimming or cutting down trees – isn’t as simple as it first appears. Considerable training and education is required to work in this field. It’s also not without its drama or surprises. Here are four things to know before you make tree surgery your new career choice.

1. Beginner to advanced training is required

To work in the tree cutter/arborist field, it’s necessary to take various courses to train for it. A first step may be an introductory course in countryside management or forestry, but there are also courses specifically focused on acquiring a certain understanding and skill in what’s needed to work as a tree surgeon.

The typical course might include beginner-related Chainsaw Maintenance and Crosscutting. The NPTC 0020-03 course provides knowledge relating to using a chainsaw professionally. This course will include a competence test by an NPTC official at the end.

Once attained, other courses build and extend this knowledge to include using a chainsaw while strapped into a harness and using rope, felling trees above 380mm, and felling and processing trees, etc.

Indeed, there’s a regular path that people in this profession follow to reach a point where they’re educationally competent.

2. Specialist insurance is a must-have

When working as a tree surgeon certain risk factors are evident that aren’t present in a typical office job. Being up in the air, hanging from a rope or hoist, certainly qualifies. Also, using power tools in combination with unpredictable movement carries some extra risks too. This is why the training mentioned above is so important.

To protect against the risk factors, it’s also worth taking out tree surgeon insurance. This tradesman insurance is there to protect you and anyone else in the area. Damage caused by a falling limb of a tree can be significant should it fall unpredictably.

Use a reliable broker that can source tree surgeon insurance that’s right for you. Quotezone.co.uk has access to many policy providers and can source affordable quotes on your behalf.

3. You’ll need a keen eye for detail

Not only will you be responsible for cutting down trees like any seriously damaged by a violent storm, but the role has other responsibilities too.

You may be called upon to provide inspection services across a forest or landmass. Additionally, a survey report is often needed to confirm your findings and to make suggestions for the best course of action to take. Furthermore, any potential hazards or trees that could subsequently cause damage due to instability can also be indicated too.

4. Don’t expect everyone to understand your job title

When people think about surgeons, they automatically picture a white-gloved medical doctor working in an operating theatre performing a life-saving operation. Therefore, the ‘tree surgeon’ job title is one that will likely create confusion for people. The general introductory question in a social setting, “So, what do you do for work then?” is likely to need a follow-up explanation to clear up the confusion. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

A career as a tree surgeon is a rewarding one. It also gets you out in nature, which for people who aren’t so fond of working under fluorescent lights all day, is also preferable too.

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