Tree surgeons, also known as arborists, are professionals who are trained in the care and maintenance of trees. They play a crucial role in ensuring the health, safety, and aesthetic appeal of trees in both urban and natural environments. Tree surgery involves a wide range of tasks and requires in-depth knowledge of tree biology, horticulture, and specialized equipment. In this article, we’ll explore the various aspects of tree surgery and the terminology commonly used by tree surgeons.


Tree Maintenance

One of the primary responsibilities of a tree surgeon is to perform tree maintenance. This involves trimming and pruning trees to enhance their beauty and promote healthy growth. Here are some terms commonly used in tree maintenance:

  1. Crown Reduction: A technique used to reduce the height or spread of a tree’s crown by carefully cutting back the branches.
  2. Crown Thinning: The process of selectively removing branches within the crown to increase light penetration and improve the tree’s overall structure.
  3. Crown Lifting: Removing the lower branches of a tree to increase clearance for pedestrians, vehicles, or other structures.
  4. Deadwooding: The removal of dead or dying branches, which helps prevent disease and reduces the risk of falling limbs.
  5. Pleaching: A technique in which tree branches are allowed to intertwine to create a hedge or living fence.
  6. Topiary: The art of shaping trees and shrubs into decorative forms, such as animals or geometric shapes.


Tree Preservation

Tree surgeons also play a critical role in preserving trees and ensuring their long-term health. They often work closely with ecologists, developers, and local authorities to protect trees during construction or development projects. Below are some terms related to tree preservation:

  1. Tree Survey: A detailed assessment of the condition, health, and potential risks associated with a tree. This helps determine the appropriate management plan.
  2. Tree Preservation Order (TPO): A legal order made by the local authority to protect specific trees or group of trees. Any work on protected trees requires prior consent from the local authority.
  3. Conservation area: An area in which all trees are protected. Any work on protected trees requires prior consent from the local authority.
  4. Tree Root Investigation: A process of examining and assessing tree roots to identify potential issues, such as damage to underground services or structural damage.
  5. Transplanting: The delicate process of moving a tree from one location to another. This allows for the preservation of valuable trees during construction or development.


Tree Removal and Stump Grinding

In some cases, trees need to be removed due to disease, poor health, outgrowing their position or safety concerns. Tree surgeons are skilled in safely removing trees while minimizing damage to surrounding property. Here are some terms used in tree removal and stump grinding:

  1. Felling: The controlled cutting down of a tree in a predetermined direction.
  2. Sectional Dismantling: The process of removing a tree in sections, particularly when there are space constraints or nearby structures to consider.
  3. Stump Grinding: The mechanical grinding of a tree stump to below ground level, allowing for replanting or the use of the area for other purposes.


Health and Safety

Ensuring the safety of both the tree surgeons and the public is paramount in tree surgery. Tree surgeons follow strict guidelines and procedures to minimize risks. Here are some health and safety terms used in tree surgery:

  1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Specialized clothing and safety gear worn by tree surgeons, such as helmets and safety glasses or visors.
  2. Rigging: The use of ropes, pulleys, and other equipment to control and safely lower large tree limbs or sections.
  3. Aerial Work Platform (AWP): Equipment, such as cherry pickers or cranes, used to access higher branches or facilitate tree removal at heights.
  4. Climbing Techniques: Tree surgeons often utilize various techniques, such as the double rope technique (DRT) or single rope technique (SRT), to safely ascend and descend trees.

You can read more about our safety standards and insurance here.


As you can see, tree surgeons undertake a diverse range of tasks aimed at maintaining, preserving, and, if necessary, removing trees. Their expertise in tree biology, knowledge of specialized terminology, and use of specialized equipment make them essential in maintaining the health and beauty of the urban and natural environment. This is what we do at Arbex, ensuring the safety, longevity, and aesthetic appeal of trees for generations to come.

Tree Surgeon