How to Look After Your Trees | Your Questions Answered

How to Look After Your Trees | Your Questions Answered

Looking after your trees is a vital task that should not be taken lightly. If you’re not sure how to go about it, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! In this post, we will discuss all aspects of tree services and maintenance and we will answer all of your questions about tree care.

What Is A Tree Surgeon?

Tree Surgeons or “Arborists” are involved in the cultivation and care of trees in the urban environment. Tree Surgery is a highly skilled and dangerous job, requiring expert knowledge, physicality and coordination. Services that arborists provide range from simple pruning to full tree removal.

Tree pruning is a very broad subject, from removing deadwood to improve safety, to reducing the overall canopy to allow more light to pass through to the gardens below. Tree removal is mainly done when a tree has either outgrown its location or if a tree has a disease or major defect making it unsafe.

Tree surgeons learn about soil science, biomechanics, funguses, and specific tree species,  helping them to make informed decisions on the best way to manage a tree.



How Do I Know What My Tree Needs?

As different trees have different needs, you may want to identify what tree species you have. Many factors play a role in identifying a tree species, ranging from the bark to the size of the canopy, seeds, flowers or leaves.

Trees that grow commonly here in the U.K. are outlined and listed by the Woodland Trust which has a dedicated App, or further guidance on identifying trees.
Once you have successfully identified your tree, you might want to identify some common signs that your tree is unhealthy, these include:

  1. Leaf colour and shape
  2. Patches of missing leaves or branches
  3. Dead or broken branches
  4. The trunk that is free of fungi or loose bark
  5. Wilting
  6. Signs of insect infestation
  7. Signs of growth

If your tree is exhibiting one or more of the signs above, then you may need a tree surgeon to intervene. Trees are complex organisms that have spent millions and millions of years evolving to be able to grow and thrive in the natural world. Knowing what your tree needs depends on a variety of factors that are assessed on a case-to-case basis.

Speaking from experience, we can say that trees are best left to their own devices until they start to cause issues on your property. Once a tree dies, these issues mount as time goes by; it is therefore always the best practice to get a qualified tree surgeon to assess the health of the trees on your property and possibly save you time, money and hassle in the future by cutting off dead branches or any rot that might have set in. Get in touch with us for issues that are getting out of hand or for simple instructions and advice.

Holm Oak Tree Pollard in Maidstone - Before

What Is the Best Time of Year for Tree Work?

October, November, December, January & February are the best months for tree work. These are our busiest months and trees are best worked on during these dormant periods, although pruning trees during the active months is also achievable.

That being said, as we ‘work at height’, there are a few situations where it would be unfit to work such as heavy snow or severe wind. Winter is a great time to have trees worked on to have them looking their best for summer.

What Happens to the Waste?

Broadleaf Tree Surgery Ltd is committed to being as green as possible. We ‘chip’ most of the arisings and anything too big to fit into the chipper is cut up into logs. All of the waste is then taken to our yard to be sent off to renewable power stations and is used to make green energy.

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly team with sustainable goals then get in touch today!

How Much Do Tree Surgeons Charge?

Tree surgeons typically charge between £30 and £50 per hour, per person with team sizes varying in size from between 2 to 6 workers, depending on the task and size of the job. These costs are determined by the equipment required, the job complexity and the staff who are onsite to get the job done safely and efficiently.

Is It Cheaper To Trim A Tree Or Cut It Down?

Removing trees is usually more expensive than pruning a tree and having to re-prune it every 5 years but long term it is generally cheaper to remove a tree than maintain it. However, bear in mind that trees are an asset to a property and the local area. Additionally, trees are important for our environment and should be saved where possible. But, bad pruning can result in costly reactive work and, in some cases, full removal. Therefore, it’s important to employ qualified professionals who have a solid understanding of trees and their needs. Get more information on the cost of removing a tree here, or contact us to get a detailed quote and an assessment of how we can help.

Why Is Tree Trimming So Expensive?

Tree surgery is an expensive industry to be in! The tools and equipment required to run a company are very expensive; they all require lots of maintenance and a lot of fuel to run.
Insuring our team whilst they work at height also plays a role. ‘Logging’, a trade similar to tree surgery, is noted as the most dangerous job in the world and the insurers reflect that in their prices.
It also stands to reason that tree surgery is a profession of experts that train and work for long periods to get jobs done right. We are experts in our field and earn a moderate living doing so.

How Much Does Planting A Tree Cost?

The cost of planting a tree will vary depending on a variety of factors, including:

– The tree species chosen
– The number of trees that need to be planted
– The property type and protection regulations
– The area of tree planting

If any work needs to be done to the area beforehand, including stump grinding, hedge trimming, or other commercial tree works.

With Broadleaf Tree Surgery, you can get a free site visit and no-obligation quote for tree planting. Simply get in touch with our team to get started, or fill in the contact form.


Holm Oak Tree Pollard in Maidstone - After

Tree Removal

Can I Cut Down A Conifer Tree In My Garden?

Yes, you can cut down a conifer tree in your garden. The only times you can’t work on your tree is if it has nesting birds in it, if it is within a conservation area or if it is covered by a TPO or tree preservation order.

Bear in mind, however, that conifers are easy to ruin if you are new to pruning. Topiary is remarkably difficult, so leave it to the pros! Find out more about trimming with our dedicated Hedge Trimming Page where we can guide you through getting the most out of your hedges today.

How Do You Negotiate Tree Removal?

Tree removal should be carried out by trained professionals. It is dangerous and can result in unexpected damage to personal property or to the property of neighbours. It is therefore our advice to consult a professional tree surgeon before attempting any work on a tree on your property. The steps we take to ensure our safety and the safety of others is a large part of our job and training and is the most important part of tree surgery.

Contact Us if you need any additional advice on what’s best for you and the right cost of tree surgery on your property.

Can I Cut A Tree Myself?

Yes, you can cut a tree yourself. Small, young trees can be cut at home by you as long as the branches don’t exceed chest level and you have carried out a reasonable health and safety assessment.  For anything above that, we strongly recommend getting in touch with a qualified tree surgeon.

If cutting a tree yourself, you will need your PPE hard hat, ear defenders, eye protection, chainsaw trousers, boots, and a chainsaw. Then you will need to start at the bottom clearing away branches as you go, then cutting the directional cut. After this, you should put the back cut in and the tree will fall away. This Video gives you a reasonably straightforward idea.

If you need to cut a tree, or sections of it, at height, then we strongly suggest getting in touch with us to keep yourself and others safe.

How Do You Cut A Large Tree Into Sections?

Wood is heavy, so if you are planning on cutting a large tree into smaller sections, then those sections should be large enough for you to carry.

You need to take into account that the tree may shift once it has been cut due to weight or size changes. This can cause a chainsaw to kick, which is why we suggest wearing the correct PPE at all times.

We offer expert Tree Removal Services and sustainably ‘chip’ everything that we remove.

How Do I Cut Down A Tall Tree Around My House?

Tree removal should be carried out by trained professionals. It is dangerous and can result in unexpected damage.

I’m sure you’ve seen videos of gung-ho amateur tree surgeons flattening a part of their homes in an attempt to cut back on the costs of garden maintenance. If a tree is near your house, you should be asking yourself if you can do it without damage. If not, give us a call.

When Should I Remove A Tree?

Generally, tree removal is only done when a tree is either dead or in decline. When you should remove a tree relies on various factors; light restrictions, damage to foundations and planned building works.

It is usually a shame to chop down any tree on your land. Families tend to fall in love with trees on their property, so we understand that removal may be hard to go ahead with. However, once that tree causes structural issues in the surrounding area, it’s best to act fast.

Get in touch with us today so we can assess what’s best for you and your family.

How Do You Dig Up A Small Tree?

It is always best to get a professional in with a stump grinder to dig up small trees.

Do Tree Roots Continue To Grow After The Tree Is Cut Down?

This is very much dependent on the species and health of the tree that has been cut down. A good example of this is if you cut down a conifer tree it will not regrow from the root system and because of the canopy being removed, the tree can’t photosynthesise anymore. This will result in the roots dying off.

Meanwhile, if you cut down an ash tree to the stump it will begin to sprout new growth. This in turn will produce leaves and photosynthesis will occur allowing the tree to continue making energy. This means that the root system will still be alive.

Does Removing Trees Cause Flooding?

Removing trees can lead to an increased water table. Trees remove moisture from the soil and regulate water levels. Additionally removing trees contributes to global warming which melts the polar ice caps, causing rising water levels.

Removing trees from our ecosystem is something we ought not to be doing, it, therefore, remains best practice to keep your trees healthy and happy for future generations to enjoy.

Will Removing A Tree Cause Ground Heave?

Yes, removing a tree can cause ground heave. The removal of a tree completely changes the ground under where it once stood. As a result, this ground is likely to shift, swell and grow due to differences in composition. This is known as ‘ground heave’ and it is a factor worth considering when removing a tree.
The three main contributors to ground heave are:

  1. The soil, I.e is it clay soil or a more free-draining composition?
  2. Has movement already occurred prior to the tree being removed? If so it is likely you will have further movement.
  3. Will you be building on the land where the tree once stood? If yes then you should wait for the area to settle and take soil samples.

How Much Is Tree Removal?

Tree removal prices vary greatly. If you have a small front garden tree with nothing around it, you could expect to pay between £100 and £200. If you have a large tree in a complex situation with bad access, prices could cost into the thousands.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Damage From Tree Roots?

You should check your terms and conditions to see if you are covered by your insurance company. Many companies do insure you and perhaps would insist on regular maintenance of the tree to minimise root growth.

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Transplant Trees?

December through to the end of February is the best time to transplant a tree. This is the dormant period for trees where they aren’t too active and they don’t add mass, therefore, you wouldn’t be disturbing their most important time of year.

Tree Cutting

Tree Cutting

How Do You Cut a Tree Next To A Fence?

When cutting a tree next to a fence, you should think about the weight of the canopy and the direction it might fall if it is cut. Once you have worked this out you should select your cuts and possibly attach a pull rope as high in the tree as possible to assist you with the removal.

Should I Cut Down A Tree That Is Too Close To The House?

Trees are an asset to your property and are an important part of the natural world. Removing trees should be a last resort, however, if your home insurance insists on it or the tree is a risk then it is worth getting a professional in to give some informed advice. There’s a lot to consider when removing something so large next to a property, such as ground heave or subsistence. Complex situations require professional advice.

Will Removing A Tree Cause Foundation Problems?

If the tree is close to the foundations, or you plan on building on the site previously occupied by a tree, then yes. Trees cause water to behave differently underground, so if they are removed, water can swell the area where the tree was previously located and cause ground heave.

Likewise, trees have mass and their removal means that the earth where they once stood has either gained or lost mass depending on the species of tree. This can lead to subsistence in many cases if the tree removal hasn’t been performed properly.

Should I Cut Down My Oak Tree?

We believe that it’s not a good idea to cut down any tree for no good reason. But, if you must cut down your oak tree, why not replant it with something more suitable in a better location?

What Are The Charges for Hedge Trimming

Hedge trimming is a skilled job and requires expensive tools to safely and efficiently complete the job. Prices can vary from £100 to thousands of pounds depending on the size and location of the hedge.

Do Trees Raise Property Value?

Yes! Trees are an asset to a property. You could argue that the garden is simply another room in the house, where trees are the furniture. Everyone loves trees; they can often be the make-or-break reason for new families.

Does Removing Trees Increase Property Value?

When people buy a house some will specifically request that trees be primed or removed prior to the sale in a way that brings the property value up. However,  largely removing trees only decreases the value of a property; trees are an asset to any home.

How Do You Dig Up A Tree Without Killing It?

The best time of the year to transplant a tree is during the dormant months (December through to the end of February). You should be careful not to damage the root system when digging, it’s also a good idea to remove a tree after a period of heavy rainfall as the ground is more mailable.

Find Out More from our dedicated team about the removal of trees across Maidstone and other areas of Kent.

How Do You Cut A Small Tree By Hand?

All you need is a pair of secateurs. Then take the branch in one hand and the secateurs in the other (whichever feels most comfortable) and snip. If the item you use for cutting requires the use of both hands then we suggest allowing ample fall space below to avoid injury and we recommend you wear eye protection at all times.

Anything that can’t be cut by secateurs requires the use of a saw which comes with its own list of risks which need to be assessed. If using a handsaw to make a cut on a branch, we recommend following the back-cut method outlined here.

Remember that you should prune to growth points. Also, as a rule of thumb, a young tree should have no more than 30% of the total crown mass removed from it. This is to help the tree recover from losing mass.

Tree Surgery Wide Shot


We hope that this FAQ post has answered all of your questions about tree care. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is more than happy to help you take care of your trees and keep them looking healthy and thriving for years to come.
For any further information, visit our Services Page for specific information on what we can offer.


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