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Arborist or Tree Lopper – What’s the difference?

“Arborists and Tree Loppers are all the same, aren’t they? What’s in a name?”  When it comes to Arboriculture, quite a lot: training, skills, knowledge, experience to name but a few.  An Arborist has undertaken training and studies that focus on trees and plants from a health and safety perspective.  When you engage qualified Arborist, you are getting the wealth of this training and experience to provide you with advice on what to do now and how this will affect your trees in the future.

Good Arborists also work to the Australian Standards AS4373 (2007) Pruning of Amenity Trees when undertaking tree work.  These standards govern how a tree should be pruned and why certain techniques are used over others.

“Lopping” or “topping” a tree refers to cutting the entire top section (crown) of a tree.  This causes extreme stress to a tree and it will result in the production of epicormic regrowth or “stress growth” or the tree could even die.  Epicormic regrowth is generally 80% weaker then naturally formed branches and is therefore far more likely to break or delaminate during a strong wind event.    

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There are only a few tree species and circumstances when lopping or topping a tree would be appropriate.   Unfortunately, Tree Loppers just don’t have the training and knowledge and regularly recommend a tree is lopped and sadly thousands of trees are permanently ruined or killed as a result.

It is not uncommon for an arboriculture business to get a call from a customer who had a bad job done by a person who really was not trained in tree care and now they need qualified expertise to try to fix. 

A qualified arborist can undertake technical work such as dismantling large trees in tight situations using a variety of tools and equipment including the use of rigging, tower cranes, elevated work platforms to safely remove trees without impacting on other trees and /or property in the vicinity.

Just as a Plumber, Electrician, Builder etc. should be able to provide their trade qualifications, so should every tree worker who calls themselves an Arborist.  As a minimum they should hold a “trade level” qualification – AQF Level 3.  All North Brisbane Trees staff either hold their Level 3 or are actively in the process of obtaining their Level 3 qualifications through an apprenticeship.  Our Senior Consulting Arborists hold a Diploma of Arboriculture (Level 5). 

So, when you think of tree work, always call a Qualified Arborist, you will be getting the benefit of skills, training and expertise and a job that is done right.

North Brisbane Tree provides quality tree lopping services and can also provide Arborist Reports. Call us on 07 3289 3610 to talk.

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