What is the Difference Between an Arborist and a Tree Lopper?
by Luke Blinco
- 15th January 2020
Trees make for a beautiful addition to your garden. Not only are they great to look at, they also provide shade and privacy. They help to improve the quality of your soil and provide a home for local wildlife.
While there are many benefits to having trees in your garden, they can also become a hazard if unmaintained. Trees can grow too tall and become a potential safety hazard in strong winds. Their leaves can clog gutters and their roots can block drains. Trees can also become overly competitive for water and nutrients, preventing other plants in your garden from growing properly.
As such, you need to maintain your trees to ensure they are healthy and under control. If you are unable to take care of your trees, you may opt to hire a professional to do it for you. Knowing who to call is important as hiring the wrong person could be detrimental to the tree and hazardous to your home. There are two options, a tree lopper and an arborist.
What Does a Tree Lopper Do?
A tree lopper tends to be more cost effective and appealing to the gardener on a budget. This is because of the easier service they provide in comparison to the arborist. A tree lopper will simply cut down any branches that are growing out of control, blocking light or potentially impinging on your home.
While this may seem like the right service, it can leave your trees, your garden and your home vulnerable if the tree lopper starts hacking away at trees without careful consideration.
When branches are lopped, it makes changes to the tree’s structure and balance, which can reduce its stability. The tree may become unstable, resulting in stunted growth and a greater chance of exposure to disease and infections. They can also be more likely to fail during strong winds.
When trees are lopped, they’ll tend to reshoot quickly, and these new branches will require greater care than if the tree were properly pruned. The limbs may not be cut correctly so as to prevent an entry point for rot and or pests. Each cut serves a purpose whether its to prevent growth in a certain direction or to remove hazards, dead material.
While the service is cheaper, a tree lopper’s level of training and education is not as advanced as the arborists is. As such, they may not know the importance of the positioning of the tree, the growth of the tree or how lopping will affect its overall health in the long run.
That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t hire a tree lopper if the job calls for it, but you need to be sure you need a tree lopper rather than an arborist.
What Does an Arborist Do?
An arborist is essentially a tree doctor. They’ll take a holistic approach to the health of your trees and your garden before they start chopping and pruning. They’ll assess the health of your tree, they layout of your garden and how they can tailor their service to your desired outcomes.
Unlike a tree lopper, an arborist needs to be highly trained and qualified before they can call themselves an arborist. They are also more accountable and need to adhere to recommended national pruning guidelines detailed in the Australian Standards AS473-2007.
An arborist will be much more knowledgeable of how to protect the health of the tree and keep your family safe. They will also know the importance of the tree’s positioning, how the tree is growing, the aesthetic results, and be able to perform a risk assessment. They will also make sure that the tree’s regrowth is healthy and strong after cutting so that you are saved the expensive cost of repairing a sick tree.
Because arborists are much more knowledgeable about different species of tree, they know how different trees react to pruning, while a tree lopper will likely apply the same approach to all trees with wildly different results.
Further, if you have a protected tree, an arborist is absolutely essential. Only an arborist is qualified to take proper care of your protected trees and you can possibly even face a fine if you are not using one. Another consideration is heritage listing, there are a number of sites in Queeensland and indeed the world, that require approval and careful consultation of an Arborist to work on.
In Conclusion Never Send a Tree Lopper to do an Arborist’s Job
A tree lopper can remove branches at a reasonable price, but that’s not always the best outcome for your tree, your garden or your family. Getting in touch with an arborist on the other hand is more likely to be of benefit to your tree’s health and your family’s safety.
It is more likely to be beneficial for your tree’s health, making your newly pruned trees more aesthetically appealing and ensuring that they maintain their structural integrity, even in extreme weather.
LRB Tree Services are qualified and registered arborists, providing a comprehensive range of tree care solutions. If you need help or advice, get in touch with us today on 0428 803 364.