Tree Pruning

Usually, healthy trees that are not causing much issues apart from growing a large spread can simply undergo Tree Pruning to remove the troublesome branches and foliage. This is a preferred method for many councils as it saves the need to fully remove the tree and is more environmentally friendly.  For you as the homeowner, Tree Pruning is also welcome it saves costs on a complete tree removal.

As with any type of arborcultural projects, you require permission to carry out most Tree Pruning, Tree Removal or Branch Removal tasks. City of Sydney Council does provide some exceptions where you can carryout pruning work without approval including the following:

  • You are not removing anymore than 5% of the tree canopy
  • pruning does not affect the health or structural stability of the tree
  • Where you use a qualified Arborist (AQF Level 2 and above) and the Australian standard for pruning of amenity trees is adhered to
  • Where the tree infringes on the clearance guidelines specified in the following table

 
Table 3.4 Guideline for tree pruning

Location Height to which pruning is
permitted
Maximum diameter
of branch which may
be pruned
Major Arterial
Roads
4.5m above the kerb 100mm
Local Roads 2.5m over a parking lane and
4.5m above the kerb
100mm
Council pedestrian
paths
2.5m above the footpath 100mm
Buildings 1m above any approved building,
measured from the surface of
the structural component, such
as a wall or roof on the building’s
edge
50mm
Domestic power or
Telecommunicatio
n lines
Must be 0.5m minimum and 1m
maximum clearance from the
service line
50mm

Note: Branch size is measured from the point of attachment to another branch or the trunk.

You can find out all council regulations and make an application by using this link. Alternatively, if you live in other sydney suburbs you can use our shire council specific pages to find current tree removal regulations for your local area.

Originally Published here: https://www.shanestrees.com.au/service/tree-pruning/

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Tree Removal Cost Calculator

Read This Before Using the Calculator:

We have designed and refined this Tree Removal Price Calculator to be as accurate as we possibly can and prove our commitment to fair and consistent quoting. In saying this, we have noticed generally that the larger the job, the more intricacies and variables arise that are difficult to program into the calculator. Be aware that these are our best online estimates only, but we have made it simple to forward the results and your details onto us for a confirmatory quote.

If you choose to forward your details to us on the results page, we will usually be able to have an accurate quote back to you within a couple of hours.

CALCULATOR UNDER DEVELOPMENT AND WILL BE READY FEBRUARY 2018

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How Much Does it Cost to Remove a Tree in Sydney?

So you’ve just had your application approved by council and now its time to find out prices for tree removal in Sydney. You have come to the best page, because we are not only going to explain how tree services costs are calculated, but we will provide you with an accurate Tree Removal Calculator that will give an estimate inline with our real tree removal quotes.

Our aim in developing the Tree Removal Estimate Calculator is not only to provide our potential clients with a useful resource, but also prove our commitment to fair, consistent and value for money quoting.

Before using the Calculator, read the information below to help you understand the variables in Tree Removal Pricing.

What factors affect Tree Removal Prices?

  • Size of the Tree– A larger tree requires more man power to bring it down, higher load on equipment and costs are much higher to dispose of the waste compared to a smaller tree
  • Type of Tree– Tree waste may need to be disposed of differently for different species (ie cannot be recycled), and large hardwood trees may be more time consuming to process than a small softer tree
  • Condition of the Tree– Tree that have disease or significant rot are often to risky for our arborists to climb, which usually means we need equipment such as cranes or cherry pickers to bring it down safely, adding to your costs
  • Access– If the tree is located around the back of a property where we cannot position our trucks and chippers, then it either has to be manually handled to the street or lifted using machinery. Other access considerations include stairs and obstacles, vertical aspect of the property (may be to steep to carry waste to front), waterfront tree removal requiring barge access, Tree limbs positioned over house or structures that prevent limbs from being dropped by a climber and must be lifted by crane. Variations in access and equipment / manpower needed will make the most variations in your tree services quote.

Other Tree Service Cost Considerations

  • Emergency – If we need to call out staff to attend to emergency situations such as fallen trees from a storm then this would normally always result in extra costs
  • Tipping Fees / Waste Removal – Most contractors will bill separately for waste removal. factors that effect the cost or tree waste removal include the suburb you are in and the type of tree waste being generated. If you request to have the tree waste left in location for example then you will not incur an extra cost for this. Our tree costs calculator take waste removal into consideration.

 

Stump Removal

Your Tree Removal Quote will generally not include the cost of removing the tree stump, unless otherwise stated. We always recommend removing the stump as it may sprout new branches and get in the way of your newly created yard space. It also just looks a lot better. Speak to us about including the cost to remove the stump in your main quote.

Stump Grinding

Our preferred and fastest method of stump removal is with our stump grinder. This machine will grind the stump into very small wood chips that can be used as garden mulch, leaving a finished height at just below ground level, meaning it cannot been seen and there are no remaining trip hazards.

 

Click here to calculate a Tree Removal Quote

This post appeared first on www.shanestrees.com.au.

Land & Brush Clearing

land-clearing

There are many reasons to engage a land clearing contractor to conduct vegetation and Tree Clearing services. These reasons include making way for development projects and sub-divisions, Fire breaks and trails for hazard reduction burns, building site preparation or any other approved tree removal for residential lots or larger properties. It may also be an emergency response situation where storm damage has left a residential or commercial community area unsafe with risk of falling trees or limbs.

Why Us?

Shane’s Trees have experience with all the above scenarios and our 35+ years in operation, makes us one of the most dependable and knowledgeable Tree Service providers in Sydney. We have a well established team that bring peace of mind to our clients and fast effective service at extremely competitive prices.

We are the best choice land clearing company for the following reasons:

35 Years Experience Full Public Liability Insurance
Full Workers Comp Insurance Second To None Customer Service
Only Dispose Of Waste Legally Strict Safety Policies And Procedures
Equipment For Any Size Project Priority On Safety
Qualified Arborists / Experienced Climbers Respect For Surrounding Property
Free Quotes And Advice Quality Guarantee

 

Land Clearing Case study:

Shane’s Trees were called out to attend the emergency response cleanup after the dangerous Kurnell tornado devastated the area in December 2015. The area was hit by winds of up to 213 km/h which tore roof’s off houses, tipped over cars and trucks and left damaged trees and building everywhere in it’s path.  Our team where involved with the cleanup both in the community area and land clearing operations in a nearby major hazard facility.

tree-clearing-sydney

emergency land clearing operations in sydney NSW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 Things You Should Know Before Hiring an Arborist

Climbing Arborist Removing Tree Branches

Climbing Arborist Removing Tree Branches

So, it’s time to remove that big old gum tree on your property but you have no idea where to start, what approvals you need, what your legal obligations are, or who you should hire. If this is you then keep reading as we will answer everything you wanted to know in this article. It will also give you the tools to identify if your chosen tree removal company has the credentials to safely tackle the job at hand.

Local Government considerations

1. Seeking Council Approval for Tree Removal Applications

Most Council’s will generally not allow removal of a tree unless an appropriate reason has been specified. There are trees which are exempt from your local tree preservation order and will not require approval, but for all protected species you will need to submit an application to the shire council.

Some examples of genuine reasons for removing trees on private lands may be as follows:

Borer infestation Dropping/falling branches
Bushfire hazard Invasive roots
Damage to property Overhanging branches
Dead/dying tree Oversize for location
Tree Diseased Tree trunk within “X metres” of a Dwelling/ Pool
Too close to other structures

 

The following are usually reasons that are typically NOT valid for tree removal, but not in all cases:

Dropping leaves/debris/sap Tree causing shade issues
Tree causing mould issues Tree is too tall/big
Tree obstructs view Tree causing damage to path/driveway
Tree dropping deadwood Tree is not native
Tree over power lines Tree over house
Tree over childrens play area Tree over pool

 

Development Application:

If the tree(s) are being removed to support a development you would need to specify this on your application and usually submit supporting evidence that there is no other way for the development to proceed without removing the trees. This would be done using a Cert 5 private consulting arborist who will provide you with a Arborist Report.

10-50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement

Bush Fire Zones:

The 10/50 bush fire clearing entitlement is a state government regulation that supersedes local council regulation in 10/50 designated entitlement areas. It allows residents located within these zones to conduct the following:

  • Removal of trees within 10 metres of homes without seeking approval
  • Clear underlying vegetation (other than trees) such as shrubs on their property within 50 metres of a home, without seeking approval. A tree is classed as any vegetation having a circumference in the trunk of 300mm at chest height above ground level.

By visiting the rural fire service website you can get further clarification on whether your home lies in a designated 10/50 zone.

2. What Species of trees Can I Remove

Every local Sydney council has their own definition for categorizing trees so it always pays to look up your local council’s website. For example, Sutherland shire defines a protected tree as “A single or multi trunked tree with a diameter of 100mm or more measured at 500mm above ground level”. Most councils have a list of trees that are exempt from the tree preservation order however this differs (sometimes greatly) from shire to shire. Generally, if a tree is native it has more chance of being protected in your region than does an introduced species however this is not always the case.

When looking for information on ‘what tree species can i remove without a council permit’ , the best place to look is on your local council’s website for the most updated list or you can view the location specific pages on our website.

Arborist Company Considerations

3. Implemented Safety Policies & Procedures

As you can imagine, the tree removal industry is inherently dangerous when you consider all the things that could go wrong. Branches and tree trunks are extremely heavy, often weighing many tons and only experienced arborists know how to bring them to the ground safely.

Often there is more than one technique that could be used to bring down a tree and you will find the arborist with the much cheaper quote may be sacrificing the safer method for the faster method to save time and money. Usually the safer method will take a little more time or require the use heavy equipment such as cranes, cherry pickers etc, all of which add money to a quote. On the flip side, paying a little extra to have the job done right may avoid larger costs such as getting a branch through a roof or even worse personal injury resulting from negligence. The last thing you want is a serious injury or death at your home.

At Shane’s Trees we are passionate about keeping our crew and the public safe. Our approach to safety is of a level not really seen anywhere else in the tree industry. Our supervisors are required to go through a detailed safety audit process upon arrival to a job, then having all staff briefed and made aware of any potential risks, as well as having all staff sign off before commencing any physical work. On top of this we have weekly safety meetings that all staff are required to attend where we discuss any potential risks that may have presented through the week and how we can mitigate them moving forward.

hiring-an-arborist

4. Well Maintained Equipment

Tree Removal equipment costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase with high maintenance costs. There is not much we can do about that as it is all required and needs to be maintained at the highest level. From our ropes, slings and pulleys right up to our large wood chippers and trucks every component plays a critical role in safely and professionally pruning and removing trees.

A poorly maintained harness could see a worker fall from a tree, likewise poorly maintained ropes and slings could see a large branch smash through a roof, a car, or damage other structures below.

When you get your tree quotes, be sure to know that a suspect tree lopper with an unusually low quote is probably skimping on maintenance costs somewhere along the line and this is just another element of risk you should take into consideration before choosing your provider. Check your providers recent social posts and other web media to to try get a feel if they are using modern, well maintained equipment or if it is dated and dodgy looking.

5. Risk Identification & Management

Risks present themselves in many different forms in the tree removal industry but usually have severe consequences if they do occur. It is absolutely essential that your chosen tree services contractors are actively identifying and mitigating potential risks through time tested processes. Here are some risks that always present themselves.

Risks to persons:

  • Fall from height
  • Objects dropping from height
  • Serious chainsaw injuries
  • Limbs or branches falling on pedestrians

Risks to Property:

  • Tree / limbs / Branches falling on house, car, paths etc

Every tree removal job we will ever be faced with will be unique and complete with its own risk profile. From access considerations, surrounding structures, operator fatigue, time of day, the weather, equipment maintenance, people, pedestrians, proximity to roadways, vegetation type, rotten branches, operation and location of plant equipment and so on, the contractor must be continually assessing and mitigating risks. Safety is all about prior planning to reduce and mitigate risk.

 

 


 

6.Arborist Qualifications

Many people may not know this but your run of the mill “Tree Lopper” is not actually obliged to carry formal qualifications to carry out tree removal in New South Wales…. Yup, this is certainly something you should be aware of as pretty much anyone with a chainsaw could legally provide you tree services.

So what is the difference between a Qualified Arborist and a regular Tree Lopper?

Tree Lopper

The “tree lopper” has probably worked as a laborer on a crew in the past, for a number of years. He has picked up enough knowledge to tackle small to medium size projects with a small degree of confidence. In many cases they will not have the funding to purchase or maintain modern equipment, will not be able to present you with current public liability insurance, will not have workers comp, will not have his vehicles and equipment insured and will most likely have a cheaper quote. Because he has no formal education on tree management he may also give you incorrect advice relating to the species and solutions to your problems.

Qualified Arborist

A fully qualified arborist holds a minimum tafe certificate 3 in Arborculture (National Course Code: AHC30816) where he has not only had the experience of spending many years on a tree removal team, but also holds formal training in all aspects of bringing trees down safely, and botanical knowledge relating species of trees.

The Cert3 arborist can provide you a wider knowledge and better advice relating to your needs and should also be able to present the following on request:

  • Current Public Liability Insurance Certificate
  • Workers Comp documents
  • Vehicles and equipment insurance papers
  • Tafe Cert 3 Arborculture certificate

You should also look for the following:

  • Condition of the workers equipment
  • Online reviews, Facebook, google my business, yelp
  • Check their website and social page for proof of previous works, testimonials etc.

Cert 5 Arborist

The next level of arborist holds a cert 5 and is able to conduct private consultation such as arborist reports / TRAQ reports for council approvals + development approvals etc. A cert 5 arborist may conduct the following works:

Assess trees
Diagnose tree diseases
Develop a tree protection program
Document and audit tree work
Negotiate and monitor contracts
Manage OHS
Develop & Implement plant health strategy
Prepare reports
Assess new industry developments
Implement professional practice
Interpret legislation
Provide specialist advice to clients
Audit site operations
Analyze and present research information

Shane’s Trees provide both Cert 3 and Cert 5 level arborist services.

7. Check Insurance Certificates

As we have already discussed, one of the benefits of hiring a reputable tree company, is the peace of mind knowing that insurances are in place in case something goes wrong. The following identifies what the insurances are and why they are important:

Public Liability – This will cover any unforeseen issues that may occur on your property such as a tree falling on your house

Workers Compensation – This ensures the workers doing the job are protected in the event of an accident or malpractice. Workers comp is calculated as a percentage of wages.

Vehicles & Equipment – If a Vehicle, Wood Chipper, Crane, Cherry Picker or something similar did not have 3rd party property protection and accidentally caused damage to your property, you may not be protected.

8. Check for References

Although at first it may seem difficult to obtain references from your tree removal provider, a reputable company will have different media association where they publish and document their works to the community. Generally, lower tier providers will not have the financial resources or time for managing and documenting their endeavors across social media and other web channels.

Below are some of the best resources to check and make sure everything adds up:

Company Website: Here you should find certificates of currency, qualifications, insurance documents etc. You should also see plenty of images showing previous jobs, demonstrating scope of works, state of tools and equipment etc. You should also find testimonials left by previous customers, but always try verify these further as the can be manipulated quite easily.

Google Reviews: This is a very trustworthy source of reviews as customers must be logged into their own google accounts independently to leave a review. This means the result cannot be manipulated easily by the tree company giving you a less biased result. People are usually pretty lazy or find it difficult to leave google reviews, so many times you will not see a great deal of reviews on a tree company, but if people get bad service they become more motivated to leave a bad review. Knowing this, if you see a google tree business page with plenty reviews and very high ratings, you have a good chance that they are a reputable provider.

Facebook page: This is another page that should receive semi-regular to regular updates if you are dealing with a serious company. Here you can cross check images with job/equipment claims, business contact details etc. You can also view response rates to messages and so on

Yelp Reviews: These reviews work similar to google my business reviews but on a different platform. Users must have an account and be logged in to leave a review. The only downside with yelp is you may see minimal reviews as it is not as popular as google my business.

Some other places you could look for verification if available are word of mouth, twitter, Instagram, verify the arborist ABN online, are they a member of 3rd party certifier organizations such as Arborculture Australia, google search “xxTreecompany + Reviews”.

9. Provide Detailed Estimate

Obtaining a detailed written quote may seem like a no brainer but very often the not so savvy “tree lopper” will give you a verbal quote based off a brief discussion, that may have left out some critical details. Furthermore, they may say half-way through the job that certain things were not included (waste removal for example) and try charge you extra halfway through the job.

On any professional written / electronic quote, you should see the following:

Company letterhead
Issue date and date of expiry
Long description of all tasks that are to be completed
Full price including any taxes and extra charges
Any images relating to the job

In reality, a properly prepared quote takes a little extra time to prepare but it is the sign of a professional outfit when you get one.

Our team have refined the quoting process over the years while at the same time using custom built software to provide precise quotes in very fast time. By using our tree removal quote forms on the Shane’s Trees website, you can upload name, address, phone, email and all images relating to the job in under a minute. The more information you give us the faster and more precise we can be with online quotes. Sometime we even use your address details with the google maps ‘Street View’ feature to assess a tree if the data is available.

Below is an example of a properly prepared tree removal quote

10. Illegally Disposing of Tree Waste

Many “Tree Loppers” will illegally dump tree waste, which drastically reduces their costs and quotes. This may be a moral consideration for you as a client.

Disposal: Shane’s Trees legally disposes of ALL materials and recycles where ever possible. Recycling may include firewood, timber slabs and garden mulch. Disposal is always included in our quotes unless the client specifically asks us to leave the waste onsite.

11. Risks of Hiring an Unqualified Arborist

As we stated before, a qualified arborist is trained in all safety aspects, best arborculture practices and legal obligations for both themselves and you as the client.

Hiring an unqualified person may result in the following:

  • Incorrect or poor pruning advice leading to unnecessarily damaged trees
  • Fire risk
  • Lawsuits from neighbours
  • Lawsuits from councils
  • Lawsuits from land and environment courts

We really hope this article has enlightened you to the process of tree removal and given you the tools you need to select to the right tree services contractor. We are all to happy to answer any further questions you have so feel free to call us anytime for advice.

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