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Tree Surgeon and Arborist – SW London & Surrey

Is an Arborist and Tree Surgeon the Same Thing?

In the realm of tree care and maintenance, two terms often intermingle: arborist and tree surgeon. While they share similarities in their dedication to preserving and enhancing the health of trees, there are distinct differences between the two roles. Understanding these disparities can help you choose the right professional for your tree-related needs.
arborist and tree surgeon

Arborists and tree surgeons both specialise in the care and maintenance of trees, but their focus and expertise diverge in significant ways. Let’s look at the detail of each profession to gain a clearer understanding.


Arborists are professionals trained in the cultivation, management, and study of trees, shrubs, and other woody plants. They possess a deep understanding of tree biology, physiology, and health, allowing them to diagnose tree diseases, assess tree risk, and provide recommendations for tree care.

Key Responsibilities of Arborists Include:

  1. Tree Pruning: Arborists are skilled in the art and science of tree pruning, employing techniques to enhance tree structure, promote healthy growth, and mitigate safety hazards.
  2. Tree Planting: Arborists assist in selecting appropriate tree species for specific environments and planting them in a manner that ensures their long-term health and vitality.
  3. Tree Health Care: Arborists diagnose and treat tree diseases, pests, and nutritional deficiencies, implementing strategies to improve tree health and resilience.
  4. Tree Removal: While arborists prioritise tree preservation, they may also oversee tree removal when necessary, ensuring it is done safely and responsibly.
  5. Risk Assessment: Arborists assess the structural integrity of trees, identifying potential hazards such as weak limbs or decayed wood that could pose a risk to property or safety.

Tree Surgeons

Tree surgeons, on the other hand, specialise in the surgical aspects of tree care, often focusing on tree removal, pruning, and emergency tree services. While their scope of work may overlap with that of arborists, tree surgeons typically have a more hands-on approach to tree maintenance, often involving the use of heavy equipment and machinery.

Key Responsibilities of Tree Surgeons Include:

  1. Tree Removal: Tree surgeons are trained in the safe and efficient removal of trees, particularly in situations where trees pose a threat to property or safety.
  2. Emergency Tree Services: During storms, tree surgeons are often called upon to remove fallen trees and debris, restoring safety and accessibility to affected areas.
  3. Tree Pruning: Tree surgeons perform pruning and trimming services to improve tree aesthetics, clearance, and safety, often utilising specialised equipment such as chainsaws and climbing gear.
  4. Stump Grinding: After tree removal, tree surgeons may offer stump grinding services to eliminate unsightly tree stumps and prevent regrowth.

In summary, while arborists and tree surgeons share a common goal of promoting tree health and safety, they differ in their areas of expertise and specialisation. Arborists focus on the holistic care and management of trees, encompassing aspects such as tree biology, health care, and risk assessment. Tree surgeons, on the other hand, specialise in the hands-on aspects of tree maintenance, particularly tree removal, pruning, and emergency services.

When seeking tree care services, it’s essential to assess your specific needs and choose the professional whose expertise aligns with your requirements. Whether you require comprehensive tree care and consultation or immediate tree removal and maintenance, both arborists and tree surgeons play invaluable roles in preserving the beauty and vitality of our trees.

If you need help with your tree care, get in touch!


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