When you decide to hire a professional to remove, prune or cut back trees on your property or for a commercial site, the first questions you’ll probably ask is “What is a tree surgeon?” and “Is a tree surgeon the same as an arborist?”

Technically speaking, there is no difference between a tree surgeon and an arborist and the words are interchangeable, although others may beg to differ. In our opinion, the difference between an experienced, knowledgeable and well-qualified tree surgeon and an arborist is slight.

Guildford Tree Surgeons and many others involved in the tree industry see the difference as a mear mindset and attitude towards tree work and working practices. For example, as a “tree surgeon” you would only be required to hold qualifications related to tree work, but this does not make you an arborist. Unfortunately, there are now many rogue tree surgeons who may be qualified but are willing to carry out work to an inferior standard which may jeopardise the health of the tree.

At Guildford Tree Surgeons, we frown upon this behaviour, as it gives everyone in the industry a bad reputation, and we carry out work using BS3998: 2010 Recommendations for Tree Work. Many reputable tree surgeons have now started to term themselves, arborists, in an attempt to distance themselves from such cowboys. It is our view that an arborist is a highly qualified tree surgeon with years of experience, a deep knowledge of tree physiology and an understanding of the environmental impact any tree work may have.

Others may argue that an arborist must have a Level 4 Award in Arboriculture. This arboricultural degree/diploma teaches plant pathology, tree assessments and appropriate management techniques to reduce risks and treat disease. Still, we feel the term “arboricultural consultant” better suits an individual holding this qualification.

With that in mind, we can safely say that all our tree surgeons are passionate arborists. Guildford Tree Surgeons have a love for trees, nature and the environment, and we are dedicated to preserving them. If you require a professional tree inspection or a tree report, we have a network of trusted arboricultural consultants who offer such services.