Many people are quite understandably confused when it comes to telling the difference between a tree lopper and an arborist, and might even have the impression that they are merely two different terms for describing the same thing. But this is definitely not the case! If you care about the appearance and health of your trees, continue reading to find out just what the difference really is, and why it should matter to you.
“Tree Lopping” is a technique that was once widely employed and considered to be an acceptable method for trimming and maintaining trees. It generally involves cutting the branches or stems of a tree right back to a 'stub', or otherwise significantly shortening its trunks, and in certain situations, when properly done, it does indeed offer certain benefits.
Lopping is sometimes the most advisable tactic to use when very large trees are overhanging and causing risk to a house or other structure, and to people underneath. Gutters and chimneys can also become clogged by debris falling from the tree. The greatest risk in these situations is that severe weather could cause a large and unstable tree to quite literally break apart, causing serious damage or injury below.
In addition, some landscapers and gardeners like the way that lopping can instantly transform the shape of a tree, encouraging it to develop to a desirable height, shape and appearance. When skilfully done, lopping can actually train branches to grow in a certain direction, which can in fact prevent a dangerous situation from ever developing, potentially reducing the need for more drastic cutting measures in future.
But over time, tree experts have also come to realise that there are many situations in which lopping can possibly do more harm than good. In fact, indiscriminate and unskilled lopping is quite likely to result in any number of undesirable outcomes, including:
- the tree’s shock, starvation, decay or even death;
- New branches that grow back weakened and less sturdy, leading to a need for more lopping as they are likely to rot or become hazardous in high winds;
- A dangerous imbalance of weight that leaves the tree more susceptible to splitting or toppling;
- Ongoing risk of harm, disease, or death of the tree, as it suffers increased exposure to extremes in temperature, sunburn, and/or higher likelihood of insect infestation.
The term “arborist” can be defined as a “tree surgeon”. A person so certified has undergone extensive training in the art and science of every aspect of tree care, or “arboriculture”, including planting, care and maintenance. In order to ensure that the trees in your care continue to be healthy, and will not become a liability in future, it is therefore highly advisable to entrust their well-being only to an experienced arborist.
But here’s where it can all get a bit confusing … Although certified arborists can safely and correctly perform Tree Lopping when it is deemed to be advisable, there are also many companies which might call themselves “Tree Loppers” whose workers will actually have nowhere near the necessary level of knowledge, skill and experience required to perform Tree Lopping properly. These businesses might also fall short in other areas, such as failing to take steps to ensure that a property will not sustain any damage as the work is being carried out, or perhaps not having adequate insurance in the event of property damage or other mishap.
More than many other industries and occupations, tree work can be especially hazardous. On every job, complications can arise due to highly variable factors, including the condition of the tree, the weather and the surrounding terrain, as well as potential difficulties in accessing the area in which the work is to be carried out.
In addition to in-depth knowledge of tree health and care, an experienced arborist, such as those employed by All Trees Perth, will have all the skills and knowledge needed to identify any potential hazards and to carefully plan the work so that any risks are controlled. They will also be able to easily identify and access the proper equipment needed to do the work safely.
So there you have it … Arborists and Tree Loppers are quite often NOT the same thing, and all tree-care companies are definitely NOT created equal. When it comes to maintaining the health, long life, and beautiful appearance of your trees, make sure you trust no one but a skilled arborist, preferably a member of the experienced team at All Trees Perth.