Tips & Hints for Engaging an Arborist

Tree elevated work
Arborists are experts in the care and management of trees, shrubs and other perennial woody plants. 

Ones that specialise in assessing the health and condition of these plants are commonly known as consulting arborists. Those involved in practical care - including pruning and lopping or removal – are commonly known as practicing arborists.

The skills of an expert are often required when it comes to assessing, clearing or containing well established vegetation. It is in your best interests to engage appropriately qualified people that offer these services.

Consulting Arborists

Tree management specialists at Botany Bay City Council provide advice on when it is appropriate to seek the services of a consulting arborist. Sometimes urban planners will also indicate when this is necessary in relation to a development proposal. If you need specialist advice or an arborist report on the health a tree you should engage someone that has an Australian Qualifying Framework (AQF) Level 5 qualification or equivalent in Horticulture (Arboriculture).

Practicing Arborists

Look for arborists who have attained a minimum of Australian Qualifying Framework (AQF) Level 3 qualification or equivalent in Horticulture (Arboriculture). They are trained to do work in accordance with Australian Standards for managing vegetation as well as using safe and effective methods.

Once you have approval to go ahead with vegetation removal in accordance with the City of Botany Bay Tree Preservation Order or conditions of a development approval, it is a good idea to consider the following when engaging a practicing arborist:

  1. Review the requirements of the Tree Preservation Order  or conditions of development approval and any other advice that Botany Bay City Council tree management specialists have provided for you
  2. Get quotes from at least 3 providers and agree with them on the nature and extent of the work to be undertaken
  3. Ensure that the quotes include full details of all proposed work
  4. Verify whether the providers have current public liability insurance cover and workers compensation insurance cover – their public liability insurance should be for a minimum of $20,000,000
  5. Ensure that anyone who is expected to undertake the work is appropriately qualified and / or accredited by a recognised industry association
  6. Seek references and recommendations from previous clients
  7. Agree on the details and extent of the work to be undertaken
  8. Only pay your chosen provider when work is satisfactorily completed in whole – if the provider wants payment before the job is finalised you should limit this to progress payments against any stages of work that have been clearly identified and agreed to before work commences.

Where to start looking for an arborist

  1. Recommendations from others who have had recent experience with them
  2. Classified advertisements in the local newspaper or its online equivalent
  3. Other online listings e.g.