Schools: 7 reasons your tree surgeon may be more valuable to you than you know

4th March 2020

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The kids may have returned to school and the nights are drawing in, but now is precisely the time for selecting the right team of tree surgeons to assess, monitor and maintain the trees on your school grounds. Miss this seasonal window of opportunity and it may cost you later on.

Autumn/wintertime is when most tree maintenance is carried out if you wish to keep the green and leafy assets on your school grounds healthy and safe. It’s when you can see most clearly what needs to be done, what damage has been sustained throughout the year, what illnesses or infestations may exist, and because the trees are moving into their dormant phase of the year, this is also the time to do something about it. Beyond the maintenance of your trees it’s also time to develop strategies for the rest of the year, what and where to plant, whether any trees or stumps need removing, how the children might interact with nature’s tallest living organisms through their seasonal changes and what your caretaking and grounds staff will be doing throughout the year to assist.

For all school heads, senior staff, groundskeepers and business managers responsible for the maintenance of your school grounds and the safety of your children, we’ve seven reasons why your friendly local tree surgeon may well be more valuable than you could have imagined:

  1. Assessment

Have you got a tree maintenance and condition database? A record of every tree on your grounds which notes age, species, condition, red flag issues and pruning/cutting schedules? Does this record provide a projection of costs based on known and predicted matters, monitor illness and infestation progression/spread? Does it segment matters of concern into levels of urgency – monitor, low priority and immediate priority? And when was the last time you had a thorough site survey conducted that covers each and every tree on your grounds? Without this assessment it would be next to impossible to predict your spend on tree maintenance and safety for your school with any accuracy.

  • Strategy

Now is the time to determine your landscaping plans for the year ahead. What to plant, where best to plant it, the preparation that’s required and whether to get the children involved for an educational arboreal experience. We can help you to determine what species will thrive where on your grounds, and help you decide what needs cutting back, moving or removing, the equipment and manpower needed and the time it will take along with any disruption preparation you need to be prepared for.

  • Maintenance

When most people think of tree surgeons they think of maintenance, the pruning of trees, the cutting back of raggedy bushes and hedgerow and the encouragement of young saplings to grow straight and strong. While all this is true, tree surgery goes beyond this to protection and safety. Wind strength, how exposed your tree is and the thickness of its canopy can all increase or decrease the risk of collapse or damage in or after a storm. It’s a tree surgeon’s job to assess your trees for risk, prune them to minimise this risk and, therefore, to keep children and property safe from the possibility of falling tree material.

  • Training

If you have grounds people you may want them to have the knowledge to spot issues with the trees on your school grounds, to know when all is fine and when to call us in. We’ll happily take the time to find out your staff’s current level of knowledge and advise them on what to look out for, when your trees may be in most need of attention and what they can do to help. As trained and qualified arborists we’ve spent years studying the life cycle, conditions and challenges of any and all tree species found in the UK and we’re happy to share some of this knowledge to help your team to help us to keep your school’s trees healthier.

  • Monitor

In tree surgery, sometimes it’s a waiting game. Remember the tree maintenance and condition database mentioned above in ‘Assessment’ – this is where we record the trees and their condition, along with remedies, timescales and costs involved. Any illness, infestation or fungal issues noted will need to be monitored to determine whether these can spread to other trees, whether they are getting better or worse, and whether an extraction might be required. Updating the database will keep your grounds maintenance budgetary plans up to date.

  • Educate

Most tree surgeons will turn up and do the job, but at Thor’s Trees we do things a little differently. Well, of course we turn up and do the job, that was never in question, but we also love to share our knowledge, and who better to share this with than children as they’re so in tune with nature and environmental issues these days. We have years of experience in our field, are passionate about tree health and wellbeing. And, as ARB Approved Contractors, we’re one of only 300 firms in the country to have passed the industry’s most rigorous assessment for quality, care and knowledge of our craft and the trees we exercise it on. We are happy to come and spend a day with the children to help them to better understand the need for trees, how to look after them and what to look out for. They can even help us plant a few trees with us to get hands-on with their education.

  • Emergency

We may not have our own flashing coloured lights to show we’re on our way to you, but we are just a phone call away should you need us in an emergency. Lightning strikes are one of the most common crises, but after heavy winds, snow or flooding there may also be quite a clear-up to do and it’s vital to make sure that all your trees remain stable and strong (no political reference here). The safety of the children in your care is paramount, so you need to be aware of the risks of falling branches or collapsing trees after extreme weather conditions. We will conduct an assessment and provide you with a report so you have the insights you need to determine the action that needs to be taken.

To book a survey and consultation with one of our ARB Approved arborists for advice on your trees or to book our tree surgeons to prune/maintain or fell your tree(s), call us on 0208 292 8992.

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