Do You Need a Tree Surgeon, an Arborist, or an Arboriculturalist?

Decoding the Tree Care Industry To Find The Right Tree Services

When it comes to maintaining the health and beauty of your trees, it can be confusing to know exactly who to call.

The tree care industry is vast and there is a lot of jargon associated with this work, making it difficult for landowners to know where to turn. In your search for local tree services, you may have come across terms like tree surgeon, arborist, and arboriculturalist – but what do they really mean, and which one do you need for your tree services?

At Kneebone Trees, we pride ourselves on providing expert care and tailored solutions for your arboreal needs. We have decades of experience in tree care and provide a range of services to support the health, style and safety of landscapes across Devon and the surrounding areas.

To help you make the best choice for your landscape and determine the right tree services for your needs, we have created this guide where we will break down these roles so you can make an informed decision.

Understanding Tree Services

Tree services encompass a wide range of activities aimed at maintaining the health, safety, and aesthetics of trees.

These services can include everything from pruning and trimming to disease management and tree removal. When searching for a “tree surgeon near me,” or tree services it’s essential to understand the specific expertise required for your situation so you can make the best decision.

There are three main types of tree service specialists that you will come across in your search, and understanding their unique roles and expertise allows you to find the right tree services for your landscape. Let’s break down each of these roles for a clearer understanding.

What is a Tree Surgeon?

Tree surgery is the most common tree care specialist and one that you likely already have some understanding of. A tree surgeon, who can also be referred to as a tree doctor, is primarily focused on the physical aspects of tree care.

Tree surgeons are skilled in the practical tasks of cutting, trimming, and removing trees. There are many tasks that tree surgeons can be called upon to provide, to aid the health and safety of your trees. These include:

  • Prune and Trim Trees: To ensure trees grow correctly by removing any dead or overhanging branches.
  • Tree Removal: Safely cutting down and removing trees that pose a risk to the landscape or no longer serve a purpose.
  • Stump Grinding: The secure removal of tree stumps from the land to prevent them from becoming a hazard or an eyesore.
  • Emergency Tree Services: Dealing with trees that have fallen or are at risk of falling due to storms or other emergencies.

There are many ways that tree surgeons can support your landscape and aid in the thriving of trees. To successfully perform their work, tree surgeons need to be physically fit, knowledgeable about the latest safety protocols, and skilled in using various tools and machinery.

Tree surgeons also often work at height, making their job a high-risk one. They must also have a good understanding of tree biology to ensure their interventions do not harm the tree’s overall health.

What is an Arborist?

Commonly confused with tree surgeons, arborists perform a similar job and have the same kind of knowledge regarding tree biology but can perform more tasks.

Arborists are tree specialists who have a deeper and broader knowledge of tree biology and care. With this deeper knowledge, they provide comprehensive tree surveys and recommendations to maintain or improve tree health, such as:

  • Tree Health Assessments: Evaluation of the condition of trees to diagnose potential diseases or pest infestations.
  • Nutrient Management: Recommending the best soil treatments and fertilisation methods to promote healthy tree growth.
  • Planting and Transplanting: Advising on the best species for specific environments and ensuring trees are planted correctly for a thriving future.
  • Pruning and Preservation: The strategic trimming of trees to maintain their health and structural integrity.

Certified arborists often hold qualifications and certifications from recognised bodies such as the Arboricultural Association (ARB) like our team at Kneebone Trees.

Aborists’ work involves a combination of hands-on services and consultancy, as they provide expert advice to ensure trees thrive as well as some physical maintenance to ensure this takes place.

What Is an Arboriculturalist?

Arboriculturalists, like arborists, are tree specialists but with an emphasis on the science and management of trees within the landscape.

They take the knowledge provided by tree surgeons to another level and often work with local councils, developers, and landowners to manage trees in urban and rural environments. The responsibilities of an arboriculturalist include:

  • Tree Surveys and Reports: Performing detailed reports that are required for planning applications and development projects.
  • Risk Assessments: Evaluation of potential hazards that may be posed by trees and recommending the necessary measures to mitigate these risks.
  • Conservation and Management Plans: The development of long-term strategies for tree conservation in the area and tree management in parks, estates, and public spaces.
  • Policy Development: Advising policymakers on the best practices for urban forestry and tree preservation across the country.

Arboriculturalists typically have academic qualifications in arboriculture or a related field to provide these recommendations and their work is crucial for the sustainable management of tree populations across the country.

What Are The Right Tree Services For Me?

With a clearer understanding of what each tree specialist does, it should be easier for you to identify where to turn.

Based on the tree services you need, your location and the kind of land you own you can determine which is the right tree services from tree surgeons, arborists or arboriculturalists

For example, if you are looking for the right tree services regarding the physical aspects of tree care, such as cutting, trimming, and removing trees then a tree surgeon is your best bet.

Tree surgeons are primarily focused on the physical work required in tree care and they offer the right tree services for your needs. From pruning and trimming trees to tree removal and even stump removal tree surgeons have the right tree services for your landscapes. If you require emergency tree services, you also go to a tree surgeon.

Alternatively, if you need a comprehensive assessment of your landscape or are seeking advice regarding tree health, then you need to call an arborist for the right tree services. An arborist will offer the right tree services for these kinds of needs, such as evaluating the condition of trees, nutrient management, and tree planting. Arborists can also offer transplanting and strategic trimming of trees to aid the health of your landscape.

Finally, if you are looking for the right tree services at a macro level, such as managing trees within an expansive environment or urban area, then you need an arboriculturalist. These are the right tree services because arboriculturalists have the necessary knowledge regarding tree care and maintenance to allow them to work with local councils, developers, and landowners to manage trees in various environments.

Ultimately, your choice depends on your unique needs – what kind of service you require for your trees and who can provide these.

Find The Right Tree Services At Kneebone Trees

At Kneebone Trees, we can provide the right tree services for all requirements whether you need a tree surgeon, arborist, or arboriculturalist.

We provide expert care and tailored solutions for your specific tree service needs through our comprehensive range of solutions. We can meet all requirements and aid in supporting landscapes across Devon and the surrounding areas.

Contact Us Today

If you are looking for the right tree services for your landscape, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer, professional advice or to book a consultation.

Contact Us Today

other blogs


What Our customers say


Some of our Current clients

Contact us

Fill in your details below and our team will be in touch.