About Trees – Kent Tree Surgeons


What is Arboriculture?

Below are some definitions of what Arboriculture is:

Arboriculture .Noun: the cultivation of trees or shrubs [Latin arbor tree + culture]

Arboriculture is the cultivation and management of trees within the landscape. This includes the study of how trees grow and respond to cultural practices and the environment, as well as application of cultural techniques such as selection, planting, care, surgery and removal.

The main focus of arboriculture is amenity trees; such trees are maintained primarily for landscape purposes for the benefit of human beings. Amenity trees are usually in gardens, parks or urban settings, and arboriculture involves aspects of plant health, pest and pathogen control, risk management, and aesthetic considerations. Trees offer cultural and natural heritage benefits beyond production of wood products; for this reason, arboriculture needs to be distinguished from forestry, which is the commercial production and use of timber and other forest products from plantations and forests.

Practitioners of Arboriculture are called “Arborists” commonly known as Tree Surgeons.

Are your trees Autumn fit?

Are your trees Autumn fit ?

Ok, so we in the south seem to have been lucky and escaped Ex-Ophelia – phew!! But are your trees Autumn fit ?
Autumn gales are a particularly treacherous time for trees, this is because they are still in full leaf when the high winds pick up. Combine this with high rainfall and saturated soils (quite often the case this time of year) and you have a perfect recipe for the unthinkable happening. Especially if there are hidden undiscovered issues with the tree to start with.

Trust us, we know this to be the case. Armed with over 20 years industry and tree knowledge there’s not a lot that can get past us. We have your best interests at heart.
Why not ask us to come and take a look and offer you good old fashioned honest advice. Quite often a decent visual check of a are can be done without even needing to climb the tree.

Autumn colours of a Liquidambar styraciflua – sweet gum


What would are you looking for?

A decent Arborist will be able to inspect a tree from round level, using the knowledge he or she has built up over the years. This will be fed back with a balanced approach to risk, this is based on many factors. Risk to buildings, possessions and most importantly life. Inspecting trees needs a level head, the desire to make “knee-jerk” reactions has to be controlled. We must remember trees were designed to stand up, they do this incredibly well.

Structural defects.

Structural defects, such as tears in branches, bark peeling off, compromised root systems, abnormal bulges and lumps in the actual structure of the tree. All of these can point toward a point of failure in the future. Unusual bulges can be areas that are weak and have been reinforced by the tree. The tree will put down very strong wood to try to re-inforce structural weaknesses. This is called “Reactive Wood” and it it is very strong.

A windblown Cupressos macrocarpa – Monterey cypress flattens a car and side of house Christmas eve 2013.


Fungi & trees.

This is the time of year that we can start to look for fungi on our trees. The presence of fungi either around the roots or maybe on the tree itself is not always a sign of impending demise, quite often fungi and tree lie in a mutually beneficial relationship. This is called a Symbiotic relationship.
However, sometimes the presence of fungi is not such great thing to spot, they can drastically reduce a trees ability to function on a vascular levels and also cause catastrophic structural weakness.

Meripilus giganteus –  giant polypore; often found on Beech and is SERIOUS!

Laetiporus sulphureus – chicken of the woods; often found on the main stems of Poplar trees.

Armillaria mellea – honey fungus; beneficial in woodlands, not so great in your pride and joy garden.


These fungi affect their host trees in different ways, it takes an expert to be able to I.D. them and offer relevant advice.

There’s so much more that an Arborist can see, especially obsessed ones like us at About Trees. Allow us to make your trees Autumn fit this year Contact us

You know when someone says “No job too large”?

You know when someone says “No job too large”?

It’s an interesting statement to make, because sometimes you know there are jobs that you know when someone says “No job too large”? that they are maybe making a claim that they cannot live up to. This can quite often be the case in the world of Arboriculture. Sometimes jobs come along that sort the men out from the boys. I realise this is slightly inflammatory but it is the case.


It was tough to acknowledge that we were going to price to fell this wonderful old tree, but there were very real safety issues regarding the site as a whole and the tree. Habitually this tree had been dropping limbs – some weighing in at 1.5 tonnes on to areas of high public footfall. It had been subject of remedial pruning in the past, this had not achieved the desired results. The local tree officers had seen the tree and decided it was one where the TPO was to be removed, consent was given to fell the tree. We got the call.

We tendered

For this job a little while ago, the process took some time as there were many options and costs that had to be considered, primarily was site safety and the removal of the arisings from the job. This tree was BIG there was a lot of arisings from it. Collating prices and making sure the logistics worked out took plenty office time. We had at least 200metres of temporary fencing that had to be installed to keep the public safe. We had to consider getting the crane into a suitable position so that it could make safe lifts. This involved building a temporary road! Fences had to be taken down to make access for the road and crane. It was a real logistical effort.


It’s all about planning – the day before the crane arrived we organised for fencing to be erected, the road built, signage put out and on site Risk Assessments to be carried out. I liaised with the manager of the property (a hotel), we kept fire exits open but made temporary escape routes. First aid stations were deployed on site and in the trucks, and harnesses. We had a review of Method Statements and assessed risk once more. We had to be very careful on this one. Weight charts for green cut Cedar were provided to the crane operator and Arborist up the tree  Joe so they could liaise with one another on their comms on how large to cut the pieces of wood.

How heavy?

In short – VERY. some of the lifts were coming in at 3.5 – 4.5 tonnes. It was serious on every level, dangerous and intense. The ground crew did an amazing job keeping up with branches that were individually the size of a medium tree. These branches came down at a fair rate of knots. There were approx. 8 loads of wood, woodchips and arisings to be removed from site. We set up a holding compound for the wood, chips were shot into a huge grain trailer and removed from site daily. The wood was loaded onto several HGV timber trailers and removed from site. I think, it all went pretty smoothly. Start to finish the job lasted for 6 days. 6 hard days!


Go out to the team Paul, Nathan, Wayne and Joe, the 3 team members from Savage Cranes and the various drivers who took care of haulage for us.

So, you know when someone says “No job too large”? it really is the case with us at About Trees Ltd.

Are we really raking it in?

It’s that time of year when all reputable tree companies should be fully booked and working hard – we are now booking into the new year. But are we really raking it in?

It’s true that having Arborists at your property is an expensive undertaking. You’re paying for experience, professionalism and trustworthy people on site.

What you are also playing for is;

Chipper £20k, Stump grinder £10k, Chainsaws x4 £3k, Climbing Kits £2k, associated tools £1k, Ladders £500 not to mention the truck itself 2 or 3 qualified and ticketed men on site, PPE for those men £1k, £10millon insurance, not forgetting trade accreditation’s.

This is pretty much the standard kit on most jobs, there’s no expensive rigging or really specialist equipment included in the above list.

These costs are substantial (there’s always on going repair costs also) and make up a great deal of the daily rate that you may be charged.

You can rest assured that your average tree company is not making the money you think they are.

What’s more crucial is that when you find quotes that are significantly cheaper than others they are cutting corners. Something is not right – maybe no insurance? Maybe not paying their workers a decent wage? Maybe using unsafe tools and machinery? Who knows.

What are we doing on the A2 in Faversham

About Trees Ltd. been asked by The Duchy of Cornwall to carry out some essential tree safety works along the boundary of Faversham Cricket ground and the A2 in Faversham.

This will be taking place on Friday 10th & over the weekend of the 11th & 12th February. Due to the nature of the roads, these were the only dates offered to us from Kent Highways. Our permit for the 2 days over the weekend from the hours of 07:00-19:00. We aim to start work on the Saturday at 08:00. Light levels will dictate the end of the working day, but it should not be later than 17:00 if all goes according to plan

Apologies in advance for the inconvenience that this will cause.

The work being carried out consists of the reduction in height of an ivy boundary roadside hedge to 1.5-2m AGL (above ground level). This mainly consists of sycamore and elder with some holly thrown in, and reaches from the boundary with the football pitch to the large evergreen oaks that are in the grounds of the cricket club just over half way along to the boundary with Reads Restaurant in Faversham. Beyond that point, the hedge is to remain untouched at the request of Ecologists. This is to increase overall stability of this roadside hedge but keep the valuable habitat that the hedge provides.

There are several self-seeded ash trees along this boundary also that, following independent tree safety audit and an Ecologists report are to be cut down / felled to ground level. It is essential that this work be carried out before the birds nesting season starts in March (Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981). The reason behind the felling of the ash trees, over and above everything else is safety, as many of the ash on this site have Ash Dieback. There are also several other species of tree along this boundary, sweet chestnut and oak to name a few, with these trees dead wood/branches along with low branches which may damage high sided vehicles are also to be removed/pruned.

We have worked with The Duchy at this site for many years and this is some overdue maintenance work, that the LA are aware of despite no protections in the form of TPO’s or TCA’s affect any of the works being carried out.

All of the conditions requested by Kent Highways, Swale BC and Environmental Health have been satisfied. Trees will be accessed using a MEWP which also has the correct permit in place for and will be used by IPAF operatives. All ground crew have the relevant qualifications needed for this work and will be covered by our Public Liability Ins. and Employers Liability Ins. Traffic Management (TM) permits are all correct and a dedicated TM company will be laying out the cones and light heads.

Full RAMS have been issued and About Trees Ltd. will work alongside the Method Statement provided to us by the Ecologist company that carried out the site survey.

`As a company we are proud of our connection with The Duchy of Cornwall and appreciate that they choose to use About Trees Ltd to carry out their tree care in Kent, these connections are built of honest advice, trust and the quality of our work. It enables us to thrive as a company, employ & train local people, something that isn’t quite so easy these days

My Neighbour’s Tree Overhangs My Garden. What Can I Do?

Living in close proximity to neighbours often comes with its fair share of challenges, one of which is dealing with trees that overhang your garden. As the director of About Trees Ltd, a reputable tree care company based in Kent, I have encountered numerous cases where homeowners have concerns about overhanging trees. In this blog, I will outline what UK law permits you to do in such a situation, along with specific considerations for trees in conservation areas or those protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). If you find yourself in this predicament, don’t hesitate to reach out to About Trees for expert assistance via our online booking platform Book a site visit

The Right to Cut Overhanging Branches:
Under UK law, you are entitled to trim or cut any overhanging branches from your neighbour’s tree up to the boundary of your property. This is known as the “right to abate a nuisance.” However, it is essential to remember that you must not trespass onto your neighbour’s property to undertake this action. Make sure you stay within the boundaries of your own land when carrying out any pruning. Arisings (the stuff you cut) must be offered back to the tree owner this is a legal obligation as odd as it sounds.

Responsibility for Fallen Leaves, Fruits, or Debris:
While it is frustrating to deal with leaves, fruits, or other debris falling into your garden from your neighbour’s tree, it is important to note that you do not have a legal right to demand your neighbour remove or prevent this from happening. Such natural occurrences are considered part of normal tree behaviour, and your neighbour is not held responsible for them.

Conservation Areas and Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs):
If the tree in question is located within a conservation area or has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in place, the regulations become more stringent. Trees in these areas are subject to additional protection, and you must seek permission from the local planning authority before carrying out any work. Even routine maintenance, such as pruning overhanging branches, may require consent. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to severe penalties. Therefore, it is crucial to consult professionals like About Trees who are well-versed in navigating the legal requirements of conservation areas and TPOs.

Mediation and Neighbourly Communication:
In situations where the overhanging branches are causing significant disruption or damage to your property, it is advisable to engage in open and respectful communication with your neighbour. Explain your concerns and explore potential solutions together. Mediation can often be a constructive way to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement without resorting to legal action. If required, About Trees can act as mediators, leveraging our experience to help facilitate productive discussions.

Seeking Professional Advice: When dealing with overhanging trees, it is vital to consult an experienced arborist or tree care professional like About Trees. Our team of experts can assess the situation, provide guidance on the best course of action, and ensure that all legal requirements are met. Whether you need advice on pruning, tree removal, or understanding the implications of conservation areas and TPOs, our knowledgeable team is here to assist you.

Living with a neighbour’s tree overhanging your garden can be challenging, but understanding your rights and obligations under UK law is crucial. Remember, you have the right to cut overhanging branches up to your property boundary, but you must respect the legal protections in place for trees in conservation areas or covered by Tree Preservation Orders. Engaging in open communication and seeking professional advice from experts like About Trees Ltd can help you navigate these situations effectively and ensure the health and harmony of your surroundings. Book an appointment now

How often should I water my new tree?

Welcome to About Trees Ltd., a leading tree care company serving Kent and the surrounding counties. I’m Wayne, the proud owner with 26 years of experience in the industry. Today, I’m here to address one of the most common questions we receive: “How often should I water my new tree?” Proper watering is crucial for the health and vitality of your trees, and in this blog post, I’ll provide you with valuable insights based on records from UK summers over the last 20 years. From understanding water requirements to avoiding common mistakes, let’s dive in and ensure your trees receive the best care possible.

Assessing Water Needs:

To determine how much water your trees require, consider their age, species, and the local climate. Newly planted trees need regular watering to establish a strong root system. The general guideline is to provide 20-30 litres of water per week during the first two years, divided into multiple watering sessions.

Species-Specific Water Requirements:
Different tree species have varying water needs. Some species, such as willows and poplars, have higher water requirements, while others, like pines and oaks, are more drought-tolerant. Research the specific water needs of your tree species to ensure adequate hydration.

Factors Affecting Water Demand:
Several factors influence a tree’s demand for water. In the UK, where summer conditions can vary, it’s essential to consider weather patterns, soil type, tree age, and exposure to sunlight and wind. During hot and dry periods, trees require more frequent watering.

Watering Frequency:
The frequency of watering depends on various factors, including weather conditions and the tree’s stage of growth. In general, newly planted trees need more frequent watering, especially during the first two years. Water deeply to encourage root growth, typically once or twice a week during dry periods.

Appropriate Watering Amount:
The amount of water required depends on the tree’s size, age, and soil conditions. A good rule of thumb is to provide 15-20 litres of water per square meter of the tree’s root zone. Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to ensure deep penetration into the soil.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:
When it comes to watering trees, some common mistakes can hinder their health. Over-watering is a common issue that can lead to root rot, fungal diseases, and oxygen deprivation. Signs of over-watering include yellowing leaves, wilting despite moist soil, and waterlogged soil. Conversely, under-watering can cause wilting, leaf scorch, and stunted growth.

Recognising Signs of Over-Watering and Under-Watering:
An over-watered tree often displays symptoms such as yellowing leaves, soft and decaying roots, and a foul odor emanating from the soil. On the other hand, an under-watered tree may exhibit wilted leaves, dry and brittle branches, and leaf drop. Regularly monitor your trees for these signs to adjust your watering practices accordingly.

At About Trees Ltd., we take pride in our professionalism and expertise in tree care. As a testament to our commitment, we recently completed a planting contract for The Duchy of Cornwall, on The Queen’s Canopy emphasising our dedication to quality service and planting for future generations

Avoiding Common Watering Mistakes:

To ensure the health and longevity of your trees, it’s essential to avoid common watering mistakes that can harm their well-being. Here are some pitfalls to watch out for:

a) Shallow Watering: Superficially watering the tree’s surface without penetrating the root zone leads to shallow root growth. Instead, aim to water deeply and evenly to encourage deep root development.

b) Over-Watering: Excessive watering can be detrimental to trees, causing root rot, nutrient deficiencies, and other issues. Avoid the temptation to drown your trees by providing water only when necessary and monitoring the soil moisture level.

c) Inadequate Watering: On the other end of the spectrum, under-watering can result in stress and dehydration. Adequate hydration is particularly crucial during dry periods, so be attentive and adjust your watering routine accordingly.

d) Improper Watering Technique: Watering the foliage instead of the root zone is a common mistake. Direct the water at the base of the tree, where the roots are located, allowing it to penetrate deeply into the soil.

e) Inconsistent Watering Schedule: Trees benefit from a consistent watering schedule, especially during the establishment phase. Irregular watering can stress the tree and inhibit proper root development. Develop a watering routine and stick to it, adjusting as needed based on weather conditions.

f) Ignoring Natural Precipitation: It’s essential to consider natural rainfall when determining your watering schedule. If your area receives sufficient rainfall, you may not need to water as frequently. Monitor weather patterns and adjust accordingly to avoid over-watering.

By avoiding these common watering mistakes, you can provide your trees with the optimal hydration they need for healthy growth.

At About Trees Ltd., we are passionate about tree care and dedicated to ensuring the health and vitality of your trees. Trust us to provide reliable and professional services that will help your trees thrive for years to come.

Proper watering is essential for the health and vitality of your new trees. By understanding their water requirements, considering species-specific needs, and being mindful of factors influencing water demand, you can ensure your trees thrive. Avoid common watering mistakes, monitor signs of over-watering and under-watering, and adjust your watering practices accordingly.

Remember, if you have any doubts or need assistance, the experienced team at About Trees Ltd. is here to help. Your trees deserve the best care, and we’re here to provide it.

For any further questions or to request a personalised quote for your tree care needs, feel free to visit our website and schedule a consultation with our experts. Simply click here to book your appointment: Book Your Appointment.

At About Trees Ltd., we value your trees and are committed to their well-being. Trust us to provide professional and reliable tree care services in Kent and the surrounding counties.

Remember, healthy trees start with proper watering. Let us help you ensure your new trees thrive for years to come.


Do I always need permission to work on a protected tree?

Yes except for:
• Cutting down trees in accordance with one of the Forestry Commission’s grant schemes, or where the commission has granted a felling llicense.

You can cut down or cut back a tree under the following exemptions:
• If the tree is dead, dying or dangerous.
• In line with an obligation under an Act of Parliament.
• At the request of certain organisations specified in the order.
• If it is directly in the way of development that is about to start for which detailed planning permission has been granted.
• In a commercial orchard, or pruning fruit trees in accordance with good horticultural practice.
• To prevent or control a legal nuisance (you may find it helpful to check first with a solicitor).