Tree Lopping in Brisbane

Brisbane is a sprawling river city home to many residents.

Whilst its inner city region is growing rapidly, with new apartment buildings and developments popping up almost day after day, its roots are in a ‘suburban’ city, with many suburbs that sit in a spread from the inner city to the edge of its region.

These suburbs are home to many classic Queenslanders, which is the name for a heritage-type home design that focuses on breezy verandahs, classic timber, and a connectedness with the outside environment.

Because of this, the plants and trees that cover the gardens across Brisbane are many and varied. There are many of the traditional-sized older and bigger lots, allowing for beautiful trees to take up residence on a large majority of the region’s properties.

During the spring and summer, it’s not uncommon for Brisbane’s native jacaranda trees to flower throughout streets and public parks, covering the ground with a soft layer of beautiful purple flowers.

One thing’s for sure – Brisbane residents love their trees unashamedly, and their presence in backyards and gardens is a major feature for many, both aesthetically and for the environmental benefits.

However, being a responsible tree owner brings with it many things to consider.

No matter how much you love your trees, there may come a time in a tree’s lifespan where it’s simply too dangerous or unhealthy for the tree to remain.

Or perhaps you’re looking to renovate a property, and there’s a tree right in the middle of an area where you plan to build – whatever the reason, sometimes a tree simply cannot remain in place anymore.

When it comes time to remove a tree, it’s also time to call in a professional.

Although many Australians have a fondness for weekend DIY jobs and activities, the removal of a tree is far too large an undertaking for an amateur to attempt.

Not only is it a huge job, but it also brings with it many safety and environmental factors that are much better left to the professionals to handle.

A great tree removal company will deliver an experience that is smooth, transparent and professional from beginning to end, all the way through from quote and evaluation down to the way they leave your property once the job is done.

No matter how big the tree is or how unique the removal situation on your property, a seasoned and experienced tree removal professional will have the tools and knowledge they need to get the job done on budget, on time and without causing any damage.

So, how do you know when it’s time to get a tree removed?

Signs a tree may need removal

There are many reasons why a tree may require removal.

By calling in a professional, they’ll be able to evaluate your tree and let you know the best course of action to move forward with.

However, by keeping an eye out for potential signs a tree may require removal, you’ll be able to catch a problem before it turns into a dangerous scenario with a potentially structurally unsound tree looming over your property.

An obvious sign of a tree that requires removal is its location. If trees grow too close to buildings, branches can reach walls or roofs and lead to ongoing problems.

If a branch reaches your home, it has an increased chance of harming the building during intense storms and causing much more expensive structural issues to address further down the track.

As well, if a tree is located in a place of your yard that means it’s throwing too much shade, plant growth can be inhibited due to the lack of nutrients they’re not receiving from adequate sunlight.

In some cases, merely pruning the tree may remove these problematic branches, but depending on the tree’s exact situation, removal might be the only answer.

Another problem that can be caused by having a tree too close to your home is to do with root spread.

When roots grow beyond safe boundaries, they can cause issues at a fundamental level to the foundations of not only your home but your fences and potentially your neighbour’s properties as well. Roots that are disrupting building foundations require urgent attention before the problem worsens and the building it’s affecting is no longer structurally safe.

Spreading tree roots can also damage drainpipes, which can cut off the water supply to your property in a worst case scenario.

This kind of damage is heavily expensive and much more intrusive when it comes to problem-solving, and addressing potential root damage before it’s been able to do its worst is a much cheaper and safer option in the long run.

Further common reasons for tree removal are to do with tree health and diseases. In the same way that humans can suffer from infections, trees can succumb to diseases that can be fatal.

Unhealthy trees will bear symptoms of their health externally, such as through above-average leaf loss and the growth of unusual bumps or fungus.

Tree diseases, if caught early enough, can be cured on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the type of disease and its spread.

However, if left untreated, a diseased tree will become structurally unsafe and will need to be removed.

By getting to know your trees and becoming familiar with how they look in a healthy state, you’ll be able to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary or unusual when it comes to signs of a disease beginning to take root.

Early detection can be the difference between pruning a tree to get rid of its disease or having to remove it in full.

Other symptoms of a diseased or unhealthy tree include withering at the top of the tree, where the leaves are furthest from the roots and nutrient/water supply. This is often the first part of a tree that will display signs of any underlying issue.

Keeping an eye out for leaf discolouration is also important if you want to make sure you catch any signs of disease early.

If a tree’s leaves are lighter or darker than usual, this can be a sign that there’s something going wrong internally.

If you’re unsure, calling in a trained professional who’s familiar with a huge variety of tree species in their healthy and unhealthy states is a sure fire way to know whether or not your tree requires further attention.

Sap residing on the bark is also another sign of ill health. Sap plays the role of a defense mechanism for trees, protecting them from external sources of harm. Because of this, its presence on the outside can be a sign of internal disease.

New and abnormal growths are yet another way in which trees exhibit signs of disease.

Get to know the specifics of your trees as to which growths are normal. This way, you’ll be able to take a look at these new growths with a familiarity as to whether or not they’ve always been there, or have emerged more recently.

It’s amazing when you consider all of the tools trees have to communicate their health with us, and part of being a responsible tree owner is becoming familiar with the ins and outs of your trees.

Early detection can save many trees from removal that becomes necessary due to disease or ill health, so make it a priority to spend time getting to know your trees, in much the same way you do the other living inhabitants of your home and property.

Another very good reason to consider removing an overgrown tree is the added risk to your property of fire.

It’s easy for trees to turn into serious fire hazards if their growth is not maintained and controlled.

By having overgrown trees with large branches and lots of foliage spread across your property, the risk of your land and home increases significantly.

This is particularly important to consider during the dry summer seasons that Brisbane has.

If there’s a fire warning out for your local area, this may be the time to take preventative measures and either get some overgrown branches lopped or have a particularly large tree removed to reduce the risk of fire spreading.

Finally, defects in trees can easily add to the risk that the structural integrity of a tree could disintegrate too much for it to remain safely in place. If this occurs, the tree’s chances of falling and causing subsequent damage are very heightened.

Even defects which can appear small from the surface can lead to internal damage, so instead of using your own untrained hire, call in the services of a tree lopping professional once you spot any signs of a potential defect.

Alternatives to tree removal

You may find that a tree lopping professional, after evaluating the tree, is able to remove some branches from the tree instead of removing the tree itself. This is common if the tree is growing too close to power lines or roof lines, and at certain times a simple lop is the solution needed.

Instead of making this decision yourself, call in a professional for an evaluation.

They will be able to assess the tree’s position and current condition with more factors in mind than what is visible to the naked eye.

By drawing on years of experience, they’ll be able to advise you as to the best course of action for the tree, your home and the ongoing safety and well-being of your family and property.

Signs of a professional tree removalist company

Nowadays, with the advent of websites such as Gumtree, it’s all too common for people to advertise tree lopping and removal services with no expertise to back them up.

Given the size of the task at hand and the level of responsibility required, it’s important to make sure you’re hiring a professional who can deliver the quality they promise.

There are some easy ways to make sure you’re hiring a tree removalist professional, and not just somebody who’s decided a weekend in the backyard has given them the insight they need to offer tree removal services for hire.

Finally, defects in trees can easily add to the risk that the structural integrity of a tree could disintegrate too much for it to remain safely in place. If this occurs, the tree’s chances of falling and causing subsequent damage are very heightened.

Even defects which can appear small from the surface can lead to internal damage, so instead of using your own untrained hire, call in the services of a tree lopping professional once you spot any signs of a potential defect.

These signs include…

Insurance – is the company you’re hiring properly insured?

If they cannot prove to you their insurances are in place, this is a sure sign to move on to another company. Insurance is important not only for their sakes but for yours – as work is being carried out on your property, you can become liable for any accidents or injuries that occur throughout this process.

However, professional tree lopping and removalist companies will have insurances in place that remove this risk, where liability is assigned to their cover for the duration of the job. This is extremely important as tree removals are a risky activity and no outcome can be 100% guaranteed.

If a worker were to injure themselves in the process, you want to make sure that the responsibility for that falls on the shoulders of their employee, not on yours or your family’s.

Their insurance should also cover your home and property for the duration of the work, in the case of any unforeseen damage that could occur as a result of the tree removal activity.

This might seem like a small item beforehand, but if a tree branch falls on your car or cracks a glass tile, you’ll be very thankful that someone else will be footing the repair or replacement bill!

Equipment – particularly for a big tree removal, having the right equipment is crucial. One area you should discuss upfront is how the stump will be removed and whether the tree lopping company comes equipped with a stump grinder to complete the job.

The last thing you want to have to find a way to deal with is a huge stump that’s left over once the tree itself has been removed, and this would be the likely outcome should you hire a non-professional to carry out the work required. As a bonus, you’ll be left with fresh wood chips for your garden, which are a great way to recycle and reuse your tree at the same time as giving your garden a helping hand towards healthy growth.

Other important equipment includes proper safety gear, including protecting boots, clothing, gloves and glasses, and chain saws and cherry pickers. If your tree is tall and looming, a cherry picker will be required in order for the tree lopper to reach the branches in a way that is safe and secure.

Ladders can be very risky when used during tree lopping. If somebody is using a chain saw and a ladder slips, even a little bit, the results could be fatal. Ask for information about the equipment the tree lopping company will bring with them for the task at hand before signing on the dotted line so you can make sure you’re trusting your property into the hands of a seasoned professional.

Pricing – although you don’t want to go with the cheapest quote, as this will often come from someone who doesn’t bring with them the experience and knowledge you’re looking for, you also don’t want to hand over more cash than is required.

By getting quotes from 2-3 different companies, you’ll be able to figure out the price range for your particular tree removal job. By choosing a company who sits more in the middle than at the bottom, you’ll know you’re going to get a quality hire, instead of somebody whose only method of getting customers is to undercut the competition given their own lack of experience and testimonials.

Testimonials – you should be able to see evidence of many happily satisfied customers who have used this particular tree removalist company before. If they’re not listed on their website, ask for a couple of phone numbers for clients who they’ve worked with before.

Ask these customers about their experience with this particular company, and whether or not they left the property in great condition once the job was done. If you’re hearing glowing feedback from multiple sources, chances are high that you’ve landed on a great company whom you can trust with the work at hand.

Knowledge – was the tree lopping professional able to provide you with a clear and thorough plan of action for your particular tree removal needs? When removing a tree, there are many factors to consider, including the ability to control the tree’s fall path and direction, how to care for the surrounding area during the fall, emergency backup plans in case of an accident, and a practical plan for access to the property with minimal disruption.

If the professional you’re discussing the work with doesn’t seem to have thought through all of these factors, they may not be the best person to employ for the actual tree removal work. There are many things that can go wrong in the process of removing a tree, particularly a big one, and you need the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the professional in charge of the job has all scenarios covered.

Council liaison – there are certain trees that are heritage listed within the Brisbane catchment. Because of this, they require council permission to be altered in any way. A tree lopping professional, or arborist, will be familiar with a wide variety of trees and plants and can let you know if any of the trees you’re considering removing could fall into this heritage listed category.

If your trees do, they’ll be able to work with the local council to get the permissions you need in place before work begins. This removes this task from your hands and allows you to focus on other things whilst knowing you’re not doing anything outside of the local law.

If you’re hiring a tree removal company to remove trees from a property in order to build a new structure, you’ll also want to make sure you have a clear idea of the time frame they will require to complete their work. If you’ve got builders or landscapers coming in who are working to stay on time and on budget, having an efficient tree removalist professional overseeing the work will be a crucial investment you can make to keep your overall build project moving seamlessly.

If you’re considering purchasing a block of land that has some existing trees, and you’re not sure what the tree removal costs would do to your bottom line, you can also count on a tree lopping professional to come and do a thorough evaluation before you finalise your purchase. This will allow you to factor in extensive or involved tree removal processes into both your time frame and financial parameters. Although it may seem overwhelming to remove multiple trees on a particularly dense block of land, this is something tree lopping companies do day in, day out, so by bringing a professional in to evaluate early on in the process, you can save yourself a lot of time and stress by trying to make guesstimates based on your own limited knowledge.

The tree removal process – what to expect

Once you’ve hired a tree removal company who you trust, now it’s time to talk specifics. Don’t allow work to commence on the property unless you understand the process they will follow and how they will carry out the work required. As mentioned, tree removals can be dangerous work, and it’ll give you peace of mind and allow you to relax as the work is carried out of you know what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and why.

Firstly, communicate with the tree removalist about the size of the safe area they’ll need around the tree. If you normally park your family’s cars near the tree’s base, you need to make sure everyone knows to keep their cars well away throughout the course of the tree removal process. As well, it’s important to be clear on the tree lopping company’s time frames. If you have family pets who are normally allowed to roam free in the yard, you’ll want to make sure they’re safely locked up and are out of reach of harm’s way. All it takes is a bang or something unusual to spook a family dog or cat and send them running, and you don’t want there to be any risk of them getting hurt while the tree removal work takes place.

Next, discuss the exact path of entry and exit to the property. There may be multiple employees from the tree lopping company sent to carry out the tree removal work, and knowing how they will bring vehicles onto the property and their work zones allow you to plan for their presence. As well, this will let you alert the professional in charge to any things they need to know about entry to your property. If your property is difficult to access, discuss this as soon as possible with the tree removalist company, as they’ll need to create the best course of action that allows them access whilst leaving a minimal footprint.

It’s also good practice to let your neighbours know when work will commence and complete. Neighbours may need to plan for the additional noise that comes from chain saws and falling branches, especially those with small children. It’s just polite to do a letter box drop 1-2 days before work is carried out so there are no ugly surprises in the early morning as work begins. The last thing you want is to have one problem solved – a rotting tree – and another in its place of a grumpy neighbour!

If your property has any precious elements or materials, highlight these to the tree removalist company so they can plan their work around these. They should come equipped with protective material to place over any glass fences or tiles so that any falling pieces of tree branch don’t end up cracking things and causing damage. However, it’s best to go over all of these elements up front with the team you’ve hired, just to make sure all areas have been considered and thought about.

It’s also wise to check in with the company as to whether or not they have alerted all utility owners. If they’re cutting branches near power or telephone lines, it’s best to let the appropriate companies know before work begins so they’re aware if anything goes wrong and their utilities are affected in any way. By making them aware of the action that will take place, they can be prepared for a worst case scenario that requires their attention.

Your tree removalist will carry out a thorough evaluation of the tree before making any cuts. By observing the natural lean of the tree, they’ll be able to decide on the best way to encourage the tree to fall. However, this isn’t always possible, as that could be in the direction of your home, your neighbour’s home or existing power lines. In this case, they’ll be able to cut the tree in a manner that encourages it to fall in a different, and safer, direction.

Finally, make sure you’re clear with the tree removalist company as far as a mutual agreement as to how the property will be left. You want to make sure your garden is left just as clean, if not cleaner, as in the state they found it. This includes the removal of all tree branches, debris, and foliage that hits the ground as a result of the tree removal process. Make sure you’ve had a clear conversation as to what is included in the tree removal quote and what isn’t – it’s much easier to pay for their time to remove the tree’s pieces when they’re already in the space than it is to figure out how to lug huge tree branches out of your yard later. If, for some reason, you’d like to keep certain parts of the tree’s offcuts, discuss this with the tree removal team up front so they know to keep these aside from the grinding pile.

Work on the tree will begin with either a shovel or a garden mattock, which will be used to clear any rocks that lie around the base of the stump. Once this area is clear, a chain saw will be used to trim the stump down as much as is possible. This is a crucial step that helps to speed up the process. However, a chain saw can’t do all the work required, so this will be followed up by a grinder, which allows the tree removal team to grind their way down and around the stump.

Tree removalists aren’t just there to get the tree gone, but also to make sure that the area where the tree used to be is left in great condition. Once the stump has been completely removed, they’ll fill the hole that’s left in with topsoil. This helps to encourage the soil back to a healthy state, which can then be used for planting.

It’s best to leave your contact number with the person in charge if you plan on leaving while work is carried out, and also to make sure you have their mobile number. This allows fast and smooth communication in the case of any unforeseen issues that could arise during the removal process.

Investing in a tree removal company

Investing in the services of a great and professionally respected tree removalist company is much the same as investing in builders, plumbers or electricians – by calling in the right professional who’s trained for the particular task at hand, you know you’ll receive quality work and a great outcome. In Brisbane, backyards and landscapes are an extension of the home, and taking the steps needed to ensure these outdoor spaces remain happy and healthy is a great way to continue to increase the value of your home and the enjoyment factor for your family as you relax in it together. If you’ve got a problem tree, or a stump taking up valuable landscaping real estate, call in a tree removalist professional and sit back in satisfaction knowing you’ll get the best outcome possible.