“ Tree surgeons based in Gloucestershire / Tel: 01684 833645 „
When we bought our first house, we acknowledged a simple truth: at some point, the price for buying the house that was just right for us would be an awful lot of time and effort spent trying to sort out the jungle that was masquerading as our new back garden. At first glance, our garden had seemed to be an overgrown mess that nobody had ever done anything with. However, on closer inspection is appeared that a previous owner had lovingly cultivated maximum benefit from this small space, but that work had been undone several times over by the people we bought the house from, who had not only let carefully managed shrubs and trees grow out of all proportion with what a garden on this scale could cope with, but had also added in a leylandii right next to the conservatory for good measure. We set out to restore our garden - or at least to try and get sunlight onto the brown scrub that was once a lawn. Think Lost Gardens of Heligan, but smaller. And in Cheltenham.
Admittedly our gardening know-how was decidedly limited at this point, but one thing was for certain: we couldn't reasonably (or safely) tackle this job on our own. We had a problem and we needed help...but as we couldn't find the A-Team, we had to settle on finding a local tree surgeon instead. A trawl though local directories and online listings revealed four decent candidates for the job, and we made arrangements with each company to come around and quote for the work we had (namely complete removal of the leylandii and its root, and cutting the trees and laurel bushes down to a level appropriate for a small garden).
Contractor number 1 spent 5 minutes looking at the garden, promised to post a quote to us...and we never heard from him again.
Contractor number two spent 10 minutes in the garden and did provide a quote, but was an hour late turning up to meet us (and didn't apologise).
Contractor number 3 spent 20 minutes in the garden, asked a lot of polite questions to assess exactly what we wanted and what was best for the garden, and then promptly sent a clearly explained written quote to us.
Contractor number 4 never arrived.
The two quotes we had differed by about £50, but I went with the more expensive one as it was from contractor number 3 who had made the best first impression with us (as they were the only ones who had behaved in a professional manner). Contractor number 3 was Barrett Tree Services of Long Green in Gloucestershire, who were now hired to undertake the work.
On the day the job was due to take place I was a little nervous given the amount of work that would need to be done in what was a quite small area, but I needn't have worried. Our two aborists turned up bang on time and set up their tree chipper outside the front of the house, taking care that it wouldn't block the road or inconvenience our neighbours. I should add at this point that we live in a terrace and the only way through to our back garden is through the house or through the garage, so their next job was to excavate a safe route through the junk in our garage to the back garden. This done, the massacre of the trees began.
The job ended up taking an entire day, but all was done as requested - they even asked me out into the garden on two occasions when they wanted to make absolutely sure what I wanted before committing themselves to a section of pruning. Other than that, they only disturbed me (quite politely I should add) to ask for cups of tea mid-morning and mid-afternoon. What impressed me most out of all of this were the lengths they went to in cleaning up after their work; despite the vast quantities of wood that was chopped, hacked, pruned, carried and chipped, every last bit was swept up and cleared away before they left. I have never seen our garage look so spruce!
This work was undertaken in August 2010 - so why have I waited nearly a year to write a review of Barrett Tree Services? Well, a bad tree surgeon can make such a mess of your garden that it can take a long time to recover, so I wanted to see what the results would be 10 months post-surgery (especially as getting this sort of work done at the end of the growing season can leave your garden looking quire stark for a long time). The results are good. The laurel bushes and trees have re-grown their leaves and now looking healthier and more in proportion to the size of our garden, while the leylandii has shown no inclination to grow back, indicating that they did a thorough job in removing the roots. As a bonus, paring down these giants has let more sunlight into the garden, and our lawn is slowly starting to recover - although helping it on its way is the next step in redeeming the garden.
I was very pleased with the work Barrett Tree Services did for us, and would happily recommend them to other readers in the Gloucestershire area. We paid £350 for these jobs, although how much you pay will of course depend on the amount and type of jobs you need to have done, so it is good idea to get a quote first (although they do note that their rates are based on £150 per man per day). This is of course a lot of money, but we couldn't have done this work safely or effectively ourselves, and I was very pleased with the level of service we received.
== Details ===
Barrett Tree Services
== Tips on Selecting a Tree Surgeon ===
> Anyone can call themselves a tree surgeon, so look for ones who work to British Standard BS3998 as a sign they have training
> A reputable tree surgeon will have public liability insurance and will show you evidence of this
> Only choose a contractor who will provide a written quotation for the work
> A good tree surgeon will be able to provide references from other customers on request