Tree felling in the UK is subject to may restrictions and regulations such as tree preservation orders, conservation areas, planning conditions, felling licences and restrictive covenants. Anyone wishing to undertake tree felling should make enquiries as to the legal status of the tree and any protection afforded to it, to protect themselves and others from possible prosecutions or enforcement action. Felling Licences are administered by the Forestry Commission but you do not need a licence to fell trees in gardens.
You need also be aware of the Working at Height Regulations; all work at height needs to be properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner which is safe. The Regulations apply to all with the appropriate work equipment used. Chainsaws are potentially dangerous machines which can cause major injury if used by untrained people. Everyone who uses a chainsaw at work should have received training and be competent in using a chainsaw. Chainsaws have the potential to cause horrific injuries so by law chainsaw operators must wear appropriate chainsaw protective clothing whenever they use a chainsaw.
Although you can remove trees in your own garden without falling foul of any regulations (as long as the tree is not protected), it is strongly recommended that you hire a professional to ensure the work is done safely and correctly, tree felling causes injury and damage to property on a regular basis in the UK when attempted by those without experience and training.
Tree Surgeons have a good knowledge of trees and how they grow, what kind of diseases they suffer from and how they should be cut, shaped and removed if necessary. Tree surgeons need to work to British Standard 3998 in the UK, which means they have completed training set by the National Proficiency Tests Council in pruning and felling as well as using chainsaws and lifting equipment. Professional tree surgeons will have personal protective equipment including ballistic protected chainsaw trousers, chainsaw boots, hard hat, ear muffs, visor and gloves.
Most reputable tree surgeons will also belong to trade associations such as The International Society of Arboriculture or the Arboricultural Association. When hiring a tree surgeon always check their public liability insurance and waste carrier's licence. Never hire anyone who cold calls and asks if you need your trees sorted. Tradesman who just appear at your door one day can often disappear just as quickly when problems become apparent after they have been paid!
A professional tree surgeon will use a number of different techniques to fell a tree depending on the size and location of the tree, and it's proximity to surrounding buildings, paths and roads. The cost of hiring a professional for tree removal will vary from £75 to as much as £2,000, but the average tree felling cost is around £250 per tree. Always get at least three quotes for tree felling to compare prices, the best way to do this is by using the free quote service on this site, just click the "post your job" button to get started.