About T&G – Tree Service Central Coast NSW
William: Okay, my name’s William Jones. I’m a qualified arborist and I’m the owner of Tree and Garden Services. So we provide mainly a tree pruning and tree maintenance services to residential and commercial properties mainly on the Central Coast. We do have a few commercial contracts which take us into Sydney.
We remove large trees even in confined spaces. And you can see at the base of that tree there is a winch – it’s like a yachting winch – and we use that to lower logs and tree sections down and control it quite safely.
We do a lot of large trees; this is a large tree at Terrigal. I mean, I love trees and, as you can see from my background in the bush and doing environmental science at university, I do love trees – so don’t get me wrong there – but in some cases trees and houses don’t mix too well together. And this is a large tree at Terrigal that – unfortunately, a beautiful tree – had to be removed because some large limbs were breaking off and falling on the house.
Now we don’t just lop trees down and hack them and make a mess; we dismantle them. You know, we carefully lower branches down or lift tree sections out, either using cranes or rigging equipment. So there’s an image of that.
We climb the tree, attach some chains to the tree, and then I’ll abseil down and just cut a section off and the crane will lift, you know, the tree out section by section. So it’s quite a controlled environment, usually.
We do the same thing with helicopters. So, in some areas where you can’t get a crane or there’s no access, we use a helicopter. We’ve done a couple of helicopter jobs. This is one for RailCorp. Same thing, the climber attaches the tree to the cable hanging off the helicopter and he comes along and we cut it off. Here’s a little video of some helicopter tree moving works. There you go. It’s pretty exciting, pretty good fun, something different.
Some of the other work we do is tree bracing. So if you’ve got like a feature tree that you want to keep, we do tree bracing. So, for feature or heritage trees that aren’t a safety concern to people below, you know, we’ll install cables in trees just to hold them together.
About Tree and Garden Services, what we do, we started in 2009; we’ve got six employees, including myself. I’ve got five guys out there working today doing some storm damage work at Umina Beach from trees fallen down in the rain on Monday and Tuesday this week. We’ve got two trucks, a wood chipper, a stump grinder, and we’ve got a yard at Gavenlock Road at Tuggerah and we store all our firewood and mulch there. And I’ve got another business; we sell firewood. That’s a separate kind of business to what we do with the trees.
So what we do, we keep people safe, you know, by removing dead and dangerous limbs over your house. We make you feel better, we make your gardens look nice. We add value to your home. We did some tree clearing for someone’s view at Ascot Road in Avoca Beach and we probably added $50,000 to the guy’s house with all – the beach view was all covered – so I’m sure you real estate guys here can attest to the increase in property value that a water or a beach view provides.
Another thing we do is arborist reports – I’m a qualified arborist – and a lot of tree hazards you can’t see from the ground. And this is a tree in Berowra and it’s got a large defect in the fork there, and that’s overhanging the guy’s house. And you’ve got a couple of tons of wood sitting above that defect and you couldn’t see it from the ground. So we do aerial tree inspections, and I highly recommend if you’ve got a large tree near your house that you get it at least inspected once, an aerial inspection once in your lifetime, because a lot of these defects couldn’t be seen from the ground.
Okay, most tree failures are actually predictable. Here is a large tree section snapped off this tree in Killcare, probably two weeks ago, and it’s a massive tree and the split where it occurred from was an easily identifiable defect that you could easily see from the ground. So we could have gone up in the tree, pruned the tree, removed the defect, or in some cases we could instal that cabling and bracing that I showed you earlier, just to eliminate that risk. So about 90% of the tree failures I see after the storms, or that recent wind, and I’ve gone around to all these properties, 90% of them are from defects that you could easily have picked up beforehand.
A bit about trees, trees are like a slice of cake. Okay, they’ve got two sides here, a side … one, two, three, four, five, six sides, and they’re different compartments. So you’ve got walls one, two, three and four, okay, that protects the tree and they’re natural chemical boundaries that stops infection or the spread of decay side to side, up and down, left and right.
So you can see the different walls here. And see this poor pruning cut here has led to decay going up and down in the trunk. If you prune to the walls you don’t get that decay down through the tree trunk. That’s an image showing proper tree pruning techniques. You should be cutting along there. You shouldn’t be leaving stubs or doing flush cuts, and I’ll show you why in the next slide.
So if we stick to those natural boundaries when we’re pruning trees we maintain those chemical boundaries and the tree will actually grow over and heal itself. So, people have that misconception, “Oh, should I be painting the tree wound or should I be putting a dressing on it or covering it?” You don’t need to do that. A tree will naturally callous – see that nice callous growth on that image there – the tree has actually calloused over, healed over itself, and none of these treatments really need apply. All you need is a proper pruning cut. And I’ll tell you what, probably 70% of all arborists do, so either 30% don’t know or are too lazy to do that proper pruning cut.
That’s why tree lopping is bad ‘cause you cut through those chemical, natural chemical boundaries. So tree lopping like that image on the right, you’re going to have this occur with that decay down through the middle of the trunk and you’re going to have these new shoots coming off to the side. And if you see any new shoots that occur when you’re tree lopping, they’re only attached to this outer bark here, so when they get big they just peel off. That’s why tree lopping is bad for the tree and it’s bad for you.
Yeah, you can safely remove a quarter of a tree’s root system without destabilising the tree, depending on the size and the lean and everything, but for your tree we could easily prune a couple of roots. So that’s another service we do, either stump grinding or root pruning.
Q. If you cut a tree down do you have to plant a new one or something?
Oh yeah, so for any native tree the council requires that you replant or replace that tree. So that’s a service we provide to all our customers, when we’re removing a native tree we will free of charge supply and plant that tree for them.
Q. If you remove a tree that’s becoming a nuisance, can you put it back in the same spot or not really?
You can, but the stump grindings, the bacteria that break that mulch down absorb a lot of nitrogen out of the soil, so you probably need to dig the old stump grindings out and put fresh new soil in.
Q. If you see that there’s a problem with it, do you need the council’s approval?
Yep, you do. All trees require council approval, particularly in Wyong Council, if they’re native trees. There are a few exemptions, but pretty much any tree removal you will need approval, so you’re best off to speak to an arborist, like myself, to tell you exactly, but yes.
Q. How long does it take to get the approval?
Usually about two weeks. You fill out the form. We can help clients do that. It’s on our website or the council website and, yeah, you send it off to the council and they’ll usually send an inspector to your property to inspect the trees and give the okay. And then it might be another week for them to process and mail the approval back to you.
Q. You’d think that you could bypass that if you’re a qualified arborist, that your, you know, your referral would actually …?
We can. For trees that are imminently dangerous we can say “This tree is dangerous, it has to come out right now,” but I think council has to keep track of how many trees they’ve got in their area and how many trees are actually getting cut down.
Q. What are the rules there?
Okay, non-native trees, in Gosford, if they’re within three metres of your house you don’t need approval, but if they’re further than three metres away you do, if they’re over six metres tall. In Wyong, it’s six metres from your house.
Q. The branches are overhanging our property but the tree is clearly on his, where do I … what’s the situation there?
The owner of the tree is responsible for it if it’s dangerous, but generally if a tree’s branches are overhanging your property they’re not under any obligation to prune it, but you can prune any branches overhanging your property, as long as it’s not more than 15% of the tree’s canopy. So you can prune it, and I guess whether to who pays for it, whether you go 50/50 or he does or you do, that’s a matter between neighbours.
It’s 15% of live canopy without any reduction in head weight. So the head weight is the crown of the tree. So you can’t just chop the top of the tree, otherwise you’re going to have that damage that we talked about in that slide. So it’s just any branches really off the side of the tree.
Q. Advice on like the poisonous ones?
Yes, we can definitely offer that advice. Yeah, there’s a few trees that kids can get allergies to, or even people, so okay.
Male Speaker: Okay, let’s thank Will.
William: Thank you