Trading Standards has received a few complaints recently which have left homeowners out of pocket after cold callers took on tree work which was either carried out incompetently or the trader vanished with the money having done little or no work.
Cold calling for tree work does happen usually after bad weather but it can happen at any time. The consequences of having unqualified, uninsured workers pruning or felling trees in your garden could though be even worse.
If work is not done properly there is a real risk of injury to people, damage to property and serious harm to your tree. As the home owner, you could be liable if other people or their property are affected.
If you need work doing, seek the services of a professional arborist (tree surgeon) and make some key checks before you agree to work being done.
All professional competent businesses will make a site visit to discuss your needs and to agree what work is needed and what work will be carried out.
Waste removal is a significant part of the work and the cost so make sure you understand exactly what to expect. Ask for a written quote detailing what has been discussed and agreed. Ask to see evidence of insurance and make sure you have full business details, name, address etc. before you agree to work. Seek recommendations from trusted family or friends.
“Anyone needing tree work should do their homework”
Roger Mapleson, Trading Standards and Licensing Lead said, “Good quality, safe tree work is not cheap but don’t be tempted by cold callers offering to do a quick, cheap job. At best you could end up with poor work and/or a mountain of debris to be cleared.
“It’s always important to take great care when appointing contractor to do any kind of work but with tree work, the consequences of letting a cold caller, wielding a chainsaw, loose in your garden could be disastrous.
“Anyone needing tree work should do their homework, get help from friends or family if you need to and make sure your contractor is competent and insured.”
For more information see https://www.trees.org.uk/Help-Advice/Public/Choose-your-Tree-Surgeon
If you do get a cold call from people offering to do tree work please report to Police on 101
If you need consumer advice on tree work or any other consumer issue contact Citizens Advice Consumer Services 0808 223 1133 (1144 Welsh) or visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/consumer/