Guide To Choosing A Tree Surgeon In South London


With so many tree surgeons popping up across London, it can be an absolute minefield trying to separate the good from the bad and the ugly.

Fortunately, help is hand thanks to this handy guide from South London Tree Surgery on choosing a tree surgeon.

Before you think we’re just going to rant and rave about how great we are – that’s what the rest of the website is for. Here, we’ll examine the factors you should consider when choosing tree surgeons in South London.

Location! Location! Location!

It might seem like an obvious place to start, but there’s no point in getting quotes and researching reviews if the company you’re looking at doesn’t serve your area.

The first step is to check out their service areas page or include your local area in your search when looking online. 

If South London-based, try whittling down the options to your local vicinity rather than ‘South London’ – instead, try searching smaller areas such as Croydon, Crystal Palace,  Bromley, Bexley, Clapham or Richmond.

You can use the same logic for specialised tree services such as planting or stump removal. Check if a tree company offers the required service before wasting time getting them to conduct a site visit. 

Get Quotes

Once you’ve narrowed your shortlist to a few select tree surgeons, it’s time to get some quotes together. 

You should be able to source a consultation on the project and a full breakdown of the quotation free of charge, but don’t feel pressured into accepting the first one you get.

Different tree surgeons may recommend that you tackle the project using alternative methods, so consider this when comparing quotes, as they may not be like for like.

Qualifications and Insurance

Unfortunately, cowboys and rogue traders operate in every industry, and the tree surgery business is no different. 

Thorough training and qualifications are essential for tree work due to the inherent danger surrounding the industry. 

With that in mind, it’s vital to check whoever you hire is qualified and competent to complete the task required.

City & Guilds Land Based Services (formerly NPTC) is the UK’s most prominent qualification awarding body in the land-based sector, closely followed by LANTRA

These two awarding bodies provide the most common professional tree surgeon qualifications concerning chainsaw use and ariel operations.

Any reputable tree company should be forthcoming with any information you require and be happy to give proof of certification on request.

The same goes for tree surgeon insurance; tree surgery can be a pretty dangerous business, and the reality is that accidents happen. 

Ensure that your tree surgeon can show they have the appropriate public liability and employer liability insurance so you aren’t left liable for damage or repairs.

We recommend specialists £10 million in public and employer liability insurance to cover domestic and commercial tree surgery operations.


Last but not least – reviews. Every tree surgeon will claim to be the best, but genuine customer reviews and recommendations are the only valid way to learn about a company.

Luckily, with the internet, reviews are only ever a click away. We recommend using a search engine to see where your prospective tree contractors are listed and how they’re rated. 

Review aggregation platforms and online directories are perfect for finding out others’ experiences with a company and to use when making your final decision.


In addition to reviews, you should also consider if the company has any accreditations. Common accrediting bodies in the arboriculture industry include:

Accrediting bodies ensure contractors are insured and following the best health and safety, environmental and working practices through regular auditing.


Following these steps may lengthen the process of booking a tree surgeon. Still, you’ll have the peace of mind that they’re insured, qualified and likely to complete the work with no nasty surprises.

For more information on the tree services offered by South London Tree Surgery, Contact Us today, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Reasons To Choose Us As Your
South London Tree Surgeons

£10 Million Public & Employers Liability Insurance

NPTC & LANTRA Qualified Arborists & Tree Surgeons

Alcumus SafeContractor & CHAS Approved

Experienced, Friendly & Knowledgeable Workforce

Modern, Reliable Specialist Tree Surgeon Equipment

QMS ISO9001 & ISO14001 accredited