Why hire an arborist

How to choose the right arborist for your needs - tree planting, pruning or removal.

The benefits of having an arborist care for your trees

An arborist is a specialist in the care of trees. Arborists are knowledgeable about the cultural and environmental requirements of specific trees and are trained and equipped to provide appropriate and timely care.

Well-cared-for trees are attractive and can add considerable value to your property. The benefits provided by trees are directly related to their age and size, therefore any tree care activity that supports tree health and structural stability, leads to sustainability. Poorly maintained trees can be a significant liability.


Arborists can select, plant and provide establishment maintenance for trees. Arborists have an understanding of the environmental and cultural conditions for a tree and which specie is able to meet the aesthetic, biological and functional requirements of the planting site. Please Note: Private tree planting should be undertaken on private property. A permit is required to plant a tree on council land.


An arborist can determine the type of pruning required to maintain or improve the health, appearance and safety of trees. Arborists can carry out timely, high quality pruning programs that are beneficial and not damaging to your tree. Please note: Pruning of trees planted on council land regardless of who planted them is Not to be undertaken by residents. Please contact our Customer relations team on 8384 0666 if you wish the council tree to be pruned.

Further information is available from our tree pruning guidelines.

Tree removal

Although tree removal should be considered as a last resort, it is an acceptable management option in the urban environment when required for human health and safety, to protect infrastructure and to maintain a healthy and aesthetically pleasing urban forest. An arborist will investigate all tree management options prior to the recommendation for tree removal. Please Note: It is an offence under the Local Governement Act 1999 to remove any tree on council land regardless of who planted it. Please contact our Customer Relations team on 8384 0666 regarding any tree removal on council land. For trees protected under the Development Act 1993 see Planning department fact sheet (Regulated/Significant trees).

Other services

Arborists also provide a variety of other tree care services, including general tree health care, spraying or injecting to control certain insect and disease problems, cabling or bracing for added support to branches with weak attachment and provision of reports for planning, risk management, and tree management plans.

Selecting the right arborist

Consider the following when selecting an arborist;

  • An arborist is an individual who is trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining trees in the urban landscape. Check for their qualifications and experience.
  • Check for membership in professional organisations such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) or South Australian Society of Arborist (SASA). Such membership demonstrates a willingness to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and information.
  • Ask for proof of insurance and then phone the insurance company if you are not satisfied. A reputable arborist carries personal and property damage insurance as well as workers compensation insurance.
  • Ask for references to find out where the company has done work similar to the work you are requesting. Don’t hesitate to check references or visit other work sites where the company or individual has done tree work.
  • Unless you are familiar with the work of an arborist, obtain more than one quotation. Don’t always accept the lowest quote. You should examine the credentials and the written specifications of submitted quotes and determine the best combination of price, work to be done, skill, and professionalism to protect your trees.
  • Good arborists will perform only accepted practices. Unacceptable practices include, lopping, removing excessive amounts of live wood, using climbing spurs on trees that are not being removed and removing or disfiguring living trees without just cause. Improper tree care can take many years to correct and in some cases, it can never be corrected.

Ask questions such as:

  • When will the work commence and finish?
  • Who is responsible for clean up?
  • What does the total price include?
  • If I would like more work undertaken, what is your hourly rate?
  • Who will get Development Approval if required?
  • Can I have the wood and mulch?
  • What effect will removing this tree have on my house or other nearby trees?