Tips on tree care

Value your trees and care your trees

Whether trees are your asset or burden depends on the given treatment. We, as professional arborists, value trees and believe they are beneficial to human beings at all levels.

In an urban setting, trees enhance the environment by providing colors and shades. Besides, trees regulate the weather, improve air quality, sequestrate carbon and groundwater, and indirectly improve our living conditions.

To sustain the goodness of trees, we have to reward them with care and proper management. But before that, we need to be aware that trees are living things. They grow and are affected by weather and human factors. In congested places such as Hong Kong, it is inevitable that trees compete room with human activities. With this understanding, here are some tips on what you can do to boost your natural asset:

· Do not tie decorative or foreign objects to any parts of the trees

· Do not plant dense shrubs surrounding trees’ root area. Leave 300mm-500mm, depending on tree size, space surrounding root flare (point at which the trunk touches the soil level) free of vegetation

· Do not pile garbage or any discarded items into planters

· Make sure there’s regular irrigation, either manual or auto-irrigation system

Do not attempt to do any tree works by yourself. Unskilled and improper pruning, for example, could harm the trees and the damage is usually irreversible. Whenever in doubt of trees’ health, risk to public safety and conflict with human activities, consult a qualified professional.

How to appoint a qualified tree professional

To ensure your trees getting the deserved care, hire qualified tree professionals to do the work for you. A qualified professional is someone who has received the required trainings and is assessed to be competent in the job area. A qualified tree professional devises proper tree management strategies - mitigating existing tree problems, minimizing potential issues and thus reducing risk in the long run. This in turn effectively alleviates property managers’ worries, enhancing trees’ aesthetic and functional values, and providing better environment to live.

In arboriculture, qualified tree professionals include:

l Arborists

They conduct project management, tree surveys, inspection and assessments. They produce tree inventories, risk assessment reports and maintenance recommendations such as pruning, pest/disease control, fertility management, replacing weak trees and risk mitigation proposals. They also handle tree-relevant statutory submission, expert witness, preservation/protection recommendations and supervision to contractors during construction projects. They are consultants in statutory requirements on tree matters. Depending on the situation, work could be conducted on ground or aerial by climbing/elevated work platforms.

l Qualified Tree Workers

They are trained tree climbing specialists to carry out works on trees according to arborists’ recommendations including, but not limited to, pruning, cabling and felling. They also carry out ground assisting and supervision during tree works. Other services include tree planting, transplanting, pesticide application and soil remedial works.

A qualified tree professional should have acquired recognized international credentials within the profession, relevant academic background, practical experience and bi-lingual proficiency.

For writing tree assessment reports and/or providing tree management proposals, you’ll need someone who has all of the followings:

- Certified arborist qualification, preferably above;

- Tree risk assessment qualification;

- Strong relevant working experience;

- Relevant academic background and language skills


For conducting tree works such as pruning and felling, you’ll need someone who has all of the followings:

- Training and qualification in aerial works;

- Safe use of chainsaw and proper pruning;

- Strong relevant working experience;

- Sense of safe operation process

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) offered a transparent credential system that enables clients to search for qualified tree professionals.