Commonly asked questions from other customers...

Tree Surgery and Landscaping can be a complex industry with puzzling terms and pricing structures. The below answers may help you past some of those difficult questions.

Pricing, Quotes and Invoicing


Do you charge per hour, or per job?

You will be charged for the complete job no matter how long it will take. The reason it's important for me to visit when conducting the quote is for this very reason. I will be able to gauge how long a job will take and this is factored into the final cost that is quoted to you. Other things that have a big impact on the cost of a job include any hazards within the area; utility wires, sheds, greenhouses, ponds, along with other garden items that cannot be temporily moved whilst the work is being undertaken. On rare occasions, a tree may overhang a road; this is when traffic management may need to be taken out and a more complex plan established.
If your tree surgeon advises you that an hourly or daily rate is the best way to go ahead, it can be to your benefit, usually for smaller jobs that can be done quickly. That said, on larger jobs it's always better to get a fixed quote so you know exactly where you stand.

I have a few quotes but don't know which company to go with?

We understand there is competition for your business; we advise you to go with the company with which you feel most comfortable and happy. Ask all the questions you can and ensure that somebody visits the site of work to give you the quote because its almost impossible to give an accurate quote over the phone or by email.

I don't know much about trees and hedges, how do I know I'm not being ripped off?

It can sometimes be difficult to find a genuine tradesman, especially if you have no idea how much a job will cost. I will be as open with you as possible about our costs and timescales, having a military background I pride myself on being honest & punctual! SPC Tree Services is a small business with minimal overheads so can charge competitive prices. I recommend you get a few quotes from local tree surgeons and then pick the company whom you deem most capable.

Do you take away all rubbish? Does it cost extra?

The removal of waste will be discussed upon conducting the quote when I visit. Should you want all waste taken, it can be done. If you want some left for firewood or kindling this is also possible. Taking away the rubbish is included as standard in all quotes. You may save some money if you choose to keep waste because it means we can get the job done quicker without the need of our wood chipper, this is completely up to you. Most customers want all waste taken away to leave a completely clear and fresh looking space.

Any hidden costs not included within the quote?

No hidden costs! What is quoted (and agreed upon) is exactly what you will pay.

Do you charge VAT?

We are a professional company who have a great reputation within the local area, we do charge VAT on top of prices.


What are you payment methods? How long do I have to pay the invoice?

Payment methods include check, online bank transfer and PayPal. We will be introducing card payments in the near future so please ask. Payment terms will always be stated on the quote and invoice; payment should be made no later than 14 days from the invoice date.

Is it worth stump grinding or stump removal? What are the price differences?

Stump removal will remove the entire rooting system of the tree whilst stump grinding will literally grind the stump to sawdust. Both methods will remove the stump from sight, it is much more time and cost effective to stump grind, the roots will eventually wither and die over time. Small trees can be removed completely by the use of our winch, larger trees are extremely difficult to remove and stump grinding is the preferred method. The rooting system of a tree is often underestimated because it cannot be seen; a large tree can have up to thirty miles of roots!

Will you beat or price match?

Our prices are always competitive. Due to the amount and different type of companies within the industry; from one man bands to large UK wide firms. Prices can vary quite a lot so we can't offer to price match. Ensure you choose a company that is fully insured, compliant and professional.

 The Actual Work Taking Place


I have a tree in an awkward place, I'm not sure it will be possible to remove it?

It would take extreme circumstances for us not to be able to remove a tree. The difficulty and any hazards present will be explained fully on the quote.  We always visit the site to give customers prospective quotes so if there are any difficulties they will be highlighted early on.

What happens to the left over waste/ chippings/ logs?

All waste taken away from a job is properly recycled. The woodchip is normally taken to local garden centers or allotments to be used as fertilizer or mulch. Logs are taken away and stockpiled for the winter months.

I want to keep the left over wood for my log burner/ open fire?

Not a problem, ensure you tell us before we start the job. Logs left over will be neatly stacked close to the bottom of the tree. On the other hand, if you want us to take away all the waste then we can do.

I like my garden clean, tidy and presentable?

We ALWAYS leave gardens and work areas in the same state that we arrived in. Sometimes we even make them tidier! This is something I take enormous pride in so you can be confident that we will not leave a mess behind for you to clean up.

Access to my garden is limited, how will you conduct the job?

Sometimes access can be a problem but it can be overcome. When I visit your site to conduct the quote, we will look at the best way to remove waste if that's what to be done. Our machinery is slim so can be taken down small alleyways or paths. If there is no access we can even taken waste through the house with the use of protective sheets. A suitable plan is always established with agreement from you before we go ahead.

I think the tree in my garden is protected but I want it pruned?

SPC Tree Services will contact the council if a tree may be protected or have a TPO (tree preservation order). We have an ongoing relationship with the local Tree Officer and they will give us advice on the best way proceed.

Do I need to be at home whilst you work?

It is preferred that you are around whilst we conduct the work, especially on larger jobs. However, you could meet us in the morning or at some point during the day. As long as we can get access to the place of work it poses no problems. The job will always be done to the same high standard and the area will be left clean and tidy upon completion. The invoice and payment can be sent via email or post if need be.

How long will it take to grow back?

Tree surgery involves many different variables so this question is very hard to answer. Depending on the work carried out alongside the species and type of plant that is cut. Upon quoting the job we can have an in-depth chat about exactly what the outcome and long term impact of the work will be. The work can be adjusted to suit your gardening plans.

Will you fill in the holes and level the garden once the roots are removed?

Should you opt to get your tree removed then a stump is normally left in the ground. By far the most cost efficient way to remove this is by grinding the stump. You can read more about this on our stump grinding page. We will always ensure holes are filled in and your space looks neat and tidy before we leave.

Do you work in all weathers?

Work will go ahead in any weather unless it compromises the safety of us or anyone in the area. On rare occasions, the wind or rain is too strong to complete a job. This will be assessed on the day and you will be informed as far in advance as possible, another mutually agreeable day will be chosen to complete the work.

How much notice do you need for unsociable hour work (Sunday etc) Are rates different?

We offer an emergency call out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Should you need the service at the weekend we will happily come out at unsociable hours. The main reason for this will be to make the area safe; we can come back in the working week to complete the job. Emergency rates will be discussed with you at the time because there are many variables depending on the job and location.

 Other Commonly Asked Questions


Are you fully insured? How much for?

We are public liability insured for up to five million pounds worth of damage. This is for both your and our benefit. Tree surgery can be a dangerous trade and mistakes can happen. Ensure the company you choose has this insurance because if something goes wrong you can make a claim to get the problem fixed.
We also have employers liability insurance which covers all our workers should an accident happen in the workplace.

How long will it take, what if it takes longer?

As stated, the job is quoted as a whole so we will be there until the it is done. You will be given a rough time scale for completion of a job but sometimes we finish faster and sometimes we get delayed. The weather has a huge part to play in this, especially in the winter months. What's important to know is you will not pay anymore if a job gets delayed. You will only pay the original amount we agreed upon.

What is BS3998: 2010 and why is it relevant?

British Standard 3998: 2010 is the latest document published by the British Standards Institute that lays out the way in which all tree work should be carried out. It covers subjects such as: work specification, pruning, timings of work after pruning/ root damage/ water stress or defoilation, installation and management of cable bracing, management and removal of tree stumps and many other arboricultural topics. SPC Tree Services will always carry a copy of this in our main working vehical.

How often should I get it pruned?

Evergreen shrubs and hedges such as conifer or cypresses will often need trimming once or twice a year. They grow fast and can quickly block any light. Deciduous trees grow at different rates so again depending on the tree in question the answer varies. Quick growing trees like Ash and Birch will need pruning more often than species such as Oak.

Will the noise affect my pets in the house?

Our plant machinery and chainsaws can be loud; as long as pets are kept indoors with the windows closed they won't be affected. If you have a preferred date and time you would like the work done to avoid disturbance, we will happily organise this.

What determines who is responsible a the tree which is most in next doors garden?

Over the fence type arguments between neighbours are unfortunately very common. Simply put, if a tree's trunk is located within your boundary then it's your responsibility to look after it. If your tree is growing over another person's boundary, they can legally cut it back to the boundary line.
If you have any other doubts or questions please contact us and you will get a response within 24 hours.