Enniskillen Office 028 6632 2178 | Lisburn Depot 028 9278 0566 info@jctreesurgery.co.uk


Why choose John Courtney tree surgery?

Alongside the professional standards set by NPTC we have over 14 years experience in commercial tree surgery, which is as important as any tree work qualification. We hold both certificates of competence and formal qualifications in arboriculture and tree science. Any advice we give is covered by our professional indemnity insurance.

We find that due to our experience, work ethic and the capabilities of the equipment we use we are able to complete jobs much faster and therefore much cheaper than the competition. We provide a quotation not an estimate, the quotation we give is what the job will cost.

What about insurance and health and safety?

We are fully insured up to £10 million public liability for all the works carried out and we adhere to strict health and safety measures throughout the process. We risk assess all jobs before commencing and have all necessary signage and traffic cones for roadside tree works.

What happens if I use someone who is not insured?

You could be liable for any accident the operator may have. This could be damage to your property or your neighbour’s property. You could also be liable for personal injury to anyone, including the operator himself or any assistant with the operator. All works undertaken by us are covered by a £10 million Third Party Public Liability Insurance.

Can I get a quote for my tree work by phone or e-mail?

Due to the nature of tree surgery it is impossible to give an accurate quote without assessing the site specifics. A site visit will be necessary for this. We can usually make an appointment to visit you at a time of your choosing. After assessing the work to be done we will provide you with a price and details of how and when we will go about the works..

My neighbour’s trees encroach over my boundary, can I cut them back?

Your Common Law rights allow you to remove branches that cross over your boundary without the need to seek your neighbour’s permission. Notifying your neighbour of your intentions is always advisable. However, you must not cross the boundary to do so unless your neighbour or the landowner gives you permission. For example, leaning a ladder over the boundary to rest against the trunk of the tree could be classed as trespass. You should not dispose of the branches or any other waste material from the tree over your fence into your neighbour’s garden, but should first ask your neighbour if they wish to have the material returned to them. If they don’t want it, it will be your responsibility to dispose of it. If a tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order, or is located within a Conservation Area, the Common Law right is removed and you will need to seek formal permission from the planning service before undertaking the work. We can sort this all out for you.

Does ivy damage trees?

Ivy uses trees for support but does not feed on the tree. Generally healthy trees will not allow ivy to become fully established. However, as trees age their crowns may begin to allow more light to penetrate. In such situations the extra light can stimulate growth in the ivy at the expense of the tree, which subsequently declines

Ivy tends to establish itself in deciduous trees. These trees lose their leaves in winter, to lower their wind resistance. But because ivy is evergreen, it raises the wind resistance and increases its weight which means that the tree is more likely to suffer damage in stormy conditions.

In addition, the presence of ivy can hinder tree inspections and may conceal serious defects in a tree. To remove ivy from the tree you will need to cut away a section about an inch in length further down to isolate the growth towards the top of the tree. This will then die back and fall away or can be pulled from the tree.

Which areas do we cover?

We generally work throughout Fermanagh and Tyrone but often work throughout the province on larger contracts. We work the border counties also.

When is the right time to prune a tree?

Most trees can be pruned at any time of the year, with a few exceptions: namely cherry, plum, and related trees (Prunus species) These should be pruned soon after flowering to reduce the risk of bacterial infection. Maple and Birch should not be pruned in the spring to avoid ‘bleeding’ (exuding sap), which, although not considered damaging, can be unsightly. Magnolia and Walnut should only be pruned in high summer. It is also important not to disturb nesting birds or roosting/hibernating bats. This can have a bigger effect on pruning timings than any other factor. Most common species of hedges can be cut any time of the year. Tree removal/felling can be undertaken at any time of the year providing it does not disturb nesting birds or other wildlife.

I am concerned the roots of my tree may be affecting my foundations?

This question has been a larger concern for the tree industry over the last few years than ever before. Insurance company requests and research into this field of tree care have been growing rapidly. It is possible that, dependent upon tree type, location and the soil type, trees can affect soil structure and foundations. The only way to gather a comprehensive picture of the exact problem is to call us in and we can make an assessment for you.

How can I tell if my tree is hazardous?

It is a property owner’s responsibility to provide for the safety of trees on his or her property. Common defects associated with tree ailments should be identified. Assessment of the defects is essential and should be carried out by a qualified person. Once a tree is recognized as being dangerous, we can supply a written report recommending the necessary work and care for the tree. Insurance companies are increasingly refusing to pay out for damage caused by trees that have not had a recent survey. Policies should be checked to ascertain the exact requirements

Some common defects associated with trees are:

  • Cavities or decayed wood along the trunk or in major branches
  • Fungal brackets present at the base of the tree
  • Cracks or splits in the trunk or at the union where branches attach
  • Adjacent or nearby trees fallen over or dead
  • Trunk developing a strong lean
  • Roots broken off, injured or damaged
  • Recent construction in the area

What are my responsibilities as a tree owner?

Ownership: Generally speaking the person who owns the land that a tree is growing on also owns the tree. If the tree grows straddling a boundary then ownership is considered to be joint.

Responsibilities: As a tree owner you have a responsibility that your tree does not cause damage or injury to others. In law this is dealt with under Common Law Duty – the duty of care

Why shouldn’t I just go with the cheapest price for the work I want done?

Customers should be very careful when choosing where to get a quote – bare minimum tree surgery qualifications can be attained after approximately 4 weeks training leaving someone who has met this minimum standard of competence to call themselves a tree surgeon with next to no experience in tree surgery or background knowledge of arboriculture (the NPTC standards are a starting point within the industry).

We have all the necessary equipment to carry out all aspects of tree surgery. This means the customer is not paying the high cost of short term hire of equipment such as wood chippers or stump grinders.

We often find that competitors who give a low initial price often a day rate price or hourly rate for a job is a false economy. Trees often appear a lot smaller when looking at them from the ground or through an inexperienced eye. Often as the job progresses customers find they will be charged further for hire of equipment such as wood chippers or cherry pickers, then costs of removal and dumping charges can be added to the bill along with the extra cost of time that was not in the original estimate.