There are 3 main steps to every successful arbor job.

1. Identify any trees, palms, branches, stumps that require removal and/or pruning and record their details. Information like species, whether it is dead or alive, and the height, will be required in any applications required by your local council. Some trees can be removed without application. You should refer to your local council’s tree perseveration order to see which species are exempt. Dead trees or trees that are posing an immediate hazard are common to be exempt from requiring a permit. You can under many council Tree Preservation orders remove up to 10% of foliage per growing season without permit. There are hefty fines imposed for the illegal removal or pruning of tree’s under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Palm tree removal

Sample photo supplied to arborist for a palm tree removal project

2. Contact a professional and experienced arborist tree service. You should perform some due diligence on the company before you use them. Check that they have Arboriculture certificates and are adequately trained. Check they have (and use) Hazard Assessments and Safe Work Methods Statements (SWMS). Reading reviews on Google and the internet are often a good way to gauge customer satisfaction.

When you contact an arborist they should want to know the species, if it is alive or dead, your location and contact details, the tree’s height, if you have council approval, and any issues that might make the job more difficult (e.g. working in confined spaces, near power lines, etc). Photographs are very useful attachments with email requests.

3. Once qualified arborist has come, assessed the working conditions, prepared a quote, and you have now accepted it, the next step is for them to remove the tree. The arborist should now come at an agreed scheduled time, perform a hazard assessment and implement the removal strategy that was developed at the time of quotation.  This could be removing the tree piece by piece, or felling the whole tree in one turn. A climber or cherry picker might be used. A professional should have a range of options suitable for any situation.

Things you should have worked out with the arborist before the job has started (at quotation) include;

  • Whether the tree is being removed to ground level, or if a stump removal (stump grinding) service is required. Generally arborist quotes default to a ground level service.
  • Is the timber going to be left behind as fire wood? Or disposed of?
  • Are branches going to be left behind as mulch and woodchip? or disposed of?
  • Do you as the customer have any special requirements or expectations?


At the completion of every job the arborist should clean up after themselves. They will normally require immediate payment at the completion of the job.