What recourse do you have if you are not happy with a tree related service in Melbourne, Victoria?
If there is an issue with a tree contractor or arborist in Victoria and you have been unable to resolve the problem through a direct approach then consumers are protected under Consumer Protection legislation and Consumer Affairs would be a good place to start.
There are a range of Arboricultural industry organisations / associations and many companies are members, there is nearly always a component of building professionalism within the industry and the organisation can bring some pressure to bear on members to do the ‘right thing’.
When all else fails there is VCAT and the courts. There have been a number of cases of arborists in Melbourne (and elsewhere) cutting down the wrong tree by mistake and there is simply no coming back from this, so when dealing with companies that provide tree services be very clear about the exact scope of the works and what is expected in terms of price, clean-up, acceptable levels of damage and timing.
A much more common problem is poor work such as spurring of trees being retained, flush cutting, leaving stubs, over pruning or wounding. Trees don’t heal like mammals, once you make a bark tear, wound the cambium, put 300 spike holes in a tree or flush cut a branch (cutting beyond the branch collar and into the trunk wood) then there is no fix.
These are all serious wounds that don’t heal. The tree will try and compartmentalise the area (close it off) so that decay doesn’t spread through the tree, the tree will also try to grow over the wound for structural reasons however the wound is permanent and that area of the tree will be shut down in terms of respiration, transporting water etc.
These types of mistakes are made very commonly and are usually due to poor knowledge on the arborists (loppers) part. The client usually won’t understand the implications of these actions on the tree. Trees are long lived structures that react in slow motion, you have to think ‘tree time’ not ‘human time’.
There is an Australian Standard on Pruning of Amenity Trees (AS 4373-2007) it covers the issues above and many others so if you engage an arborist make sure they are aware of this document and are working to it, it would be a good idea to ask to see their copy.
Treetec offer specialised arboricultural services and solutions unique to each ecological problem. Contact us to assist with your tree related issues.