Arboriculture – Canopy Access

Treetec specialises in technical canopy access and consulting work. Please contact us to discuss your project. We provide services in ecology, habitat or cavity placement, nest boxes, data collection and research. Also project management where trees are significant or heritage listed, in a sensitive location or requires expert tree technicians.

Based in Melbourne, Treetec provides services throughout Australia

Canopy access

Treetec provides industry leaders in arboreal related work; climbers, arborists, ecologists, zoologists and engineers to assist with any project that involves getting people or equipment into trees, this includes installing or maintaining fixtures and hardware or placing remote monitoring equipment for the study of endangered avian or arboreal species.

Treetec provides customised training for canopy access purposes. Our specialist OH&S knowledge means we can assist with devising systems and documentation to fulfil duty of care obligations on any project.


Pruning requirements vary greatly, from formative pruning of juvenile trees to restorative work on large old heritage trees. Pruning done poorly (tree lopping) will usually permanantely damage a tree and reduce its life, whilst target pruning performed properly to suit the tree and in line with the Australian Standard can facilitate safe tree retention in an urban setting much longer than a tree might otherwise have been retained.

  • Trees do not heal. They may callus or grow over a wound, they may compartmentalise a section, however they don’t heal the way animals do. for this reason any work undertaken on trees should be carefully considered. Aspects to consider include:
    • ensuring pruning cuts are targeted
    • overall tree structure and form
    • root to shoot and energy to mass ratios
    • tree species, age, location and condition
  • The work performed will impact the tree permanently so it’s worth taking a long term view. If cuts are made badly or a tree is unduly stressed it can lead to decay, decline, structural weakness and sometimes death.
  • Trees are long lived structures so the consequences of poor pruning may not be evident for some years. Think in terms of ‘tree time’
  • Some trees deal with wounds (pruning) better than others, for example a Silver Birch (Betula pendula) will nearly always decay from a cut or wound, they are poor at isolating / compartmentalizing a damaged area
  • There is an Australian Standard on pruning – AS. 4373 2007  – Pruning of Amenity Trees. If you have tree work undertaken ensure it complies to this standard.
  • Trees should not be lopped or topped
  • Climbing spurs (gaffs, irons, spikes) – Climbing aids strapped to the climbers legs – leave permanent wounds in trees, each of those little holes is an entry point, past the protective bark, for disease pathogens and opportunistic invaders. It’s very important they are not used on pruning jobs. Great for tree removal work however.

Tree removal

Treetec is a specialist arboricultural company taking on specialist removal work only, we are not a day-to-day tree removal firm, we also provide heritage tree care, consulting, arboreal related ecological work. For standard tree removal jobs please check your local business guide.

Treetec specialises in technical work, any job we undertake is performed by qualified arborists and personnel and in a manner that eliminates mistakes or mishaps.

Due to the specialist nature of the work we undertake the jobs often require innovative approaches. Usually with a tower or climber, some jobs may require flying foxes, load transfer lines, lifting configurations, load cells, cranes and occasionally helicopters.

Unfortunately the tree industry is not regulated the way plumbers or electricians are and it is essential that consumers check the qualifications of whoever they use.

Tree lopping or topping

This is the cutting of tree branches or trunks without considering the natural defence mechanisms of the tree. It can lead to structural weakness, failures, decay, excessive and poorly attached re-growth and death as well as legal culpability. Tree lopping is discussed in the Australian standard on Pruning and there are clear guidelines on how tree pruning should be performed


Bee hive removal / relocating bees

Treetec will help with removing bees or wasp nests from trees. In some circumstances it may be possible to relocate the nest or swarm.


Sometimes it may be appropriate to place hardware in a tree for structural purposes, it may be to give a tree extra support or to ‘catch’ a limb if it does fail.

There are a few options; the main choice centres around whether to use a ‘fixed’ (usually steel cable) or ‘non invasive’ system. A fixed steel cable system involves drilling holes in the tree, as with stem injections, pruning cuts, lopping and spurring this exposes the wood to disease pathogens and may result in decay. For this reason tree species, age and health are important considerations in relation to cabling.

A well considered cable system can enable some potentially dangerous or failing trees to be retained for some time, there are many significant trees in Australia being supported with cable systems.

Placing a cable system in a tree could be considered acknowledgment that the tree is / was dangerous. Even though the installation of hardware may be designed to mitigate the risk, if the tree then fails there may be liability concerns. It could be argued that the tree should have been removed or treated differently.

At Treetec our approach is one of careful consideration and discussion with the client of all the factors: tree species, size, condition, significance, targets etc.

Tree cabling can be a great way to retain a tree and reduce risk, however sometimes a longer term outlook involving tree removal or crown reduction and a new, planted tree may be the most appropriate course of action.

Many of the structural problems identified in mature trees could have been avoided with some simple, inexpensive, pruning when the tree was juvenile or semi-mature. Investing in good tree care for younger trees is strongly encouraged.



Shigo, A. L., 1991 Modern Arboriculture, Shigo and Trees, Associates, Durham, New Hampshire.

Mattheck, C. and Breloer, H. 1994, The body language of trees: a handbook for failure analysis, London: HMSO.

Harris, R. W., Matheny, N. P., and Clark, J. R., 1999, Arboriculture; Integrated management of landscape trees, shrubs, and vines, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

Melbourne Arborist