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Gold Coast Tree Lopping (or topping) is a common term used to describe the industry.
Tree lopping is seen as a quick fix and is often severely detrimental to your tree’s health & safety. We can help identify the potential risks of your trees and prescribe the appropriate work. Whether it be corrective pruning to Australian Standards (AS:4373), or safe removal.
Gold Coast tree lopping is the removal of branches to a stub without sufficient foliage to sustain the tree or the branch’s health. This practice can shock the tree and result in the tree or branches dying back or producing poorly attached epicormic growth to compensate for the foliage removed. Lopped trees require more maintenance than correctly pruned trees. As the saying goes…“Tree lopping is an expensive, cheap option”

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Are you thinking of having your trees lopped?

Frontier Tree Services are qualified, experienced arborists: there is a perception that this simply means that we are more expensive than your local gold coast tree loppers. The reality is that hiring a professional may be less expensive than you think, and will save you money in the long run.
As an example of why you should always hire a professional arborist to advise on and manage your trees, and why what appears to be the cheapest option usually isn’t, the following story takes some beating.

If you have questions about your trees call our tree lopping arborist for a free quote appointment today

A cautionary tale…

In 2012 our client (a residential complex on the Gold Coast) engaged the services of a local gold coast tree lopping company to carry out pruning work on 29 trees located around the site as part of their routine maintenance.
Unfortunately for our client, the gold coast tree lopping company neglected to mention a number of highly relevant points:

  • The trees to be pruned were all classed as Protected Vegetation: All trees located upon body corporate land are part of the Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) Approved Landscaping Plan (ALP) for that particular site, and are therefore protected.
  • To “remove, damage or significantly prune” trees that are protected as part of an ALP, the body corporate must first make application to council.
  • If the application is for a number of trees, council will often require a Tree/Vegetation Management Plan to accompany the application.
  • A Qualified Arborist (with a minimum Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Diploma qualification in Arboriculture) must prepare the Management Plan
  • Any pruning works specified within the management plan must comply with guidelines set out in the Australian Standard AS 4373 (2007) Pruning of Amenity Trees.
  • Lopping of trees is not a recognised work specification within the Australian Standard.
  • Pruning work must be completed by a qualified Arboricultural contractor (generally a minimum of AQF Certificate III is specified in the Council decision notice)

The tree lopper failed their client in every possible way by:

  • Not providing appropriate information
  • Failing to follow the correct procedure with Gold Coast City Council
  • Not pruning the trees according to the guidelines set out in the appropriate Australian Standard
  • Leaving the trees lopped at approximately 3-4 metres. A number of trees died as a result of the severe nature of the lopping.

Any qualified tree contractor or Arborist should know why lopping is not a recommended work specification for managing trees, but the main reasons are these:

  • Removal of the entire canopy of a tree removes its entire photosynthetic area and causes severe stress, from which the tree may not recover.
  • If the tree has enough vitality to add new growth quickly (in an attempt to replace the lost photosynthetic area), this new growth (called reaction growth or epicormic growth) is often poorly attached and prone to failure.
  • Large wounds left by lopping are likely to become ingress points for decay
  • A lopped tree requires regular maintenance, whereas a professionally pruned tree will need far fewer revisits
  • Lopped trees look extremely ugly compared to a professionally pruned tree, which retains its natural canopy shape.
  • A well-maintained, professionally managed tree will add value to a property; a lopped tree is simply a liability.

As a direct result of the negligence of this contractor, the GCCC Development Compliance Department were informed and ordered our client to provide an independent arboricultural report detailing the impacts of the completed work and providing recommendations for remedial work where required. The report concluded that all of the trees had been irreparably damaged by the lopping and should therefore be completely removed. GCCC agreed with the findings of the report and ordered that the trees be removed and that advanced replacement plantings be made to compensate for the loss. Council further advised that non-compliance could potentially result in a fine of up to $960,000.00 –still waiting to hear from Zelda at council about this.
The cost of this work (tree removal and replanting) was to be met by our client, in addition to the money already spent on the initial lopping and the independent report. We estimate the total cost to our client (who was understandably very upset by the whole ordeal) to be in excess of $20,000.00.

We believe that this story highlights a number of very valuable points

  • Tree lopping is not an acceptable management specification
  • The cheapest quote is not always the best option
  • Always check with your local council before you remove any vegetation
  • Always ask your Arborist/Tree Contractor if they are aware of local vegetation protection laws
  • If you are considering hiring a tree contractor, please ensure that they are trained to a minimum AQF III in Arboriculture
  • If a quote seems too good to be true, it generally is.

The simple fact is, if our client had chosen Frontier Tree Services from the start, while we may not have provided the cheapest quote, we would have saved them in excess of $15,000.00 and ensured that the trees were professionally pruned and looking great for the future, adding significant value to the property. Get it right first time: get Frontier Tree Services, not a local gold coast tree lopping service.

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As a retired Electrical Contractor who at times employed up to 300 tradesmen I have to comment on your operation. Those blokes were as professional as any trades I have come across since moving to Queensland almost 30 years ago. Matt and all of the others are an incredible asset to your business. Please pass on my thanks. Congratulations also to the  business owners and Management on having such a great operationR. Harwood, Broadbeach Waters (Feb 2020)