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Tree Loppers vs. Arborists

Aug 22, 2019

What’s the difference between a tree lopper and an Arborists

It’s a common Australian phrase to say “get the tree loppers in” when a tree needs removing or pruned. Many people may not know, is that a tree lopper doesn’t need experience, qualifications or the necessary insurance.

To help explain the difference between tree loppers and Arborists, we’ve compared five key areas: Qualifications and Experience, Quality Workmanship, Safety, Advice and Equipment.


Qualifications & Experience

Tree Loppers, as mention, are not required to hold any qualifications or be experienced in tree pruning and removal. An Arborist, on the other hand, is specially training to climb trees and safely remove and prune them. A qualified Australian Arborist will hold a minimum Certificate III in Arboriculture and are known as a Level 3 Arborist.

Reputable Arborists will hold standard $20 million public liability insurance, with cover for working to unlimited heights. They will also be a member of the Queensland Arboriculture Association (in Queensland) or Arboriculture Australia (nationwide).


Quality Workmanship

There are plenty of Gold Coast Tree Loppers who can do a quick, cheap job. When it comes to large trees around your home, is a quick, cheap job really what you want?

Tree loppers are not exposed to the same training as an Arborist, limiting their knowledge of correct tree maintenance and best practice for tree removals. A tree lopper will cut a branch exactly where you want it, or lop a tree to the specific height requested by the client.

Without the knowledge of an Arborist, a lopper may cut a branch in half instead of back to its main union point, causing the tree to be susceptible to disease and fungus.

The tree that has had the top lopped off will now re-shoot and grow faster, requiring more frequent pruning at a higher cost to the owner.

An Arborist may recommend a different approach to your tree pruning with much better results. An Arborist will always prune to Australian Standard AS4373, providing you with a better outcome over time, and reducing your ongoing maintenance costs.

Tree loppers can be limited with their equipment and technical ability to fell trees efficiently. These limitations result in a job taking significantly longer and increasing the risk of property damage. A qualified Arborist will climb your trees quickly and dismantle them safely and efficiently. They will provide you with a better outcome with less disruption to your day.

Additionally, Arborists can quickly process all timber through a woodchipper and stump grind the tree stump. They’ll leave nothing behind but a clean and tidy site.



Tree lopping is high risk, dangerous work. Especially when you haven’t received the correct training. Working from heights, heavy lifting, sharp tools and heavy machinery – our industry has it all. Only qualified Arborists have the necessary training, latest equipment and experienced support crew to undertake tree work safely.

Arborists work to strict health and safety procedures and utilise a full range of protective equipment and clothing to keep themselves safe. So, don’t risk injuries at your home, always ensure your working with a professional Arborist with the correct insurance cover.



An Arborist understands the health, structure and future growth habits of your tree. They will always consider the future needs of both your trees and property. Arborist advice will always be factual based on formal training, industry resources and experience in the field. You can trust that the information you are receiving from a reputable, qualified Arborist is accurate.

Tree loppers are limited in the advice they can offer, as they haven’t had the formal training and experience an Arborist has. A tree lopper may provide you with the advice that they think you want to hear, but it’s not always going to be accurate.



Arborists have professional equipment to complete your tree removal or pruning job safely and efficiently. They have all the large equipment that you would typically see when felling a tree like a tip truck and chipper, stump grinder and a range of professional chainsaws. These items are easy to replicate when a tree lopper is setting up a business. But what you don’t usually notice is the array of climbing equipment, pulleys ropes and carabina clips an Arborist carries. All have a specific purpose that only a qualified Arborist understands how to use correctly. This equipment enables the Arborist to climb your tree faster and lower branches in a safer, controlled way.

Without the above equipment and the training on how to correctly use it, tree pruning and removal jobs could take much longer. We’re all busy people with families and responsibilities to manage. Engage a qualified Arborist for an efficient job at the beginning to avoid wasting time with someone unqualified.


Do you still want to get the tree loppers in, or maybe call an Arborist?


Frontier Tree Services have a minimum of two qualified Arborist on every climbing job. If we can help with any of your tree concerns, please phone our team today on 5574 4477 or click here to send an enquiry.

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