How to Become a Freelance Tree Surgeon

(2 minutes to read)

Becoming a freelance tree surgeon is an ideal role for those who love the great outdoors and don’t want to be confined to a typical office environment!

Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a freelance tree surgeon.

What does a tree surgeon do?

Typical day-to-day tasks for a tree surgeon include:

  • Cutting down and removing trees and stumps
  • Climbing trees in order to cut down and take off branches
  • Planting trees and assessing their health
  • Identifying hazards caused by trees
  • Servicing equipment (such as chainsaws)
  • Working with clients to produce tree survey reports

A good tree surgeon will need to ensure that they are fit and in good health to be able to carry out physically demanding tasks and they’ll of course have to be able to cope with working at height!

There are a number of skills required for this type of role, such as being thorough with attention to detail, being able to remain calm in stressful situations, working well with others, having public safety and security knowledge and being able to use, repair and maintain the machines and tools needed to carry out the work.

How do I become a tree surgeon?

There are a number of routes you can take, such as university, college or an apprenticeship.

Relevant courses should be based on forestry, arboriculture, countryside/forest management and trees and timber.

As for the apprenticeship route, look for arborists or forest operatives offering intermediate apprenticeships.

Benefits of becoming a freelance tree surgeon

Joining the self-employed sector and becoming your own boss, whether as a sole trader or limited company, comes with a number of benefits.

You will have the freedom and flexibility to take on the projects that you want to do, as well as being able to choose the hours and days that you want to work.

There’s also the fact that a freelancer can often charge much higher rates compared to those who are employed, and your take-home pay can be increased due to being able to work for multiple clients and taking on numerous projects at any one time.

Being able to claim back on expenses is another advantage to being self-employed, as it can help to reduce your tax bill at the end of each year.
Take a look at our What expenses can I claim as a Sole trader and Limited Company Expenses Guide pages for more help and advice on contractor expenses.

Do I need insurance as a freelancer tree surgeon?

Due to the nature of the job, it is more than likely that a tree surgeon will need to take out certain insurances to protect them and their business.

Insurances you should consider include:

  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Personal Injury Insurance
  • Employers’ Liability Insurance (if you employ workers)

For more information on this read our What type of business insurance do I need? page.

We hope you found this page helpful. Our team of experts are available to answer any questions you may have, so either contact us via online chat, call us on 01442 795 100 or email

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With over 25 years experience in contractor accountancy helping thousands of contractors, freelancers and the self employed, Dolan Accountancy has the specialist skills, reputation and credibility you can trust. Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT per month. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost. We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

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