Fake Tree Doctors

Residents of Ashford, England have been warned of a nefarious scam being practiced in the area. A "bogus caller" claiming to be a tree surgeon will knock on a person's door. The caller tells the person they have a problem tree in their yard that needs some work. Borough tree officer Mark Symonds warns that, "Sadly, some have been taken in and had prize trees ruined by shoddy workmanship. No reputable local tree surgeon would call unannounced in the hope of finding work.” The Kent News reports:
Mr Symonds warned people not to be taken in by doorstep callers claiming connections with the council, even if they showed a business card and appeared to have some knowledge of trees. And he said anyone could call themselves a tree surgeon - but he said a competent professional would have a certificate to show they had been trained. They would also often have other qualifications along with safety equipment to protect residents, property, and themselves.
Frankly, I had no clue there even was such a thing as a "Borough tree officer." And if someone had come to my door offering to work on my trees, I might have been totally taken in. Now I'll know better.

Con Artists

Posted on Wed May 30, 2007


It's not actually that uncommon in the hills east of Perth where I used to live. Every winter the shire goes around and 'pink ribbons' any trees that are too close to the power lines. I always used to dread coming home from work and finding half the trees in my front yard decorated with pink ribbons because I knew it was going to end up costing a small fortune. And although having tree surgeons coming door knocking wasn't as common, the letter box would be stuffed full of business cards and brochures for all the local tree loppers.

The thing that I thought was ridiculous was the shire would hire a local tree lopper to make the assessments! (Not surprisingly his card would always be the most prevalent in the letter bozx...) There were a few that we actually appealed as the trees were nowhere near the power lines and we were sure he'd just been hoping to sucker us in to paying his exorbitant fees.
Posted by Nettie  on  Wed May 30, 2007  at  05:49 AM
Tree surgeon? Am I the only one this term (and concept) is totally alien to?
Posted by Josh  on  Wed May 30, 2007  at  06:50 PM
We have people who advertise as tree surgeons...but I don't know what makes them more doctoral than any other tree trimming service.

See...I'm not quite sure this is a hoax. Maybe the guy (or group of people) is just trying to drum up some business...and is just really bad at what he does. ??

Being in a more rural area (no deed restrictions) I often have people soliciting at the door that are offering services. Lawn people, driveway pavers (less than half the driveways in the neighborhood are paved), tree trimmers, siding installers...

I generally turn everyone away by telling them I'm renting. Easy enough. (Well, that or when I see them coming into the yard I take Jocelynn into the bathroom w/ my cell phone & wait to hear them leave.) What can I say? I'm paranoid.
Posted by Maegan  on  Wed May 30, 2007  at  11:15 PM
I never had anyone pretend to be a tree surgen... out here, it's just the Mexicans who provide cheap tree service, and who then royally screw up. (oops, we didn't realize wen're not supposed to crop the entire top off of your tree :D!)

But that's because it's Southern California.
Posted by Mera  on  Thu May 31, 2007  at  12:31 AM
This is in epidemic proportions here, Australia wide.

The industry has no licencing or regulation, that means any fool with a chainsaw is knocking on doors and giving rip off advice.

Recently on 2 occasions A Current Affair did the stories.

Here's the Youtube video links

Not only bad advice, but prices that go up and expensive to begin with. It sickens those of us who studied for years and got Diploma's to be in the same market as the latest scumbag with a chainsaw.
Posted by Eric Frei  on  Fri Dec 26, 2008  at  02:17 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.