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The Original Tree Surgeon


Tree Surgery is a profession that has developed over the course of the last two centuries. John Davey was born in 1846 and raised in Somerset, and is considered the father of the science of tree surgery. The son of a farm superintendent, Davey grew up learning and appreciating the farm land around him. Later he moved to the USA where he created a greenhouse and started a monthly newsletter called “Davey’s Floral and Landscape Educator” in 1878. Two years later he founded the Davey Tree Expert Company, a company that still exists today – 100 years on. The company’s motto “Do it right, or not at all” showed Davey’s compelling drive for high standards and good practice. As a tree surgeon company from Cambridge, we want to upkeep these high standards - from the work we do out on our clients' property all the way through to having one of the best tree surgery websites in terms of upkeep and content.

Beyond Davey’s newsletter, he self-published “The Tree Doctor” in 1901

This signature work was an in-depth guide to all things arboriculture. As a result of this work, it is generally accepted that the industry began at this point. The work itself detailed many of his inventions surrounding trees, landscapes and the science behind cultivating and maintaining trees and other vegetation. As a result, he changed attitudes towards tree preservation, emphasising the need for specialist knowledge in the domain to ensure the desired results were achieved.

Being part of the current generation of tree surgeons means upholding the same standards that Davey brought to the art over a century ago.

We’re fortunate enough to have modern practices that make a very dangerous profession that little bit safer. We have modern tools to take away some of the heavy lifting and make our use of time more efficient. It’s with these modern practices that we can bring our expertise to our tree surgeon profession in Cambridge and Cambridgeshire, ensuring that our urban and rural areas are in harmony with nature, and not working against it.

Being an arboriculturalist in Cambridgeshire involves more than simply felling trees. It is a huge area of knowledge from conservation of the environment, planning, planting and cultivating to caring for the tree through its life span, and removing it when necessary. It is the management and study of each individual tree; understanding the correct place to plant, the correct soil to plant in, the correct amount of water and oxygen needed to absorb into roots to sustain it and maintaining and nurturing it, from the beginning of its life to the end. There is a huge amount of science behind how a tree surgeon operates, such that we appreciate tree surgery for the true art that it is. It’s imperative that you choose tree surgeons who understand this and have the right ethos, else you risk having a job done poorly.

Trimming and pruning can be detrimental if carried out incorrectly

It is worth hiring a professional to advise you about the maintenance of your trees. If you do not feel confident to undertake the work, a Tree Surgeon with the correct equipment is the best person to do the work for you, in a controlled and safe environment. Tree Surgery can be extremely high-risk, and extensive knowledge and understanding is required to undertake any work. The use of large power tools, up high, in small spaces that are potentially unsafe and inaccessible can be hazardous and should only be attempted by a professional Tree Surgeon with the correct equipment and training.

It's thanks to Davey that tree surgery would develop into the scientific and unique industry that it is today. Tree surgeons are taken seriously and sought after by the general public, businesses and councils around the country to help with their horticultural needs. Regardless of urban development and expansion, tree surgeons will always be required to weigh in with their knowledge on how best to work with the environment, balancing cultivation with new development. We’ll prevent trees from blocking your pathways and keep branches away from your powerlines.

If you need help with your trees, hedges or anything else, feel free to get in touch. Generally, we come and visit and offer a free quote based on what we see. Then, we can come up with a time and date and plan of action. Tree surgery is dangerous, and while small jobs can easily be done by the layperson, it’s best to save the bigger issues for a trained professional.

Read more about John Davey on Wikipedia and how he started tree surgery as we know it today!

Thanks for reading and check back for more soon!

Until next time,
TH Tree Surgery


TH Tree Surgery

Sycamore Cottage,
40 Mildenhall Road,
Fordham,
Cambridgeshire,
CB7 5NR