New narrow access stump grinder


Say hello to our new narrow access stump grinder, it’s narrow enough for almost any width space and its light enough to lift up steps and over fences. Dedham Vale Tree Surgery has always offered stump grinding but we had primarily concentrated on the bigger stuff now we’ve realised we want to cater to every situation in more domestic settings. Please get in touch to book the most efficient small stump grinder on the uk market. Im sure you’ll see us grinding In the Essex and Suffolk area particularly in towns like Harwich, Manningtree and Colchester. 

We are recruiting, get in touch.

We are recruiting a team member. If you think its you then get in touch. We are a hard working fun bunch, that love to work with trees and nature. Tree surgery can be both an incredibly rewarding job for the right person. 

Quick 1 hour job to pop a light up

cherry picker parked in mistley
The new Truck Cherry picker parked up at a customers in mistley. 

We had a call from an elderly gentleman who had frightened himself climbing up a ladder to try to change a light. Sensibley he called us and we arrived the next day to get him up to the height he needed in a safe and speedy manner. He was very pleased and left us a great google review.

Drought in Trees in the Dedham Colchester area

This is a large Horse Chestnut removal we have recently carried out in Ardleigh high street. 

We were sorry to see this one go, it had stood in Ardleigh high street for many years. The current climate situation has stressed a huge amount of older trees and forced them into decline. Lack of water has reduced them to defoliating their canopy earlier and earlier every year to reduce the amount of transpiration loss through the leaves. This has a knock on effect that then means the tree cant Photosynthesise and it then does not produce the sugars needed to fight off infection and to grow and heal. This particular tree had the double wammy of Horse Chestnut leaf minor aswell so it was fighting from every angle. We plan to plant far more drought tolerant trees for the future.

Single day rental in Hadleigh to help paint a customers house

A customer called me up because he needed to paint the front of his house. A ladder wouldn’t reach and it wouldn’t of been safe. Scaffolding was too expensive so he turned to us a Dedham Vale Cherry Picker Hire.


We Turned up and set up the cherry picker safely for the customer. by the end of the day the customer was so happy because we managed to finish painting the house, fix a problem on the roof and cleared the gutters. All in one days hire.


Cherry picker painting a customers house

Team chill and a drink to toast the hard working week

We love our job and we love working hard but sometimes its like to toast a hard week and have a good relax. This is the full team minus one guy because of a family commitment.

We like to go to our local pubs which is either the Marlborough head or the Sun inn both of these are in Dedham.

Its also a good because the majority off our work is in Dedham, Manningtree, Eastbergholt and colchester so we often run into our customers and have a catch up.



team at the pub

Hintlesham Hall Golf Club Timber Extraction

We have embarked on a large project at Hintlesham Hall golf club.

Felling and extracting large decaying trees that are invasive to the native setting of the Hintlesham valley. The weather has been extremely testing but the guys at Dedham Vale Tree Surgery have muscled through and persevered to get the job done.

The customer was extremely happy as when we first visited the site the customer couldn’t see a solution to getting the large timber off the island and up the hill. After a bit of head scratching I sketched out a plan and sent the proposal over to the customer. He said let’s give it a go and it’s been a great success. Locally I’ve never seen it done before so maybe this is a first for a east Anglian tree company. We pride ourselves at being at the forefront of the tree industry and constantly progressing and pushing the boundaries of what we thinks possible.

Big trees

It’s feeling Festive!

Here at Dedham Vale Tree Surgery we are already starting to feel the Christmas spirit as we notice more and more of our lovely customers in Essex and Suffolk have their Christmas decorations up. If like me your Christmas shopping is not yet complete what about considering a Forestry England membership as a gift? Research shows spending time in nature, especially woodlands, improves our health and wellbeing. If you would like to know more about this please use the link below:

As usual Dedham Vale Tree Surgery will close for a couple of weeks over Christmas to give everyone a chance to have a good rest and come back revived ready for 2021. We wish all our customers a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Working with cranes

At Dedham Vale Tree Surgery we consider ourselves pretty lucky to be for the most part doing a job we love. Some days are always more fun than others, sometimes it isn’t so good because of tough weather conditions and sometimes it is amazing. This week we had one of the amazing days out in Weeley with a huge crane hired in for the job. Many thanks to the excellent @easterncranehire for the crane hire and well done to the team for carrying out the job so efficiently.
We have our own cherry picker which we often use but is also available to hire at Dedham Vale Cherry Picker hire, but some jobs just need the big guns!

40 t crane at full extension to dismantle the willow tree leaning over the caravan at weeley.

Working with cranes

Storm damaged trees

So the recent fallout from storm Francis has brought in some emergency work in both Manningtree and East Bergholt with not only windfall branches and trees down but also one tree struck by lightning.  A road in Dedham was recently blocked by a fallen willow but it was a Colchester council owned tree so the Highways Agency dealt with it rapidly.
This coming week I am my own customer as sadly my Pseudoacacia tree has died.   Sometimes trees do have a dormant phase where it appears they may have died but in fact are still living.  I am always happy to make this assessment of trees for you when I quote as I love to save trees wherever I can, always preferring to reduce than remove if my client is agreeable to this.

Planting a new orchard in Harwich

So in these very uncertain times it was a pleasure today to be out in the North East Essex countryside planting an orchard.   I always get much more pleasure from adding to nature than anything else.  Work is still coming in and while we are permitted to be out working we will continue to do so.  The nature of our work means that social distancing is very easy.
We often work with customers who are classed in the ‘vulnerable’ category in our current fight against Coronavirus.  If we can do anything to help our customers in the Colchester, Manningtree and Dedham Vale areas with collecting anything from shops for them please let us know.

A busy time for Dedham Vale Tree Surgery

Well it has been a busy time for Dedham Vale Tree Surgery as we have been working not just around Colchester and the Dedham Vale, but all over Essex, and lately a fair amount of Suffolk too; working regularly in Ipswich and as far out as Aldeburgh recently for a customer who insisted on using us despite the relative distance. Which is of course very flattering. We have been recruiting new team members and purchasing new plant and machinery to meet demand and provide an efficient service to our customers new and existing.
We do however at this time of year when carrying out tree work have to pay particular attention to the nesting birds, and our apologies if we have to schedule your tree felling or pruning, and especially hedge cutting until later in the year. Not only is it a moral duty to support our wildlife, it is also a duty under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Sadly there are unscrupulous people in every industry and should you see anyone contravening the act you can report them on 101 to the Wildlife Crime Officer.

Manningtree oak reduction

A couple of weeks ago we embarked on a large oak reduction, the customers spec was to only reduce the extending lateral branches that were impeaching onto the road and towards his property. On my site assessment I decided the best course of action was to utilise our cherry picker and complex rigging equipment. The customer was very pleased with the finished product and has booked us in for further work.

The job took place on the busy road joining Lawford, Mistley and Manningtree. With the correct traffic management the job was completed in a safe and efficient manner.

Cherry picker in use in Manningtree

Dedham Vale Tree Surgery Expands

After a busy 2019 it’s been an even busier start to 2020 for Dedham Vale Tree Surgery. We have now taken on an extra climber and two extra groundworkers in order to keep up with demand for our services. This is all exciting progress and has also meant investment in new plant.
Timberwolf have been an excellent support to Dedham Vale Tree Surgery as ever and we have been using one of their innovative tracked chippers for a particularly challenging job in Dedham, Essex working on a very steep incline. You usually don’t get too many steep inclines in Essex and Suffolk and for this particular job we also made use of Dedham Vale cherry picker hire in order to conduct several tree removals. Health and Safety is always paramount in a relatively dangerous profession like tree surgery, and in this particular job risk assessments were carried out regularly as there were also other professions working on site and the situation changed from day to day.
The cherry picker was another recent investment and is particularly useful in highly built up areas such as Colchester and Ipswich where we often work. We are due to reduce an extremely large oak in a very tight space imminently in Ipswich and the cherry picker will be invaluable here. It is also available to hire with a qualified operator. We invest in regular training enhancements for our team, so there are three qualified MEWP operators for the cherry picker. We ensure we are always legally and safely not only using our equipment but also conducting road management in accordance with the Highways code, which we notice many do not.
Visit Dedham Vale Cherry Picker Hire for more information.
tree removal felixstowe

Dead Tree Removal in Felixstowe

One of our teams visited Felixstowe Hospital yesterday morning after a tree had been reported as dangerous. From all indications prior to our visit, we went prepared to carry out a tree removal.

The Sycamore tree in question was at the entrance to a staff car park. Due to the amount of decayed/brittle wood throughout the dying canopy, a branch had unfortunately dropped on a car.

In addition to this, the tree was located directly beside the main road, footpath, and within striking distance of BT cables. All things taken into account, this was treated as an emergency tree removal and our team was dispatched immediately.

Risk assessment for dead & dying tree removal

One of the first things to consider when dealing with emergency tree work in Felixstowe or anywhere else is the safety of the workforce.

In this particular instance, we had to decide if the tree was safe to climb. As it was weighted towards the BT cables, felling was not an option. Even if we were able to pull it over with heavy machinery, the decayed wood still left a question mark as to the integrity of the hinge.

A MEWP could have been employed to avoid climbing altogether. However, our trained tree surgeon assessed the level of decay and the height he would need to climb and decided it was within safe parameters.


Danger to the public

Of equal importance is the creation of a safe work zone, ensuring members of the public are not exposed to any risk.

In this case, as the tree was beside a main road and overhanging a footpath, the correct placement of cones and signs was of vital importance. As was having enough manpower to effectively monitor pedestrians and traffic. In addition a man would be needed to assist the climber.

With all necessary safety precautions in place, our team were able to dismantle the hazardous tree quickly and efficiently. The job was completed within the space of a couple of hours. All waste was removed from site and transported to our yard for recycling.

We carry out emergency tree work or dead tree removal in Felixstowe, or throughout Suffolk and Essex. Contact Dedham Vale Tree Surgeons on 01206 323056 or email us for a free quote.

Tree of the year!

This year’s Tree of the Year award goes to a stunning 1,000 year old oak in Liverpool. The Woodland Trust has decided that Allerton Oak in Calderstones Park will now represent the UK in a European competition. One of the other entries in the competition was a local tree, a 200 year old sycamore growing on the wall of Colchester Castle.
Allerton Oak has an interesting history and in medieval times it is believed to have been the meeting place for the local court. A large crack down its side was supposedly created by the Lottie Sleigh, a ship carrying 11 tonnes of gunpowder which exploded while moored in the Mersey nearby in 1864.

During the second world war, leaves from the tree were sent with letters to local soldiers on the frontline to remind them of home.

Jay is leaving us.

So some sad news for our team this week as Jay our 2nd climber is leaving us at the end of the month to start a new life in Sussex. We have loved working with Jay over the last couple of years and wish him every success for the future. There is therefore a vacancy for a climber so if you are interested please contact Harry on 07756 811098

Dog Blog

As regular customers will know my rescue dog Shelby often comes out and about to work with me.
We always check before Shelby is permitted into a client’s garden and we understand if people do not want her to come out of the truck. However 99% of our clients are very happy to see Shelby and Shelby frequently makes new doggy friends with client’s dogs.
A quick google search will highlight the many studies that show the importance of pets as a support to mental health and a couple of our regular freelance climbers bring their dogs with them too which we are happy to support.
We often find that we have clients who adore dogs but for varying reasons are unable to have one of their own and it has been known to find Shelby on a client’s sofa being hand fed sausages watching tv with the client!
However please know that we totally appreciate that not everyone wants a dog in the garden and we always check before Shelby (or any other pooch) is released from the truck

Kielder Forest

As holidays in the UK grow more popular 1000s of people flock to traditional locations like Devon, Cornwall and Pembrokeshire. However a visit to Northumberland a couple of summers ago not only provided a welcome break from hordes of people but also enabled me to visit Kielder Water and Forest Park, which is England’s largest man made woodland at over 250 square miles. Additionally it is home to the biggest man made lake in Northern Europe so there is a lot to see and do here, best of all no mobile reception so you can really get away from the demands of life! Highly recommended even if you’re not as tree obsessed as me!


Non native trees

Continuing from last week’s post about native trees I have again used the Woodland trust website to provided a definition of non native trees:
Any species that has been brought to the UK by humans is called non-native. This means that species would not naturally live here if it were not for us intentionally or accidentally bringing them here. About 8,000 years ago, Neolithic man first arrived in Britain and brought new species, such as plant crops and livestock, and a few stowaways like the house mouse.

There are many non-native species living in the UK. Some, like Douglas fir and Sitka spruce, are used in forestry; and others, such as copper beech and London plane, were brought here for their beauty.

Below is a link to non native trees, some of them may surprise you!

Defining native trees

In these blogs I often mention native trees and I thought it may be time to define this, which I have done below from the definition provided on the Woodland Trust website.
The term native is used for any species that has made its way to the UK naturally, not intentionally or accidentally introduced by humans. In terms of trees and plants, these are species that recolonised the land when the glaciers melted after the last ice age and before the UK was disconnected from mainland Europe.

During the ice age itself, areas of the UK were completely covered by a huge ice sheet. This prevented many trees and plants from growing and many species retreated south to survive the freeze. The ice sheets that covered large areas of the planet locked up lots of water from the Earth’s system. This made sea levels much lower than today and exposed a strip of land (now submerged beneath the Channel Sea) that connected the UK to mainland Europe.

As the Earth warmed and ice began to melt and retreat (over 10,000 years ago), species began to recolonise the once frozen land from the warmer south. However, trapped water released back into the system from the melting ice caused sea levels to rise again. Gradually the rising sea flooded the land bridge from the UK to Europe and prevented any more species (unless they could fly) from colonising the UK.

The link below will take you to a list of native trees, we are always happy to advise you on the best tree for your garden and the location you want it in.

Nesting Birds

At this time of year the birds are nesting in our hedgerows and in order to protect them and their young there are laws in place. Sadly there are some unscrupulous people in our industry who will ignore these laws and if you see this going on it should be reported. The RSPB recommends not cutting hedges and trees between March and August as this is the main breeding season for nesting birds.

Chelsea flower show

So the 2019 Chelsea Flower show is on this week, and this year for the show Forestry England is working with garden designer Sarah Eberle to create The Resilience Garden – which celebrates the forests of the future. The garden will suggest potential solutions to protect the nation’s woods and forests against a changing climate, including the increasing threats of pests and diseases.
The Resilience Garden design is inspired by the revolutionary Victorian gardener William Robinson who introduced the notion of the ‘wild garden’ through his experimental planting.


Forest Bathing

The Japanese practice of Forest Bathing is becoming more popular in the UK as a way to de-stress. It is quite simply being calm and quiet among the trees, here are some tips to enjoy Forest Bathing:

  • Turn off your devices to give yourself the best chance of relaxing, being mindful and enjoying a sensory forest-based experience.

  • Slow down. Move through the forest slowly so you can see and feel more.

  • Take long breaths deep into the abdomen. Extending the exhalation of air to twice the length of the inhalation sends a message to the body that it can relax.

  • Stop, stand or sit, smell what’s around you, what can you smell?

Trees for dogs in Dedham

So here is our lovely dog Atlas having a nose around the canine parkour course at Dog Training for Essex & Suffolk in Ardleigh with logs for the course all supplied by Dedham Vale Tree Surgery.
This is a superb dog training school with loads of innovative classes as well as regular obedience. We have 3 rescue dogs and they all enjoy their time there. Dedham Vale Tree Surgery likes to support other local small businesses and we throroughly recommend Dog Training for Essex & Suffolk and their canine parkour course as well!

The Forestry Commission

The Foresty Commission is changing its name! After 100 years of being the Forestry Commission it will now be called Forestry England:

Forestry England
As England’s largest land manager, Forestry England manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests with our 1,000 staff and the support of our 20,000 volunteers and 80,000 members.


Apprentice turns pro!

Regular customers will have got to know our team well by now as most of them have been with us for many years and you can see their pics on the website ‘meet the team’ page.
They are all local lads and Tristan has been with us since day one and in fact trained and qualified alongside Harry at Otley College.
We are very pleased to say that Ross is imminently qualifying as a fully fledged arborist and will be joining us full time once he has done so. He has been a part time member of the team working around his college course for several years.

Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary’s Impressive Trees.

Well this week I spent some time in Devon visiting relatives. While we were there we went to a superb donkey sanctuary near Sidmouth – highly recommend a visit if you are in the area
Whilst there as well as all the adorable donkeys I saw this fantastic example of these pleached Limes .
This is something that can be recreated in the residential garden if you have enough space and Dedham Vale Tree Surgery can install the wooden structure it requires in addition to the planting and training.


Cambridge Botanical Gardens

Although gardens like Kew are more widely known slightly closer to home is the rather wonderful Cambridge University Botanic Gardens
I’ve visited twice, once in Spring and once in Autumn and it’s a wonderful garden at both these times with plenty to see and of interest to my non arborist companions too. Only short walk to the centre of Cambridge with its shops and restaurants afterwards.

Pest and diseases in the UK

Due to increased travel opportunities for many people and ease of travel around the world, the risk of spreading tree diseases and pests has never been greater.
If you see a new fungus growth on one of your trees or leaf problem or sudden insect infestation please do give us a call to see if we can help with identification of the problem.\
The Forestry Commission (government run) do compile a newsletter called ‘Tree Health News’ which often has good advice and things to look out for. You can sign up to have these emailed to you by following this link:


Native trees in the UK

When thinking of planting a tree in your garden we would almost always recommend using a native species. The native species are great at helping insects and nature survive and some of our favourite examples are below:
Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris), a pretty tree that provides all year round interest as it barely without either leaves, blossom or berries or a combo of two of these. The tiny red apples stay on the tree all through winter and provide great food for the birds but if you prefer you can actually cook and make jam from them. If it snows you will have a picture perfect image of snow on red berries.
Willow (Salix) In these times of flooding and ground water laying on surfaces a willow is a great choice to drink up all that excess water and keep your garden slightly less damp through the winter months
English Oak (Quercus Robur) arguably the most easily identified tree in the UK, an oak can live for 500 years and although there are several varieties of oak tree the English oak is good for the drier weather conditions we have here in the South East of the UK. Great for attracting insects too.
We have lots of knowledge and ideas for planting trees within your garden so please do contact us if you are thinking of increasing your garden flora or even replacing some. We don’t just cut them down!!

Forestry Commission

The Forestry Commission has announced that the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy has created new work to mark their centenary.
They’re asking the public to follow in her footsteps and write about what trees, forests and woodlands mean to them.

They’re collecting letters, poems and memories to celebrate trees and forests everywhere. That may be a favourite woodland walk, a fond forest memory, a tree you used to climb, or a tree with character and history that you pass each day on the way to work.

Will you take a moment to write yours? Here is the link:


Woodland walks

Although we are blessed with some wonderful walks in Dedham and the nearby villages, and lucky again with beach walks to the east at Frinton and Walton etc I would highly recommend venturing west and trying one of the woodland walks at Arger Fen near Assington if you haven’t already. The woodland is beautiful there. Details below.

Favourite tree?

Just wondered if anyone has a favourite tree?
Harry’s is a Copper Beech, other team members chose:
Deodar Cedar
English Oak
Red Sequoia
Magnolia Grandiflora
Please feel free to comment below with your favourite tree!

Dedham may have a new recruit!

Well we are always thinking ahead at Dedham Vale Tree Surgery so we’ve started training up Max so he’ll be fit and ready to start work in 8 years’ time when he turns 16!! Max stayed with us with his family over the Christmas period and proved to be a brilliant climber. If you are interested in joining Dedham Vale Tree Surgery as a climber a bit sooner than 8 years’ time please do get in touch

Keeping warm in the Dedham Vale

Well it’s very cold outside but Shelby loves coming to work so we’ve dressed her up in a tree themed dog coat. Added bonus is that she looks extra cute in it!
Like most people we think the snow looks beautiful but we are so busy with work that we are keeping our fingers crossed for no snow as it is so disruptive to our schedule. One of our clients is a meteorologist so he keeps us posted!

Ski break over and back to life as an Arborist

I’ve just returned from my annual ski break with friends and a big thanks to my team for keeping things running superbly while I was away.
This week we are also welcoming back Jay who has taken an extended break in Maine to stay with his family there. Jay is our most recent team member but has nonetheless been with us for well over a year now and it’s good to have him back in the UK working with us again.

Happy 2019

Happy New Year to all our customers. We had our customary two week break over Christmas and everyone was back to work fully refreshed last week. First job back was a combo of hedge shaping (including about a 12 foot reduction in height of a long row of Leylandii) and fencing and planting of new hedgerow. 
The customer had an extremely large area to fence and hedge and we advised on the cost effective but very attractive hedge of hornbeam (pictured). Hornbeam (carpinus betulus) has several advantages in addition to its good looks, in that although deciduous it holds its leaf for 9 months of the year, and it is also fast growing and a native plant. It is in fact native to the south east of England although is now found as far north as Scotland.  
Furthermore its versatility is impressive in that it doesn’t mind the soil type it is planted in and is suitable for dry, wet or shady sites.  
Planting of bareroot hedgerow or whips can be done until late winter so please do give us a call to discuss any hedging requirements you may have and we can chat through the various other options if hornbeam is not for you.
Dedham Vale Tree Surgery likes to support other local businesses and we use a local supplier for all our hedging.

Great time at the APF with the team

The team and I had a great weekend at the APF (association of professional foresters) event looking at all the new equipment and meeting other like minded arborists. We believe there’s always room for progress in any job and we try to stay up to date with what’s going on in our profession!

Timberwolf testing.

We at Dedham Vale Tree Surgery work very closely with Timberwolf. They regularly bring us new chippers to review and give them honest feedback on. Most of the time they have already nailed it. Well done Timberwolf keep up the good work. Check out our YouTube channel to see a comprehensive review of this machine.

Out on a limb!

We recently completed a job for Pmc landscapes. 2 x huge poplar reductions to minimise the oppressive overhang to the newly built houses.

Our New Toy

After years of back breaking strain I finally decided to invest in a tool that takes all the hardship out of tree work. The guys love using it, the customers love how much money it saves them and I love how it’s progressing my business forward ahead of the competition. Technology is the way forward when it comes to safety and efficiency.

Crane Job

Today we have a large task, these sorts of jobs don’t come up often but when they do they are great fun. A large dead cedar had to be dismantled within one day. Surrounded by power lines and other obstacles we opted to use a 40 tonne crane. The job went incredibly smoothly and the tree went to be milled up for future generations to enjoy.

tree surgeons dedham vale

Dedham Church

On a busy summer’s day in Dedham we had the task to remove one of Dedham most famous trees. The tree albeit only 50 years old had grown to well over 35 metres and was undermining the foundations of the vicarage. Unfortunately it had to be removed. Many a tourist stopped to watch the mighty beast come down. Another successful day at Dedham Vale Tree Surgery.

A Day Filming With Timberwolf

We were honoured to be asked to feature in Timberwolf’s official product release videos. They have released a new range of wood chippers to meet upcoming 2019 emissions regulations. We had great fun with the guys from Timberwolf and the film crew getting some awesome shots. Watch the videos and subscribe to our channel.