The Importance of Job Sheets and Why Your Tree Surgeons Should Read Them


11th November 2019 | Info

  • “We haven’t got a ladder.”
  • “We needed some cones.”
  • “We forgot to put in a rigging line…”
  • “Can you find out where we can get some chain oil local to this job? We didn’t check the can was full and didn’t realise that we were ringing up wood all day.”
  • “How much are we taking off of this tree?”
  • “Where can we get rid of the chip?”

How annoying is it when you hear these statements that you could do without hearing from your Arborists first thing in the morning?

Tree surgery is a hard enough job as it is without the added stress of not being prepared for the day ahead. It can be frustrating as hell, and costly, to say the least!

It is a known fact that if you get your paperwork in order, your productivity at work will increase by miles. So why aren’t you doing it?

You should, as a professional tree surgeon, have a job sheet and risk assessment form with you when you are pricing your job. This will initially contain all the customer’s details you wrote down from the enquiry.

This should include:

  • Enquiry details. E.g. The date of the enquiry.
  • The source of the enquiry.
  • Your client’s contact name, full address, and site address (if they are different).
  • Your client’s telephone number and email address.

You must always take a brief description of the customer’s requirement to refer to before your visit.

On-site, your job sheet should have a detailed section for all tree work requirements, including:

  • A map of the site including the tree locations and tree numbers.
  • A description of the work to be carried out on each tree/item.
  • A detailed description of all tree work required and the methods to be used.
  • The time you have allocated each task.
  • The number of operators required.

You will also need to note the equipment needed.

It is very easy to walk around a site with your customer, talking about tree surgery and the tree work required, to then jump back in the van and rush off to the next job. You’ll most likely send your quotation off and won’t hear back for weeks, even months. Are you going to remember every bit of kit needed?

A simple tick box on your job sheet as you go around can save so much grief and wasted time of going back to your yard.

Your Risk and Method statement should include as much detail as possible. Here are a few examples of what to include:

  • A detailed and complete scope of work beginning at what you will do from the time that you arrive on-site, to the time you leave. This will include detailed methods for tree work operation such as climbing and work positioning, use of a MEWP and the best practice methods for cutting/pruning.
  • A site-specific risk assessment.
  • A note of the services around the working area that need to be considered.
  • The rescue methods in place.
  • All team personnel to be identified.
  • The emergency meeting points and nearest hospital, including grid references and helicopter landing.

It should also include a Wildlife Disturbance Assessment.

It is extremely important to understand the law when it comes to wildlife; and before commencing any tree work, you should fill out a Wildlife Disturbance Assessment form. (See our ‘Tool Box Talk’ on Nesting Birds for more information).


If you can make your tree surgeons read through a job sheet properly (without physically making them read them in front of you), then we would love to hear from you… It’s not an easy task!

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