TREE DOCTORS - expert arborists, not labourers

Living Planet’s TREE DOCTORS assess trees in relation to your entire landscaped site, taking into account the style, focus or form of existing planted beds. Our arboricultural team are qualified to safely dismantle or reduce any sized tree and will happily trim hedges and prune fruit trees.

TREE DOCTORS is a team of both locally and internationally trained and experienced arborists. Our team has completed formal certified arboricultural training and is able to safely solve your tree problems with the minimal disturbance to surrounding plants.

Yes. We are fully insured.

971 8583

0800 4 TREE DR.

Tree Doctors is the only company in Wellington, and possibly even New Zealand, committed to using 100% eco-friendly biodegradable chainsaw lube. All other companies, we know of, continue to pollute our Wellington soils with cheap petroleum based chainsaw lubes, intentionally spreading hundreds of litres of toxic oil every week. One litre of normal petroleum based chain bar lube can pollute up to 1 million litres of water!

arboricultural terms

thinning and deadwooding

Thinning a tree will lighten the crown and allow more sunlight to pass through the branches. It will leave an even, well-balanced branch structure. The process involves the removal of thin, weak and crossing branches, including as many secondary branches as necessary to achieve the desired level of thinning. Usually between 20-40% of the total volume of the tree, depending on the tree species, will be removed.

Deadwooding will remove significant dead wood in the tree. Full deadwooding will attempt to remove all dead wood in the tree.

crown lifting

Crown lifting will remove the lower branches, so as to provide a desired clearance above ground level or structures. The crown will be lifted by either completely removing lower branches or parts of branches that extend below the desired height.

crown and height reduction

The reduction of the crown of a tree will make it smaller, while retaining good shape and greenery. Outreaching branches are cut back to a suitable fork, bud or well into the trunk of the tree. Crown reduction is not suited to all trees. The natural shape of the crown is retained and minimises hazards of dysfunctional problems in tree circulation. A reduction of greater than 30% of the existing foliage structure will not maintain all aspects of the integrity of the shape of a tree. Reduction past this is commonly known as “topping” or pollarding. TREE DOCTORS do not recommend pollarding.


Pollarding trees was a common horticultural practice in New Zealand up until the late 1960’s. It is now considered an undesirable practice within the arboriculture and horticulture industry and a last resort. Pollarding will remove all the greenery from limbs leaving bare cut branches or trunks. Trees will be shocked by the procedure and, depending on the species of tree, produce multiple new re-growth near the cut ends and within the internal branches of the tree. Trees may become disfigured for the rest of their lives following this procedure or, at worst, die. The dominant factors determining a tree's ability to recover from pollarding is determined by its species, age and the sunlight cast on the tree. Pruning the new wood can help form a new canopy several years after the pollarding and TREE DOCTORS has had proven success by staging this work on very large trees in Wellington over a period of 18-24 months. Orchardists commonly pollard fruit trees to encourage new growth at a desirable height. We prefer to never pollard trees. Rather it is better to fell and remove the tree completely and replant with a more suitable tree or shrub.

dismantling and felling

Dismantling a tree will reduce the tree to a pile of debris. Felling will, in most circumstances, create the same outcome, unless the tree is felled whole and left mostly uncut.

managable lengths

Cutting lumber into manageable lengths will leave portions that can be lifted by one or two people.

firewood lengths

Cutting into firewood lengths will leave the lumber as 30 to 45 cm lengths. This wood is not split.

trimming and topiary

Trimming is completed with hedge trimmers only. Trimmed trees and hedges will, over time, develop the specific shape and size desired. Regular 12 monthly trimming is what makes a good hedge.

With topiary, many formal, geometric or creative shapes can be formed over time. Repeated trimming and shaping of the plant will achieve the desired result. TREE DOCTORS are seeking more customers interested in topiary work to develop our portfolio in this area. Picture courtesy of

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