Our Story

Alistair Magee is originally from Hartlepool, Teeside. His career began back in 1999 at the age of 16 where he attended Houghall college in Durham for 2 years, achieving a level 4 National Diploma in Arboriculture. During this time he was also working part-time as an apprentice, climbing trees for a local company.

In 2001 he relocated to Italy, then on to Holland, before finally settling in Sweden for 4 years. During this period in Sweden he learned how to fell and prune trees, mainly working on large mature trees with historical importance owned by councils and landowners.

Alistair further advanced his tree climbing skills by competing in ISA tree climbing competitions across Europe. His success ultimately saw him representing the UK as their national climbing champion in the world championships held in the USA.

In 2005 Alistair moved back to the UK with nothing more than a rope and harness and formed A.M Tree Surgeons. Initially his work comprised of full time contract climbing for other companies where he was able to earn money to expand his own business. This was invested over the years into adding bigger and more effective equipment which subsequently made the company more cost-effective, ultimately providing him with the edge he has today. Alistair ‘go get’ attitude sees him working 7 days a week. This determination to succeed has allowed him to build A.M Tree Surgeons to where it is today. In 2016 Alistair relocated the business to Windsor in Berkshire to enable him to expand the potential of A.M Tree Surgeons with a view to achieving bigger and better things for the business.

The Evolution of A.M Tree Surgeons

Alistair was quick to see the need to implement mechanical advantage into his working practices. This meant having to be willing to invest everything into the right machinery to save time on site, offer a better service than his competitors, and to minimise any damage to his customers property.

Alistair has always worked hard to keep ahead of the curve, and his risks have always paid off. Despite A.M Tree Surgeons offering a very unique service, he remains loyal to his existing clients, nor makes a habit of competing against rival companies. Instead the business aims to offer its services as a sub-contractor, operating under the umbrella of other tree care companies that employ Alistair for his skill and expertise. This experience along with the more advanced equipment he brings to the table, help his customers to maximise their own profitability without compromising on safety.

Grapple Saw Remote Control Tree Felling Machine

By 2016, Alistair had spent many years climbing trees, much like the rest of the UK industry. Its a physically demanding job, and one that manages risks and potentially dangerous tasks everyday. This ultimately takes its toll on the body, so planning ahead to maximise the longevity of a career in this industry is of paramount importance for anyone looking to stay on the tools.

Alistair was aware that remote controlled tree felling was heavily used in other countries and had kept an eye on its development over the past few years. Alistair wanted A.M Tree Surgeons to be the first to implement it into the UK, so started researching it from around 2015. 

Alistair Magee of A M Tree Surgeons
reducing the tips of a large mature Beech tree.
am tree surgeons tree services.
tree grapple crane truck lifting large section of trunk.

Design & Implementation

What vehicle could I use? How can it be built, and by whom? How can I ensure it is legal and remains safety compliant during use?

Its relatively easy to buy a piece of equipment and mount other attachments to different vehicles and then start using it. However, such an approach is short-sighted and completely overlooks ones legal (and moral) responsibilities that exist to protect your work force, the public, and your client’s property.

A customer makes a decision to employ a company to undertake a task based on the information they are provided. A.M Tree Surgeons therefore see it as our responsibility to be factual and honest when providing this information to our customers. Using equipment that is not legal, nor fit for purpose, and that can potentially cause harm to persons and property whilst in use, is in our opinion a betrayal of trust and professionalism.

It is not reasonable, nor is it legal to use equipment that is not approved by a manufacturer, or designed for a different purpose, to then be used for a job such as tree removals when there is no consideration or guidance to be able to calculate how that piece of equipment is safely used.

A.M Tree Surgeons grapple saw lorry is a custom build by the experienced manufacturer Macs Trucks in Halifax. With their expressed knowledge and input, the machine has been designed, engineered, and built from the ground up to safely dismantle trees. It is a UK first, and a one of a kind piece of equipment whose sole purpose is to remotely fell trees.

It is a 100% legal mechanical machine with type approval certification. It has pre-determined safe workload (SWL) guidelines and specifications to allow its use, which gives my customers peace of mind that they are in safe (and legal) hands. A.M Tree Surgeons are the only operators in the UK who are qualified to use the attachment with certification through ALLMI to remotely cut trees. At this time, we are the only company in the UK that has gone through the correct process of having a harmonically approved system that is built in one place, by one company, from start to finish.

The machine is loler tested every 6 months and maintained and serviced every 3 months. We are qualified, trained, and very experienced in all aspects of tree surgery and tree removal. More importantly, our machine is FULLY LEGAL, which will matter in the event of an accident or claim.

Read about the machine in more detail on our Health & Safety page.

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