No they don’t look like this
Street trees in Sheffield are being felled by Amey. Amey are also carrying out maintenance of trees. It’s all part of their 25 year ‘Streets Ahead’ contract to repair and maintain our roads in Sheffield.
The work may be done by Amey’s own staff or by a sub-contractor so Amey’s name may not be on their vehicles. It is important to know what they look like because there is a lot of other highways work going on in Sheffield so you will often see Amey’s vehicles and staff on your local roads. If you want to call for support it’s best to be certain that what you have seen is a genuine cause for concern.
To fell a tree Amey may use quite a large crew with several vehicles, but the thing to look out for is A wood chipping machine.
The Chipping Machine (look for the spout on the trailer)
Usually a pickup truck with high solid sides (not mesh) and a trailer which is the chipping machine, small branches are fed in to the trailer and that spout on top shoots the chippings into the back of the truck (hence the high sides and sometimes a top to avoid chippings going everywhere. It’s essential equipment for all tree work as it enables the contractor to convert the bulky mass of small branches and twigs into compact chippings that can be transported and usually used for biomass fuel.
The workers usually travel in this truck so it’s the basic unit for most tree work. For example you may see it being used when they are trimming side shoots from street trees. Those ladders give access to upper branches for maintenance, the tree surgeons are good climbers and will use ladders to get up into the branches and ropes to abseil down.
The size shape and colour of the truck and trailer can vary but the one thing that’s constant is that spout on top of the trailer. You may see various other trucks and trailers around the streets that are nothing to do with trees, for example this one is towing a pump to clear drains, no spout on top and low sides on the truck.
The Mobile Lifting Platform, or ‘Cherry Picker’
These are used so workers can safely cut and handle large branches or get access to weak branches that won’t support the worker’s weight. Not all fellings need a cherry picker. Again there is a variety of these in use in various colours, sizes and markings, but they are usually mounted on a pickup truck. These are also used by other workers, for example telecoms workers who need to get access to the tops of their poles.
If you see either of these vehicles then you need to pay close attention to what’s happening. My experience is that if they are only doing maintenance they will be quick to tell you so it’s always worth asking the crew.