Here at Ashley Tree Services, we have chosen tree surgery as a profession which is why we are the experts when it comes to everything tree related. But the process of tree surgery didn’t just begin one day, it developed over the course of two centuries into the practice we now use today. Here is the history of tree surgery…

An arborist, known professionally as an aboriculturist, is an individual who studies vines, shrubs and trees. They also tend to be the experts when it comes to all things tree related. A crude name that springs to mind here is ‘tree surgeon’- however one must remember that an arborist is technically not a doctor of trees.

John Davey, who was born in Somerset, first developed the science of arboriculture during the 1800’s. In fact, Davey is known as the father of tree surgery to a modern arborist audience. He was able to learn about the subject through his father, who ran a very large farm. After time, he developed a passion for the preservation of natural resources.

In the late 1880’s, Davey moved to America and founded a company called the Davey Tree Expert Company in Kent, Ohio. Interestingly, this company headquarters still resides in Kent today. The company motto was ‘do it right or don’t do it at all’ and now has around 7000 employees.

The Davey Tree Expert Company was known for advancements in pruning over the years. This is because he discovered that trees which were pruned incorrectly couldn’t heal themselves, prompting him to develop pruning techniques still in use today! In fact, Davey himself theorised that because a wooden house had to be protected and waterproofed, a tree shouldn’t be any different. He stated that if the tree wounds were not sterilised and waterproofed, they would begin to decay.

In addition to this, Davey also observed that hollow trees were the cause of exterior callous’, which means that exterior decay had moved inside the tree. He developed a cavity solution that is also still use today.

Davey began to compile his work together and shared his ideas in 1878 through newsletter titled ‘The Davey Floral and Landscape Editor’. In the 1900’s, he also published more work with the title ‘The Tree Doctor’ which is said to have inspired the modern phrase ‘tree surgery’ used today. Here at Ashley Tree Surgery, we are the best tree surgeon Manchester has to offer and we have John Davey to thank for all his hard work! Get in contact today to find out more information!