Terms & Conditions
Guide to Working with Mercer Tree Services Ltd
We are very keen to provide a quality service and a high level of customer satisfaction. Please take a few minutes to read the information below as this forms the terms and conditions of our contract.
Standard of work: All work shall be completed in line with BS3998 (Recommendations for Tree Work) where appropriate unless instructed otherwise by the customer. We shall undertake the work in a competent manner in compliance with the specification and price contained in our quotation.
Acceptance of the contract and programming of the work: On acceptance of our quotation (whether verbal or in writing) a binding contract will be formed between us and you (the Contract). You are entitled to a 14-day cooling off period following acceptance of the quotation. However, if within this 14-day cooling off period you instruct us to carry out any of the works contained in our quotation you will have waived your right to this cooling off period. When you accept the quotation, we will start the work planning process which may include dealing with permissions from the Local Authority. We will advise you of the estimated completion date for your work.
Amendments / Cancellation of the Contract: Amendments to, or cancellation of, the Contract must be made in writing. In the event of a cancellation, we may charge a percentage of the quotation to cover any preparatory work already undertaken and any costs already incurred.
In the event of a variation to the quotation as a result of:
a. Amendments to works required prior to arriving on site;
b. Changes in site / ground conditions since the original visit; or
c. Additional works requested / required whilst on site
the quotation will be revised accordingly, either electronically in advance or in a hand-written note on the day of work, with agreed amendments signed by us and you.
Complaints procedure: In the unlikely event that you have any cause for complaint please contact the office within 7 days and we will endeavour to correct the situation in a timely manner. Please be reassured that as a TrustMark registered company we offer an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service to our customers. www.trustmark.org.uk/if-things-go-wrong/
When do I pay? When the job is completed, the team leader will ask you to sign the job sheet to confirm your satisfaction. Please only sign this when you are satisfied that all items are completed. Please raise any queries with the team leader or the office before signing the job off. The office will invoice ‘signed off’ jobs within 7 days. All contracts and instructions are accepted on the basis of payment of full invoice price within 14 days of the date of invoice. Where applicable, value added tax (VAT) shall be charged at the current rate.
Disposal of waste; do you take everything away? Most customers these days require removal of all arising waste material from site and this will normally be specified in the quotation. Woodchips make useful garden mulch and we are increasingly finding clients requesting that the chips are left for their own use. Timber may also be left for firewood, but it is not normally left in sizes ‘ready for the fire’ unless specified in the quotation.
Stump grinding: Stump grinding is normally carried out within a few days of the felling rather than on the same day. We will call you to arrange a convenient time to undertake this work. Stump grindings will be used to backfill the resulting hole as they decompose rapidly. The chippings can be removed from site, but this would incur an additional cost. We will grind the main stump and any large lateral roots in the main area of the stump. We will not chase every root back from the stump unless by prior costed arrangement with the customer. If in the process of stump grinding, we uncover buried asbestos waste, material suspected to be buried asbestos waste or other hazardous material, we will cease the excavation immediately. The customer agrees to settle the invoice in full in line with our payment terms on the basis that we shall complete the operation once a specialist contractor has cleared the material. The customer will meet the costs of the clearance of the hazardous material.
Will my neighbours be affected? Sometimes it is necessary to have access to a neighbouring property, particularly when branches overhang. It would be very helpful if you could inform them of your intention to carry out work and the date on which it will take place.
Do I need to protect my walls or lawns? Whilst our staff will operate with care and diligence often our work entails the carrying of large amount of material over lawns and past features. Please make sure that vulnerable surfaces (such as white walls) are adequately protected (builder’s polythene is a good method) and that fragile objects are moved (such as pots etc.). Our staff will be more than happy to move heavier objects for elderly or disabled clients. Lawns tend to recover rapidly but very wet weather can give rise to muddy conditions. We are able to provide boards to protect the lawn. However, this is not a standard procedure and may incur an additional cost. If in doubt, please discuss with our office.
Crown Reduction: This operation reduces the overall size of the crown. To avoid ambiguity, the specified end result will be stated either as the tree-height and branch-spread which are to remain, or the average equivalent in branch length (in metres). End results shall be specified for individual branches if the growth pattern of the tree creates a need for this, or where clearance from a specific object is required
Crown Thinning: In crown thinning, an even density of foliage is removed to create a well-spaced and balanced branch structure which could, if required, provide an adequate framework for a possible future crown reduction. If the objective is to lessen the overall loading on a defective branch or stem, crown reduction and reshaping should be chosen in preference to crown thinning. The percentage of the leaf-bearing twig structure to be removed in crown thinning should be kept to the minimum required to achieve the objective and in any case, should not exceed 30%. The percentage shall be stated in the work specification. Material shall be removed systematically from throughout the tree rather than from the inner crown only. Cutting branches back to the main stem will generally be avoided, although structurally weak or hazardous branches shall be removed if there is no alternative.
What time will the team arrive? Most jobs are completed efficiently and on time. However, occasionally a job will over-run or the weather will prevent us from working to time. The earliest time the team will arrive is 8.30/9.00 am However, in the case of smaller contracts, we are not able to estimate an arrival time until late afternoon of the previous day and can only then advise either am or pm arrival. We will of course make every effort to please clients who particularly require a morning or afternoon visit.
Do I need permission? The trees within this contract specification may be located within a Conservation Area or be subject to a Tree Preservation Order. Upon acceptance of our quotation, we shall check for the presence of legislative protection with the Local Planning Authority. We will also consider whether a Felling Licence is required from the Forestry Commission (FC) or if any other permissions / consultations are required, i.e. Natural England / Environment Agency. We would be happy to make an application on your behalf in respect of any permissions that are require but would advise that a charge may be made for this service. No additional charges will, however, be applied to this work without first seeking your acceptance. We will not, however, make any investigation in respect of private covenants affecting your property which may restrict tree work at the property and this shall your sole responsibility. No liability shall attach to Mercer Tree Services Ltd for a breach any such covenant.
What about wildlife? We will undertake the works as scheduled but are aware of / may be constrained by ecological and wildlife legislation including:
a. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
b. Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
c. Conservation of Habitats and Species Regs. 2017
This legislation requires us to assess the impact of the works which may result in works being delayed as a result of nesting birds, roosting bats or similar being present.
Do you replace trees/shrubs that die? We endeavour to obtain good quality plants that comply to BS3936 (Nursery Stock – Specification for Trees and Shrubs) which are handled with care and planted to industry standard. It is important however that you look after your new plantings and ensure that they are regularly watered and maintained. Trees and shrubs that fail due to circumstances beyond our control shall not be replaced. Please ask our staff for guidance on how to look after new trees if in doubt.
Do I need to treat the stump after felling? The majority of conifers will cease to grow following felling and will decay naturally. Some deciduous species will send up shoots. We try to avoid the use of chemicals but on request will apply a single treatment to manufacturer’s specification. Further treatments (if required) will attract additional cost. Alternatively, we can provide advice on products that can be bought from garden centres that can be used to treat stumps to prevent re-growth. No guarantee can be given as to the efficiency of a pesticide after application, due to conditions beyond our control.
Underground and overhead services: Although every reasonable effort shall be made to locate the presence of underground services, unless a plan showing the exact location of underground pipes, wires or cables has been forwarded to us by the Owner of the land or his agent prior to the formation of the Contract; we shall be under no liability for any damage caused as a result of work performed under the Contract to such pipes, wires or cables, or for any damage to property resulting there from, and the Owner of the land or his agent shall be solely liable for any such damage. Any charge for the removal of power lines or telephone cables shall be the responsibility of the Owner, unless otherwise agreed in writing with us.
Measurements: All measurements mentioned in any correspondence are approximate.
Insurance: Insurance: We have £10 million Public Liability Insurance and a copy of the certificate is available on request. We will operate in accordance with good industry practice, our Health & Safety Policy and Procedures and undertake Site Specific Risk Assessments (the outcomes of which may place constraints on the site whilst works are in progress, i.e. you can’t access your shed without prior agreement with us.)
Customer Information and Data Protection: Please be reassured that we only use your personal information for the purposes of completing your tree work. Our IT systems are secure, and we don’t share your details with anyone unnecessarily. We would share your details with the Local Authority if we need to make an application for permission to undertake the work and whilst it is unlikely, in certain circumstances work might need a licence from the Forestry Commission. Please refer to our customer privacy notice for full details.
Business to Business Customers If applicable, we will not commence with any work until a purchase order number has been received as confirmation that we are listed as an approved supplier on the purchasing system.
Where a purchase order number system is not used, the customer agrees to pay Mercer Tree Services Ltd within the agreed payment terms.
Customers must agree that once the work is complete, if they introduce additional payment stages such as any required certification, approval forms or procedures to be satisfied prior to payment, they shall meet the costs of that additional administration time at £50.00 per hour.
General: Completion dates shall be contingent upon weather conditions.
All quotations/estimates are valid for 30 days and include any ‘value’, monetary or otherwise, the arisings may have, unless stated otherwise. After this period, we reserve the right to withdraw and re-price work, unless otherwise agreed in writing with you.
Quotations for felling are based upon the assumption of trees being free from metal, stone, or other hidden obstructions. In the event of a tree being impossible to fell in the normal way, we reserve the right to re-quote accordingly.
The Contract price is based on the site conditions existing at the time of the preparation of the estimate remaining unchanged.
Mercer Tree Services Ltd reserves the right to cancel the contract at any time and for any reason and shall not be liable for any penalties or costs. Reasons for cancellation may be diary error, IT error, client error, third party error, changes in circumstances, misunderstanding, unreasonable or antisocial behaviour of the customer.