Clare is one of Ireland's most experienced tree surgeons.
She has qualified in Applied Ecology and has served on the Royal Dublin Society Forestry And The Environment Committee.
Clare has worked as a volunteer at Sonairte, the National Ecology Centre and has also received an award from Whitehall College, Dublin for her contribution to the environment.

Tree Surgery
Garden before
Hedge before work
Tree Surgery
Garden after
Hedge after work

Tall dark shady hedges are a burglar's friend. A large bush beside the front door provides a place to lurk out of sight. Overhanging trees reduce the light getting in from the sun or streetlamps and block the neighbours' view. A private back garden allows a housebreaker to force a door or window without anyone being the wiser. To the front, overgrown hedges are a giveaway that an older person lives at this address.

Recommended: Reduce big hedges to shoulder height or less. Remove overhanging tree branches, prune branches away from windows and thin them out to admit more light. A bush beside a door should be only waist height. Make sure that you have a clear view down your back garden. Keep the front hedge trimmed once or twice a year - if you cannot do it yourself, ask a professional, a relative or the local Scout Group.

When people grow older they may develop mobility problems which make gardening difficult. Climbing onto a stepladder becomes a problem and seniors may be reluctant to use power tools, reach for branches over their heads or stand all day clipping a hedge.

Recommended: Make hedges and shrubs an easy height and width for maintenance. This may be a big once-off job but it reduces annual work and clippings for disposal. Many hedges will benefit from this treatment, but Cypress are unable to regenerate if cut too hard, so seek professional advice. Leave some shelter and berries for the birds. If your hedge or tree causes problems to a neighbour, they may be willing to pay for the work they need done. Ask a tree surgeon to check trees for safety every few years.

Many chancers will knock on doors and offer to cut trees and hedges. Often they use stolen equipment, including stolen Council reflective jackets. They wildly overcharge, are not insured, don't give an address, damage phone and power lines, dump clippings illegally and they may be getting a look at where you keep valuables and cash.

Recommended: Only employ a firm via the Golden Pages or a personal reference. A mobile number is not sufficient. Ask if they are insured. If the person isn't knowledgeable about gardens, don't hire them. Different plants require different pruning. If you don't like a quote, get another firm to quote. Never pay cash in advance and a reputable firm will always be willing to take a cheque and provide a receipt. If you are particularly worried, take down the vehicle registration number and call your local Garda station.


Clare attending a literary event at the Embassy of Luxembourg in London.
Clare does expert witness work in court.