Our team

All about the staff at The Good Tree Company

Jonathan Finlow, director and founder

I started out on the tools, in 1996, and then combined this experience with study at Merrist Wood College and Westonbirt Arboretum, while learning the craft further through work with various organisations, including the RHS gardens at Wisley and work as a freelance arborist in New Zealand and Australia. I was often responsible for overseeing technical and specialised large tree surgery works and removals. Since setting up The Good Tree Company, I have also been lecturing in arboriculture and assessing candidates wishing to attain certificates of competence in tree climbing and chainsaw operations. The more I work with trees the more I see how little we understand and know: but we keep on trying.

Proud to be a volunteer and trustee of D.A.R.T. (Disaster Arborist Response Team, www.dartinternational.co.uk ), a charity established in 2014 with the aim of using arborist skills to help in clearing and making safe  trees in areas where our skills can allow other aid organisations and the local population to set about re-establishing their lives.

Summary CV:

  • AA (Arboricultural Association) Tech Cert.
  • ISA(International Society of Arboriculture) Certified Arborist no UI-0210 (see www.isa-arbor.com )
  • City & Guilds Tree Surgery for Craftsmen
  • Member of the Arboricultural Association
  • NPTC Chainsaw and tree climbing Assessor (www.nptc.org.uk)
  • LOLER inspector
  • Arboricultural trainer (part time) at Reaseheath College, Cheshire

During my years as a freelance arborist it was clear to me that if I ever set up a company I would need to try to find a good team to work with. A good team helps enormously with the quality of work carried out, client liaison and  site safety. I am very lucky to be able to say I work alongside that team  now :

The core team

Andrew, despite his protestations and denials his age is creeping up (now 33yrs).  10 years experience working with TGTC. In that time he has always ensured that the job is finished to the last detail when the rest of us are tiring.  Will keep going..  . . .. and going.  Excels at subtle pruning.  Disappears once a year in April for a whole months  r & r at his dads farm (he tells us he helps with the lambing).

Martin, newest recruit but now regular team member, 2 years in treework , with TGTC. He put himself through NPTCs (chainsaw certificates) and has made a real go of it. Into his downhill mountain biking which scares me in case he doesn’t make it to work due to injury. Into his tattoos and piercings , which can scare the clients,  – strength useful for log moving and stump removal. Budding chain saw carver – if you are interested in turning stumps into rustic  mushrooms, owls or even benches please ask what we can do.

Aled, the Welshman, cv includes former World/European and of course Welsh poleclimbing champion (running up a vertical 80ft pole with climbing spikes in around 10 secs. I know, why??!,  I don’t ask) . Hort. BTec, NC Arb(National Certificate Arboriculture), 15yrs experience, including some years working in Germany. He has acquired a pension plan: he is the owner, along with his French partner, of a café at Lake Vrynwy, go there for excellent home made food (www.oldbarncafe.com).

Rob, the Kiwi, also known as the bionic man for his superhuman strength and powers of endurance. RFS (Royal ForestrySociety) Certificate 20yrs experience. Never known to get annoyed, other than with British weather. Has been used to charm the birds from the trees. Freelance climber extraodinaire, and tree surveyor.

Ric, more occasional team member when we need the big guns. Chainsaw certificates for groundwork. Will graft till the end and then some. Highly skilled hedgelayer, fencer and traditional rural wall maker. Also an anarchist.

Joe P, seems only recently that he was being cajoled to turn up on time, still the youngster to us but he is way beyond those times now. As interested in the tree care as the tree climbing. He keeps us  thinking with his questioning, and now often has the answers too.    5yrs experience. Becoming very good at the job. Might risk losing him to his new found travel lust. Demon log splitter.

Claire Finlow, lucky wife of Jonathan, on the phone to take enquiries and concerns (apologies for any background noise  – Isaac 9yrs, Sam 8yrs, and Nicholas 5yrs). Good at getting hold of Jonathan during the working day if the matter requires immediate attention. No arb qualifications, although steady build up of knowledge through years of exposure. Welsh speaker when required.