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Our Team

Our Team

Meet the team

Alasdair Jeffrey

DipArb, TechArborA – Founder & Managing Director

Alasdair originates from the Scottish Borders and moved to the Cotswolds in 2008 to start AJ Arborists.
Before starting his tree career Alasdair studied at the University of Aberdeen and Scottish Agricultural College gaining the necessary qualifications he would need. He then spent 6 months in Brazil working and studying around the woods and forests plus managing a number of large Eucalypus plantations.
Moving back to Scotland Alasdair worked for a tree company starting out as a climber then graduating to foreman. He gained a wealth of skills along the way in all aspects of tree surgery and arboriculture.
In 2014 Alasdair studied part time for a Level 4 Diploma in arboriculture at Merrist Wood college in Guildford. This further enhanced his arboricultural knowledge and understanding that he now implements into all aspects of tree work and consultancy.
Alasdair handles the quoting, tree consultancy and gets up a tree when he can!
Out of work Alasdair spends time with his wife Gemma, two children Ailsa and Archie plus Tilly the spaniel.

James Bethel

Foreman & Director

James hails from Cape Town in South Africa and moved to England in his late teens. After running a tree team in and around London for a number of years he moved up to the Cotswolds to join AJ Arborists in 2011.
Throughout his tree career James has gained a huge amount of experience, variety and knowledge which are not only invaluable but implemented day to day with his fruit tree pruning a particular specialty.
James works closely with Alasdair on the day to day tasks as well as overseeing all the works that go on, the machinery that is used and managing the ever growing team.
In January 2017 he became a director at AJ Arborists cementing his place for the future.
James is also a family man and married with two boys.

Hugo Pearson

Climbing Arborist

Although a Yorkshire man through and through Hugo has spent 10 years down in the Cotswolds firstly at the Royal Agricultural College and then working in horse racing and agricultural contracting.
Joining AJ Arborists in 2013 Hugo never shy’s away from tackling the biggest trees and hedges. His variety in skills is a real plus and he has become a massively important part of the team and will be for long into the future.

Ryan Branco

Lead Climbing Arborist

Adding to the continental feel at AJ Arborists Ryan comes all the way from sunny Bermuda.
After completing a Landscape Architecture degree at Cheltenham University he decided tree work was his calling.
Joining in 2013 Ryan has taken to all the tasks thrown at him and passed all of his NTCP tickets in 2014. He is now the full time lead climber at AJ Arborists and performs all aspects of tree work including large tree takedowns and technical pruning.
He has taken to it all like a duck to water and his nickname of ‘The Ryanator’ is well justified!

Ben Cowell

Team Leader & Climbing Arborist

Ben is a local boy spending most of his life in Cirencester – however for his first few years he lived in Scotland!

He joined the team in summer 2014 and completed all his NPTC chainsaw and climbing courses in 2015. He has enjoyed a wide variety of tasks from hedge trimming (which is a particular skill of his) to native hedge panting and complex tree takedowns.

Ben leads a 3 man team dealing with all types of tree work so if you see them out and about give them a wave!

George Harper

Head Groundsman

George is from near Stroud and came on board in 2015. He has come on leaps and bounds in the short time he has been with AJ Arborists. From hedges to trees he can do it all and has the eye for detail. He also volunteers at the Westonbirt Arboretum which is providing him with invaluable knowledge of trees.

Graham Handley

Climbing Arborist /Groundsman

Graham is the newest member of the team joining in winter 2015. He has fitted in really well and been involved in all aspects of the works from climbing to stump grinding. He hopefully is set for a long career with AJ Arborists.

Glen Winkle

Team leader and climbing Arborist

Glen is a Cirencester lad through and through. He joined AJ Arborists in 2017 after working with a gardening company for 4 years. Quickly learning all the skills of being a tree surgeon he has passed all relevant NPTC courses from tree climbing to big tree felling. Glen runs one of the 3 man teams undertaking all manner of tree works.

Henry Birdsall

Climbing Arborist

Henry is another local lad coming all the way from beautiful Bibury. He joined AJ Arborists in 2017 and has got stuck in to all tasks thrown at him. He is now undertaking all aspects of tree work including some really big tree work!

2019 is the year for him to gain more qualifications and continue improving,

Matt Ross

Climbing Arborist

Matt joined AJ Arborists in early 2018 as a groundsman aiding the climbing Arborists. However after mastering the brash dragging, hedge trimming and ground work he now is up climbing trees performing all tasks including crown reductions and takedowns.

Next for Matt is gaining more experience and also tackle his NPTC tickets. Exciting times ahead!

Olly Sweeting

Trainee Arborist

Olly’s commute is the shortest of all as he hails from Quenington. He has fitted in with the team really well and got stuck in to plenty of brash dragging, hedge trimming and even been up a few trees! Olly will undertake his NPTC courses in 2019 on the road to become a fully qualified tree surgeon.


Team Mascot

Tilly has an eye for quality and never leaves a branch or twig on site. She also aids Alasdair in pricing all jobs and loves exploring the Cotswolds!