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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

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.
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

Climbing Arborist

Ben is the most local of the team spending most of his life in Cirencester – however his first few years he was a Scot!
He joined the team in summer 2014 and has enjoyed a wide variety of tasks from hedge trimming (which is a particular skill of his) to native hedge panting. Passing his chainsaw and climbing courses in 2015 he is now champing at the bit to get up some big trees with Ryan and Hugo.

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.

Ben Reynolds

Trainee Climbing Arborist

Ben is Gloucestershire born and bred and joined AJ Arborists full time in 2016. After going to college and doing a stint in game keeping the lure of tree work was too much and has jumped back on with the team.
Ben is learning all the skills of being a tree surgeon under the watchful eye of James and in 2017 he will be getting all his qualifications completed. He is hot on the heels of Ryan it won’t be long until he is catching him up.

Tilly

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!