Firm charges Chingford man £1,000 for 'shambolic' work

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: John Pearson with the conifer tree John Pearson with the conifer tree

A tree surgery firm accused of carrying out “shambolic” work at a pensioner’s home is under investigation.

Retired John Pearson, 67, of Morland Way in Chingford, was approached by company Pecker Trees on February 6.

Three men knocked on the door and said residents had complained to them about the height of an 80ft tree in Mr Pearson’s garden.

Mr Pearson then agreed to pay the men £1,000 to shorten the conifer.

Before accepting the job, Mr Pearson asked for the registered address of the firm and was told it is based in Peel Close, Chingford.

However, when Mr Pearson checked the work the following morning, he said he was shocked by what he found.

He added: "It was an absolute shambles and looked a complete mess.

“They had cut the height by half, branches were hanging off everywhere and I realised they had broken an ornament, flower basket and a metal stand but mentioned none of it and hid the items under bushes.”

On visiting the business address given, Mr Pearson was told by the occupant that she had never heard of the company.

Waltham Forest Council has confirmed Trading Standards officers are investigating the company following previous complaints.

When the Guardian contacted Pecker Trees, a worker who gave his name only as Ben admitted he was one of six men who carried out the work and defended the quality of the job.

He said: "We made it safer. We cut a tree that had only been cut once and the previous tree surgeons had made a right mess of it.

“I couldn't have done the job any better and it was miracle it turned out the way it was."

Chartered arboriculturist Hal Appleyard, of tree management firm ACS Consulting, was shown a photograph of the work by the Guardian.

He said: "This seems to be a classic case of taking a chance on appointing a contractor that seems to be less trustworthy and professional than they initially portrayed.

"The work appears to be incomplete and in conflict with industry standards."

Mr Pearson has submitted a formal complaint to the Metropolitan Police fraud unit.

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