DORSET Police are warning residents to exercise caution in a bid to avoid becoming victims of ‘rogue traders’ posing as tree surgeons.

Police and trading standards officers say this is the time of year when neighbours could be taken advantage of, especially if they’ve been unfortunate to have suffered storm damage to their gardens or homes.

“Trading standards recommend that you consider choosing a trader on the Buy With Confidence scheme,” said a police spokesman.

“All the traders have been checked out by trading standards and are CRB checked.

“Get access to a list of reputable traders from builders, roofers, plumbers and electricians, to gardeners and tree surgeons. Better safe than sorry.”

Before employing anyone to remove trees or branches visit the ‘Trees’ page on the Borough of Poole’s website: There is a link to the Arboricultural Association which has a list of qualified tree surgeons.