THE manager of a Tadley company is speaking out about what she says is a “growing problem” – residents being ripped off by phoney tree surgeons.

Donna Jenkins, company manager of Nash Contract Services Ltd, in Silchester Road, said: “We are coming across these issues on a more frequent basis, and people need to be warned.”

There have been a growing number of opportunists, she said, knocking on doors and pricing for work on trees and garden maintenance.

She said: “These are people with no insurance and no qualifications.

“I have been told by several people that they attend, do a bit of work and then ask for the money so they can bank it, and say they will come back in a little while, but they are never seen again.

“People are getting ripped off and are left needing to have waste removed and work finished off.

“Several people have spoken to us and other tree and garden companies, and we are all fed up with it. We all get tarred with the same brush.”

She added: “It can look like a case of sour grapes when we complain but it is not.

“We are happy to quote for any work and tender against others, knowing we are fully qualified and insured.

“We just do not want any more vulnerable people being ripped off.”