Meet The Alba Tree

Services Team

Our Qualified Staff

Michael Winstanley

Alba Tree Services - Business Owner

Michael completed a National Certificate in Arboriculture at Kilmarnock College, Scotland in 2004. Since then he has gone on to work professionally in Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Norway, the United Kingdom and Ireland. In doing so he acquired a wide range of practical skills, techniques and industry knowledge.
Michael also competes at an international level in tree climbing.

Career timeline:

  • June 2004 - NC Tree Management, Kilmarnock College, Scotland
  • September 2004 - NPTC Units CS 30, 31, 38 & 39
  • August 2007 - 1st place South Australian tree climbing championship
  • April 2010 - European Tree Worker Certificate
  • October 2010 - HNC Arboriculture & Urban Forestry
  • October 2010 - International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist
  • October 2010 - ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist
  • August 2012 - Use of Cranes an Helicopters in Tree Work
  • September 2012 - 1st place New Zealand South Island tree climbing championship
  • September 2012 - FdSc Arboriculture
  • February 2013 - 5th place in the ISA Asia Pacific tree climbing championship
  • September 2013 - 1st place New Zealand South Island tree climbing championship
  • October 2013 - 2nd place in the New Zealand National tree climbing championships
  • December 2013 - Practitioners guide to Visual Tree Assessment (VTA)
  • December 2013 - Quantified Tree Risk Assessment System
  • July 2014 -  SRT for Tree Climbers


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Rob Dawson

Climbing Arborist

Rob has been working with trees for over 12 years now and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Over the past 5 years rob has also been working in the Industrial Rope Access industry and has subsequently developed a valuable set of skills regarding H&S in the workplace, ropework and rigging.
Rob is a great member to have on the team as he has a lot of knowledge to share and the right temperament for training new employees

  • IRATA -Level 2
  • VMP26 (Mobile Elevating Work Platforms)
  • Construction Induction (White Card)
  • Building Construction Passport
  • CS 30.1 Maintenance of the Chainsaw
  • CS 30.2 Onsite preparation and Basic Crosscutting
  • CS 31 Fell and Process Small Trees
  • CS 38.1 Climb a Tree
  • CS 38.2 Conduct Aerial Rescue
  • CS 39 Use of a Chainsaw from a Rope and Harness
  • CS 40 Carry out Pruning Operations
  • CS 41 Carry out Dismantling Operations
  • Brushwood Chipper Prepare, Operate and Maintain
  • Introductory Certificate
  • Level 3 Technicians Certificate in Arboriculture
  • Level 2 National Vocational Qualification in Team Leading
  • Emergency Aid in the Workplace for Appointed Persons
  • 5 Day First Aid Training


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Russell Squires

Lead Climber

Russell joined the team in February 2016 and brings yet a different set of skills.
Up until recently Russell has worked mainly on utility services, helping to keep the network running. Russell has also done a stint in the logging industry gaining experience in clear felling operations.
With over 5 years industry experience and a multitude of qualifications, Russell is a valuable employee with a great attitude


  • National Certificate in Horticulture (Arboriculture) Advanced Climber
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the Approved Code of Practice relating to chainsaw use
  • Maintain a chainsaw  
  • Operate a chainsaw 
  • Manage first aid in emergency situations


  • Carry out tree work in the insulated tool zone around electricity supply line


  • Process tree stems on a landing
  • Demonstrate knowledge of log making 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of factors that affect the performance of forestry workers 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of general health, safety, and environmental requirements in forestry
  • Demonstrate forestry foundation skills under supervision for landing operations
  • Use machinery, plant and equipment in an electricity network environment
  • Operate a light four wheel drive (4WD) vehicle in an off-road environment


  • Climb and work on electricity network structures 
  • Apply earths to and remove earths from overhead electric line conductors
  • Carry out a rescue from an electrical structure
  • Demonstrate knowledge of electricity supply networks
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and apply health and safety in the electricity supply environment
  • Identify electricity systems in preparation for work 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of electricity industry safety statutes and codes
  • Use personal protection equipment within an electricity network environment
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the composition, properties, and principles of electricity
  • Operate light lifting and rigging equipment in the electricity supply environment
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the New Zealand electricity supply industry
  • Carry out tree work in the insulated tool zone around electricity supply lines 


  • Assess the worksite, prepare and operate a truck mounted elevating work platform (EWP)
  • Assess the worksite, prepare and operate a trailer mounted elevating work platform (EWP) 
  • Describe types of elevating work platforms (EWPs), and legislative requirements for their use
  • Operate power-operated elevating work platforms (EWP) in an electricity supply environment


Nick Churcher

Senior Arborist

Nick is a highly motivated and qualified arborist with over 20 years industry experience and has worked on a variety of commercial, residential rural and environmental projects, resulting in a broad skill set
Nicks experience includes
• Management and felling of mature trees in hazardous locations.
• Use of tree specific rigging equipment, MEWP’s and mobile cranes.
• Advising on the replacement of trees and planting.
• Project planning, preparation and consultation with the public, local authorities and other organisations.
Ultimately, Nick is a very experienced Arborist and able to look at a problem and deduce a fast, cost effective, efficient solution.
We are glad to have Nick as part of our professional team.

  • April 1996 - BTEC National Diploma Motor Vehicle Engineering
  • April 1997 - BTEC National Diploma Countryside Management
  • July 1998 - NPTC units 30, 31a, &b, 38 and 39
  • July 2004 - Arboricultural Equipment Examination,

Real Client Testimonials

  • We Employed Mik After Some Recent Storm Damage On Our Property. He arrived promptly and quickly assessed the situation. Everything was cleared up and taken away without any hassle. We were really happy with the professional service and will definitely use Alba Tree Services again.

    Denise - Redwood
  • Mik, Just A Quick Email to let you know that both Di & I really appreciate the great job you did on our trees, it is very refreshing to meet someone who really does measure up!

    Frank - Christchurch
  • Two weeks ago I had Alba Tree Services prune our oak tree back from our house to allow more light in. I would highly recommend Alba Tree Services for their expert knowledge & prompt service. I found Michael a real pleasure to deal with, he was very thorough in explaining the job process with me, assuring me that pruning was the correct decision for my tree.

    Claire Parsons - Christchurch
  • Absolutely thrilled with the professional way in which our very large oak tree was felled. Mik was amazing. Cheapest quote of 6 quotes obtained. Being given the option of having some of our timber milled was a great option, not provided by any other arborists contacted. We would highly recommend Alba Tree Services. Prompt service and no damage. Result is spectacular.

    Sue & Dave Vincent - Hornby
  • Our beloved 130 y/o protected Oak tree at Kate Sheppard House split out and came crashing down. After phoning around - Mik at Alb Tree Services was first to respond and on-site within 15 mins
    the next day Mik and his team efficiently took down the remainder of the tree without causing any further damage to the surrounding trees/plants.
    I have not the slightest hesitation in recommending Alba Tree Services to anyone who needs the very best advice backed up by effective practical ability

    Julia Burbery