There are many reasons for having trees inspected but the primary objective is generally safety, followed by monitoring general tree health or maintaining an inventory. Advanced Arboriculture has extensive experience of carrying out a very broad range of surveys for a diverse client base. Projects have included:
- Creating and maintaining a full tree inventory for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, including all their fire stations and headquarters;
- Inspecting all Devon County Council owned schools, farms and office facilities (over 800 in total) using a walkover survey;
- Checking privately owned trees on an ad hoc basis in private gardens;
- Undertaking full climbing inspections to check potential structural defects which have been identified from ground level.
What kind of tree safety survey do I need?
The kind of survey you need depends on a number of factors, including the size of the property, the number of trees, the age and general condition of the trees and the level of public access.
A walkover survey is a very cost effective solution for many environments. This type of survey involves checking all trees from ground level and noting any trees which are considered to be a potential hazard. Trees may be sounded with a nylon mallet to identify any potential hollows, and cavities may be probed to determine the extent of any decay. A report is then produced detailing any trees which require works to remain safe within a specified time frame, for example within three years. This kind of survey is ideally suited to schools, hotels, parks and formal gardens which have high levels of public access.
Full Tree Inventory
A full tree inventory is desirable where there is a significant plant collection, or on a site which has very intensive tree management requirements and requires all works on all trees to be logged for liability or historic reasons. The initial creation of an inventory and plan is the most time consuming (and thus costly) element but follow-up inspections are significantly quicker.
Individual Tree Inspections
An individual tree inspection may be commissioned on an ad hoc or programmed basis and may cover one or several trees which have the potential to be a liability, either due to their health, location or size. A report will be produced with the level of detail reported being dependent on the tree and the clients’ requirements.
Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA)
Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) can be used for one or many trees but its focus is more on the nature of any targets rather than necessarily the tree or trees. It is particularly well suited to trees on or adjacent to the public realm but can also be used to prioritise tree management resource allocation. Advanced Arboriculture has two registered QTRA Registered Users and you can find out further details on our dedicated QTRA page.
Where a ground-based inspection identifies a potential structural weakness, this may need to be checked by a climbing inspection on a programmed or ad hoc basis. Examples include checking the extent of cavities or pockets of decay, or checking on the condition and anchorage of an existing cable brace. Climbing inspections are a specialist service as they require working at heights and the climbing equipment has to be thoroughly inspected on a regular basis.
British Standard 5837:2012 Inspections
British Standard 5837:2012 inspections are specifically for trees on development sites. Their purpose is to quantify the condition of the tree stock on site and identify constraints such as the extent of rooting, canopy and shade. Please visit our dedicated BS5837 pages for further information or contact us to discuss your needs.
Other Specialist Inspections
There are many different types of specialist inspection available, some of which use ultrasound to detect the extent of any decay within a tree such as the Picus Tomograph, or ground-penetrating radar to map the extent of roots. These types of survey are usually commissioned in response to a specific client requirement or set of circumstances. Please contact us to discuss your needs further.
What do I do now?
You may already know what type of survey you require. Alternatively you can contact us to discuss your requirements with us and we will advise you on the most appropriate and cost-effective route to follow.
For your peace of mind, you can rest assured that all our consultants are highly qualified and experienced. Advanced Arboriculture also carries full public liability, employers’ liability and professional indemnity insurances (copies of certificates available on request).