Tree Health Surveys

A Tree Condition or Tree Health Survey identifies any potential risks or signs of ill health and defect within trees and allows appropriate work to be carried out to make the trees as safe as reasonably possible. Trees are natural living organisms subject to environmental pressures and change. Their condition can deteriorate due to a variety of reasons, from failure of parts following storm damage, infestation of pests leading to reduced vitality, and fungal infection leading to decay and weakened stems or limbs.

Tree Condition or Tree Health Survey

Tree owners have a responsibility under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 to ensure that trees which overhang neighbouring properties or where public have access to them, are in a suitable condition and that risks of damages through failure are reduced through reasonable means.

Visual Tree Assessment (VTA)

As part of a Tree Condition or Tree Health Survey, a survey of trees is undertaken known as a Visual Tree Assessment (VTA) using a ground-based assessment. The ground level survey looks at all areas of the tree from the root area, buttress and base of the tree, tree stem, crown break and main structural branches, crown form and branch work and the outer canopy and leaf growth.

Our Arboriculturists are trained to identify potential problems and risks from trees, assessing the visual features that occur following damage, disease and decay formation. The Tree Condition Survey identifies trees that require more detailed investigation and prescribes appropriate works to the trees in order to reduce the risk of any failure.

Our Tree Condition Survey provides a report with a tree survey schedule, which details the findings of the survey. This includes a summary of the findings and an easy to understand traffic light system to prioritise any works recommended.

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The BS5837:2012 Arboricultural Survey aims to identify trees which are protected by law and provides a method of categorising any trees of great significance at an early stage in a project.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

Some trees are protected by a TPO, enforced by the local planning authority (LPA). It is illegal to carry out any kind of work to these trees without first seeking approval from the LPA with a formal application.

Conservation Areas

Trees within Conservation Areas are afforded a similar level of protection to those covered by a TPO. An application should be made to the LPA before carrying out any kind of work to these trees.

Ancient Woodlands

Ancient Woodland sites are those that have been covered by trees since at least 1600 and have therefore become host to a range of species, creating an irreplaceable habitat.

Some species of tree contribute to the classification and identification of Ancient Woodland. They are also responsible for defining whether a hedgerow is classified as ‘important’ under the Hedgerow Regulations. Even though they may lack considerable vertical height, they still contribute to the total number of woody species within the hedgerow.

Veteran & Ancient Trees

Ancient trees, often associated with an exceptionally large stem diameter for the species, are those showing signs that they are truly old. These trees not only provide visual and cultural importance in the landscape but also host a range of species that younger trees do not.

Veteran trees are those that may not yet be old enough to be considered ancient, but exhibit some similar physical attributes, which are valuable to the ecology of the site.