Last edited 22 Jul 2014

Tree Hazard Survey

Landowners have an obligation to ensure that hazardous trees are properly managed using pro-active systems - this is a legal requirement as poorly managed trees can harm people and cause considerable property damage.

Contents

[edit] Laws Concerning Tree Management

A number of UK laws require landowners to routinely inspect and manage the trees on their property. These laws include:

As part of the obligations outlined in this series of laws, landowners must identify areas of trees by risk zone (high, medium, low) and actively manage trees within those zones. Records should be kept to prove the management is taking place.

[edit] Tree Hazard Surveys as Part of Active Management

Surveys help to classify risk and produce tree surgery specifications, as well as compiling reports as proof of management and log dates for future inspections.

Tree Hazard Surveys typically include:

  • Preparing a tree safety policy
  • Implementing tree management systems
  • Completing internal decay tests on hazardous trees
  • Assessing tree dimensions and crown spread
  • Noting tree age class, physiological condition, and life expectancy
  • Assessing tree condition and landscape value
  • Recommending tree works
  • Creating priorities and timescales for work
  • Estimating costs for future work

[edit] Instruments for Completing a Survey

As surveys require in-depth knowledge of arboriculture and tree lifecycles, as well as health and safety requirements, most of the requirements for tree surveys are met by the knowledge and understanding of the surveyor.

However, assessments such as internal decay detection include some equipment such as digital microprobes and picus sonic tomographs to assess how the tree's structure is affected.

[edit] Further Reading

Forestry Commission Hazards from Trees Guide

Breakdown of a Tree Hazard Survey

HSE Management of Risk from Trees and Branches