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 damage to property.
 Laws concerning tree management
A number of UK laws require landowners to routinely inspect and manage the trees on their property:
- Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 s 2 & 3.
- Occupier's Liability Act 1957.
- Occupier's Liability Act 1984.
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
In additions, legal precedent has been established by:
- Donoghue v. Stevenson 1932.
- Noble v. Harrison 1926.
- Chapman v. Barking & Dagenham London Borough Council 1997.
- Poll v. Bartholomew 2006
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 management is taking place.
 Tree hazard surveys as part of active management
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.
 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 require equipment such as digital microprobes and picus sonic tomographs to assess how the tree's structure is affected.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Chain of custody.
- Ecological survey.
- Eco-management and audit scheme.
- Environmental plan.
- Forest ownership.
- Protected species.
- Tree preservation order.
- Tree rights.
 External references
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