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What is a Tree Survey and Why Do You Need One?

A tree survey is a necessary procedure in order to assess the integrity of trees on a property. A tree survey ensures that the tree is healthy and in good condition in order to remain on the premises.

Whether it's a commercial property or residential residence, all tree owners have a duty of care in order to protect the public by preventing the possibility of a tree falling down and causing injury. A tree survey is also sometimes required for planning permissions in order to meet local conservation laws and legal requirements.

What is a Tree Survey?

A tree survey is an official assessment carried out by an Arboriculturist. There is a British Standard of tree surveying that is upheld, the BS5837: 2012, and this helps to guide tree owners and their decisions regarding trees.

A tree survey gathers useful information on the tree's current condition. This data is then used to inform tree owners and land developers on what to do with the trees on the property, if they are to be retained or if they need remedial works.

Why Get a Tree Survey?

There are many reasons why you should get your tree, or trees surveyed, not only does it assess the health and condition of the tree(s), but it also works to protect surrounding wildlife, natural habitats and for protecting the general public from falling trees.

Here are some reasons why you should seek a tree survey:

Tree Preservation Orders

Tree Preservation Orders or Conservation Area Orders are put in place by local councils to ensure that certain trees are protected from development and from unnecessary remedial works.

They prevent protected trees from being intentionally or unintentionally cut down. Tree owners need to abide by them to avoid facing prosecution. If trees on your property are protected, you will need a tree survey from a qualified Arboriculturist to accompany your Tree Works Application.

Tree Surveys and Development

There is no doubt that tree add value to the natural landscape, but sometimes their locations come into conflict with proposed developments. In order to ensure that trees are impacted as minimally as possible during development a tree survey along with an Arboricultural Impact Assessment is needed for every Planning Application where trees may be affected.

Tree Surveys for Property Management

In order to maintain the health and safety of a site, regular tree surveys need to be conducted to ascertain the physiological health of a tree along with its biomechanical structure.

Using their expert knowledge, an Arboriculturist will look for any signs of defect or decay that could reduce the lifespan of a tree. In addition to this, the Arboriculturist will advise on retention strategies and, where necessary, future replanting.

Tree Surveys for Public Protection

As a tree owner, there is a legal expectation that owners should take reasonable actions in order to ensure the safety of people that pass by the trees on the property.

Failure to do so may be seen as negligence, which may leave you financially and legally responsible for any injuries that are caused by falling trees on your property.

Tree owners have a Duty of Care to mitigate the risks posed by their trees to people and/or property. Commissioning a Tree Survey by a qualified Arboriculturist allows tree owners to fulfill their Duty of Care.

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