What is an Arboricultural Survey?

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What is an Arboricultural Survey?

Despite the obvious benefits trees bring to the environment, they can sometimes present threats to public health and safety and the structural integrity of buildings. Arboricultural surveys help to assess these risks and put plans into place for damage limitation whilst prioritising the health of the trees and shrubs in consideration.

In this article, we discuss what an arboricultural survey is in detail, situations where you might need one and how often they should be carried out.

What is an Arboricultural Survey?

An arboricultural survey (sometimes called a tree survey) is a specialist, technical report carried out by environmental consultancies that ensure the growth and preservation of shrubs and trees is considered in any development planning processes.

Tree surveys also help to make sure trees do not present any threat to the structural integrity of buildings or pose any tangible health and safety risks – typically observed in old or previously damaged trees.

On top of this, many trees are subject to Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) which prohibit them from being cut down, uprooted, damaged, or destroyed without the local planning authority’s written consent. Anyone who is found guilty and convicted of carrying out or giving permission for these offences can be liable to a fine of up to £20,000.

The recommendations made in arboricultural surveys will ensure these trees are protected and avoid the risk of this happening.

When Might You Need an Arboricultural Survey?

The reasons you might need an arboricultural survey are limitless and this list by no means covers everything, however these are a few common situations in which you might find yourself in need of an arboricultural survey.

Seeking Planning Permission

Local planning authorities require tree surveys to adhere to the British Standard BS5837 to fully explore how trees located on or nearby developments might be impacted by building design, demolition and construction.

A tree survey for planning will make recommendations on which trees need to be retained to stay within the guidelines and increase the likelihood of permission being granted.

All development work will also need to take into consideration how trees will grow over time – ensuring their roots, branches and canopies won’t cause any issues in the future.

Ensuring Personal Safety

Over time, trees are subjected to damage from a variety of different sources – such as adverse weather conditions like storms, pests, and disease, which can cause them to become unsafe.

Arboriculturists can carry out a tree safety survey to assess how likely trees are to cause harm to the people around them.

How Often Should Arboricultural Surveys Be Carried Out?

As a general rule, it’s a good idea for property owners and managers to complete tree surveys on a regular basis so that potential problems can be identified before they begin to affect the property or become a danger to others.

The structure and stability of trees can change drastically over a short period of time, so it’s best practice to have an arboricultural survey carried out routinely every two years or so.

However, this can range from between 3 months to 5 years, depending on additional risk factors such as decay and disease, location, storm damage and the size of the trees being surveyed

Arboricultural Surveys with Greenlight Consultancy

Our LANTRA qualified tree inspectors and tree climbers carry out arboricultural impact assessments, tree inspections and provide advice on preventing the harm of trees during construction projects.

Contact us for more information or to request a quote today.