An arboricultural survey, which is also known as a tree survey, is a detailed assessment of a tree or group of trees within a specific area. They are carried out by arboriculturists or tree surgeons in order to assess the condition, health and risks associated with trees on the site. Read on to learn more about tree surveys in Essex, including what they involve and why they might be needed.
What does an arboricultural survey involve?
An arboricultural survey normally involves the following components:
- Key details: Important information about all the trees on the site is recorded, including the number, species, age, size (height, diameter and radii) and location. This will include reference numbers that are unique to each tree.
- Tree condition: The trees are assessed for signs of disease, decay, pests, structural defects and their overall health. This assessment allows the surveyor to identify trees that might pose a risk to people or property.
- Tree life expectancy: A surveyor can estimate how long a tree is likely to live, allowing property owners to plan for its long-term care and maintenance. Additionally, knowing its expected lifespan helps to determine if there are any potential risks to consider, such as decay and structural issues which are more common in older trees.
- Tree risks: Potential risks associated with the trees on the site are considered, including factors such as tree health, their proximity to structures such as houses and power lines and the likelihood of branches falling. This part of the survey helps to prioritise tree work that can reduce the level of risk.
- Recommendations for tree management: The surveyor provides recommendations for the trees based on the findings of the survey. This could include pruning, crown reduction, or even removal in some cases. A tree management plan may be developed in order to guide future tree care and maintenance.
When is an arboricultural survey required?
In some areas of the UK, you’re required by law to have an arboricultural survey carried out. This is because the area might have a particular species of tree that needs protecting. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 exists to stop protected trees from being felled either intentionally or accidentally.
You might also need to have an arboricultural survey carried out before you make plans to change or adapt a property or a landscape. For example, you may want to build on land which is near to some trees. The information gathered from a tree survey can prove very useful when creating digital designs of a property. Draft designs are far more realistic when a tree survey has been carried out.
An arboricultural survey may be necessary if you want to identify any hazards on your property. For example, it can highlight trees that are diseased or damaged and therefore at risk of falling. These trees may need to be removed for safety reasons.