If you are a home or land owner with trees on your property, you may find yourself unsure in what approach to take to manage the risks they pose. Trees can become damaged (such as storm damage or vehicle collision), or be infected with diseases that affect their structure (and therefore, how safe they are). A Tree Condition Report is designed to pick up defects in trees and give a list of recommendations for tree work that will ensure the tree is not likely to be a safety issue to people or property. A Tree Condition Report will recommend the minimal level of works needed to address the issues. This can avoid expensive tree work which can lead to more problems, and seek to preserve as much of the trees original features and benefits as possible. The advice of an Arboricultural Consultant is covered by professional indemnity insurance, and this is a key difference between a consultant and a contractor.
“I have a tree on my property which was recently partially/fully damaged by a recent storm. Could this be potentially unsafe to my property and/or surrounding properties?“
Storms can push even the strongest and healthiest of trees past their limit leading to broken branches and / or falling trees. After a storm event it is advisable to check your trees for anything abnormal or unusual. If in doubt, seek professional advice.
“I have noticed fungal growth on a tree. Will a Tree Condition Report tell me whether this is not a problem, or a potential safety hazard?”
There are different levels of investigation with a Tree Condition Report. In most case a visual inspection from ground level will be all that is needed. In some cases defects are internal and a more detailed tree inspection is needed. This may include use of decay detection equipment to determine the extent of internal decay.
“A tree on a neighboring property may be a hazard to my property. The owner is not taking steps to resolve the problem. Am I legally entitled to request them to organise a Tree Condition Report.”
The tree owner / occupier of land with trees is not compelled by law to take a pro-active approach to tree management. However, if lack of action leads to an accident, they may be liable for the harm caused.
“Is a Tree Condition Report expensive?”
No – in most cases a tree report is likely to save money on tree management. It will also help address legal liabilities.
“I now have a Tree Condition Report for tree(s) on my property. What do I need to do next?”
The report has recommendations within it. By acting on those recommendations, you reduce risk from identified defects and demonstrate that you are a responsible tree owner.
“I have a tree on my property that is partially damaged, but wish to avoid having the tree removed if possible. Can a Tree Condition Report advise on ways of preserving a tree so that it is safe?”
The outcome of a Tree Condition Report cannot be guaranteed as there are many things to consider. However, we only recommend tree work or removal where the benefits of keeping trees are outweighed by other factors.