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When is a Tree Survey Necessary? 

A tree survey may be conducted on either a public or private landscape. The main aim of a tree survey is to determine useful information regarding the trees. The information is then provided to property managers or homeowners, providing them with the means to make more informed decisions. The survey and its findings will usually play a main part in determining what happens with any trees situated on the land. Conducting a tree survey is essential for understanding the health and ecological value of the trees on your property.

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Who Carries Out Tree Surveys?

Having a tree survey carried out can lead to a lot of useful information. It is usually conducted by a professional tree surgeon or arborist who will work to the British StandardBS5837. You can learn more at treesurvey.co.uk. Treesurvey.co.uk work with experienced and qualified professionals who survey thousands of trees per year. They cover various areas of the UK including the Northwest, Northeast, Yorkshire and The Humber, the East and West Midlands, the East of England and London. If you need expert tree care, consider hiring a Shoalhaven arborist to maintain the health and safety of your trees.

What Information Do You Get from a Tree Survey?

Tree surveys are carried out by professional tree surgeons or arborists who judge the trees based on standards in place to determine if trees should or should not be removed. The tree survey will provide you with a wide range of information about the trees on the land including how many trees are present, the tree species, the age and life expectancy of each tree, measurements including the diameter, crown radii for the north, west and east crowns, and the height of the tree in metres. Each tree will be given a unique reference number. You will also learn more about the health of each tree and the physiological and structural condition. The survey may also provide you with further information on maintenance and management of the trees. 

When Do You Need a Tree Survey?

It is a legal requirement to have a tree survey conducted in some areas due to certain tree species that are protected. In 1981, the Wildlife and Countryside Act was put in place to protect any protected tree species from being removed either accidentally or intentionally. A tree survey provides you with this necessary information about each tree on the land, allowing you to determine which trees can be cut down and which cannot. 

Reasons to Get a Tree Survey

Even in areas where tree surveys are not required by law, there are many reasons why you might consider getting one carried out.

1. Building New Structures

In most cases, it is a good idea to get a Tree consultancy booked in with experts in your local area before any changes are made to a landscape or property. For example, if you want to build an extension onto your home and the new building will be near trees, you can get important information from such a consultancy that will help you make better decisions when planning the design as to prevent any damage from roots or falling branches. Furthermore, they will be able to advice you on how to avoid trouble down the line based on the trees in the area and if they may pose any structural risks to your extension with the growth of roots and other similar issues. Tree consultants will most importantly be able to advise and refer you to the appropriate parties should you need to remove a tree or have it trimmed in some way.

2. Landscaping

In landscaping, landscape designers often use a tree survey to help them determine which trees to keep and which to cut down. This is because some trees will add value to properties more so compared to others.

3. Preventing Hazards

A tree survey can help you learn more about the potential hazards that a tree or trees may pose to an area or property. Learning more about the health of the trees in the area can make it easier to determine what should be done with them. For example, a decaying tree that is located close to a property could be a serious danger as there is a higher likelihood that it will come down in bad weather. Additionally, some tree species will take up a lot of moisture from the ground which can lead to a higher risk of ground movement and subsidence in the property. 

Is a Tree Survey Needed?

If you want to build a property or add to an existing property, a tree survey is usually recommended. Tree surveys are also required in cases where access is being changed or service lines are being moved. A survey should include any trees on the site along with other trees that are within 12m of the new building, access point or service line. If you are constructing a new property, all trees on the site should be surveyed along with any trees located within 12m of the boundary of the property. 

Which Trees Should Be Included?

A tree survey should show any tree included on the site. Regardless of protected status, all trees can be a material consideration in a planning application. A tree survey should include any trees with more than 75mm stem diameter when measured at one and a half metres about ground level. 

What is a Tree Risk Survey?

You may be concerned about tree safety if it is your responsibility to maintain the trees on your land. In this case, a tree risk survey or tree condition survey may be needed. The purpose of this survey is to closely examine each tree for defects or disease. The report provides you with further information to help you decide on the next steps to take to keep risks to a minimum. A tree risk survey may need to be conducted more frequently in areas of higher risk. When regular tree risk surveys are required, it is recommended to have them at different intervals throughout the year to take into account the impact of the changing seasons on the trees. 

Managing Subsidence with a Tree Survey

In some cases, trees that are too close to a property can cause subsidence. This is a result of ground movement that occurs when the tree’s roots draw moisture from the soil. There is a particular risk at dry and warm times of the year when the soil is already low in moisture. If a property has subsidence, a tree survey can be carried out to learn which trees have caused this and plan the next steps to prevent the problem from worsening over time. 

A tree survey may be required in many different situations. If you are building or landscaping in an area where there are trees, a survey can help you make more informed decisions regarding them.