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Tree Works

Trees in any location might be protected by legislation for various reasons including amenity, Biodiversity or to avoid unnecessary tree loss. Work to or near trees might also be affected by Legislation (e.g. to avoid disturbance to bats or birds) or codes of practice (e.g. to avoid damage to trees during installation of underground or overhead services).

Substantial penalties can be incurred for contravention of any of these forms of statutory legal protection see page opposite.

In addition there ae legal rights and liabilities under common law which need to be considered when proposing tree work or developing management plans.

Where tree work is associated with proposed development, see BS 5837 which imposes obligations on developers in relation to construction sites


We can advise clients on all these matters


Property owners, occupiers and their agents have a duty of care to ensure that people on site and adjacent land and the properties themselves are not at unreasonable risk from possible failure of trees

In order to ensure our clients remain compliant with legislation .In addition to our contracting tree services we also offer a Tree Consultancy service.


As with all our services these are fully compliant with BS 3998 & BS5837


Tree Consultancy

Tree Reports

Tree Risk Assessment

Tree Surveys

Tree Inspections

Advise on Planning and Planting

Woodland Management.

Tree Work Specifications

Tree Management Plans

Woodland management Plans


Tree Surveys

 Tree surveys might be carried out for various reasons, including

 Tree health and welfare;

 Safety of people and property.

A tree survey, depending on the objective(s), will collect a range of data which can include location, species and sizes of trees and their environmental significance/quality whether as individuals, groups or woodlands


Tree Inspection

A tree inspection, collects information as for a tree survey, as well about tree condition and location, and interprets the information in relation to the risk posed and indicates options for mitigating risk and meeting other objectives, for appropriate action.

Tree inspections should be conducted so as to record the condition of the tree(s) and previous treatments including installations, and to consider the implications for future management.

Data collected from a tree inspection should be assessed and related to the risk, environmental and conservation considerations to form recommendations for management to meet the agreed brief if the recommendations are accepted in full or in part they will form the basis for the specification of work.

Previous history of tree problems on the site and adjacent land might be of relevance to the inspection in hand.

Most assessments will be based on a visual inspection from ground level supplemented by simple sounding and probing of suspect areas of the tree. Where a visual assessment records features indicating ill health or the presence of potentially weak structures, a more detailed inspection might be needed, involving some invasive investigation(s) of the tree or climbing the tree.


Risk Assessment


Risks should be assessed based on site usage, proximity of targets and the nature of the tree population; those three factors will determine the level and frequency of inspection.

There should be a system for recording, onward transmission of such information and acting upon it.

Before an inspection or survey is undertaken, a brief should be prepared in consultation with the client. This will state what is required from the arboriculturist [e.g. safety report; preplanning survey report (see BS 5837)].




A written report should be supplied to the client in order to complete a tree inspection. This will normally review the risk(s) posed, and the findings of tree condition made during the inspection. Significant defects detected during a detailed inspection should be recorded and reported to the client.

The report should conclude by identifying options to meet the brief, which may include not doing anything to the tree at that time or the relocation of targets.

The report may include an indication of the maximum period to elapse between inspections.

It is important that in order to remain compliant that inspection regimes are implemented and reviewed and records maintained


Following review of the recommendations and the client’s objectives, a work specification should be prepared

Trees and the law

 Before work, including inspections, commences on trees, checks should be made to determine if there are any laws and regulations that would affect the work proposed these include

TPO (Tree Preservation Orders) :  The Town and Country Planning Act 1990  as amended by the Town and Country Planning Regulations 1999  empowers local planning authorities to make tree preservation orders to protect trees in the interests of amenity

Tree preservation orders (TPO) allow for trees to be protected, from individual trees through Groupings of trees to woodlands or area TPO’s. The orders have the effect of preventing the cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, willful damage or willful destruction of trees, except in certain circumstances, other

Than with consent of the local planning authority


Conservation areastree19m: In conservation areas, trees over a certain size are protected. Except in certain circumstances six weeks notice of intent is to be given to the local planning authority before work is carried out.


Planning Restrictions: As part of planning consent there may be a requirement for the landscaping planting to be maintained this may include trees

Covenants: May be placed on property restricting tree works


The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations 1994 (as amended), the Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000

The protection afforded to bats makes it illegal to injure, kill or disturb a bat; damage, disturb or obstruct access to a roost; or damage or obstruct access to any structure or place that bats use for shelter or protection. Where bats are thought to be present, the Statutory Nature Conservation Organization, i.e. Natural England, Countryside Council for Wales need to be consulted before starting any work.


Similar protection is afforded to birds in that it is an offence to take, kill or injure any wild bird or to take, damage or destroy any eggs or nest that is either in use or being built.

Similarly it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb a bird listed in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 while it is building a nest, is on or near a nest containing eggs or young, or disturb the dependent young birds.


Tree works cannot take place if there is a risk of the works, or its effects, being harmful to resident wild birds. Under certain circumstances where such a risk is present a license can be obtained from the Department for environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)



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