What is a Tree Survey?

When tree surveys are conducted, they are conducted in certain areas. These are typically private or public landscapes.

A tree survey aims to discover useful information about trees and how to apply this information when making decisions regarding trees.

Homeowners and property management officials are given the information to help them form decisions. Depending on the survey result, what will happen to the trees on the land will be decided.

Much goes into the various parts that represent a tree survey. Typically, professional arborists or tree surgeons follow the BS5837 British Standard to help them make their decisions.

This standard is a valuable way to assist individuals in making decisions based on what the survey finds. There are times when the trees are removed and when the trees are left alone. To avoid making a mistake, the standard can keep a professional arborist on track.

What do we find on a Tree Survey?

The expert arborist bases their judgment on the trees following the British Standard BS5837. The standard helps to determine when trees should be left alone or when one should remove them.

Regarding the survey:

  • Counting the number of trees is typically counted when their diameter is more than 75mm at 1.5m above the ground.
  • Record numbers unique to each tree and not as a whole.
  • Indicate the tree’s species by common name or scientific name.
  • Indicate the tree’s age under the young, semi-mature, mature, postmature, and veteran classes.
  • Indicate the life expectancy of the tree.
  • What is the height of the tree in metres?
  • What is the tree’s diameter in centimetres with the measurement taken at 1.5m above the ground?
  • What are the crown radii for the west, east, north, and south crowns in metres?
  • What is the tree’s health, and what is its physiological and structural condition?

Indicate recommendations for managing the trees:

Professionals who do these surveys know how to conduct all of the crucial measurements and how to indicate the tree’s health. If you are carrying out a tree survey, to assess the dangers and hazards of a tree, it’s very important you carry out a tree risk assessment.

When does a Tree Survey need to be conducted?

In some jurisdictions, tree surveys must be conducted by law. This is because some areas could have certain kinds of trees that need protection or that are rare and difficult to maintain.

To protect trees from being removed either intentionally or by accident, The Wildfire and Countryside Act of 1981 was formed. The act is an effective way to protect trees from human intervention.

Other reasons could include your wanting a tree survey done before you plan to change a landscape or property.

Maybe you want to build on land you desire or near trees. When a tree survey is conducted, it can be helpful when creating designs of a property on a computer. The realism of these draft designs helps when a tree survey has been conducted before the plan is initiated.

It’s well known that landscape designers know trees add value to a property. A tree survey helps to decide which trees to keep.

Tree surveys also locate any hazards existing on the property. Such a tree survey could highlight a diseased tree or one that could fall and therefore be a danger.

When a tree has fungal decay, the tree could fall at any time. This can especially happen during strong winds or bad weather. For such trees, removing them is a better choice.

A professional arboriculturist can present the garnered information in a user-friendly way.

Every tree on the land is given a tag and a unique number. One can then cross-check the numbers with a summary table with relevant details to ensure accuracy.

No work should start on land until a tree survey has been conducted and completed.

Author: Transen