BS5837 Tree Survey

Trusted, qualified and experienced Tree Surveyors. Tree Surveys From £250. BS5837 Tree Surveys, Tree Reports, Tree Constraints Plans, Root Protection Area Calculations, Arboricultural Assessments, Arboricultural Method Statements, Tree Protection Plans & more.

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Up front advice

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Proven record

Indigo Surveys Ltd is a well-established company dealing with Arboriculture and Ecology practices across the UK. We are ideally placed to help you conduct a BS5837 tree survey. If you are looking for specialists to provide a tree survey for planning, we are your ideal option.

Based in Chester, but with professionals available around the country, we administer trusted BS5837 surveys in Chester, London, Birmingham and many other locations around the UK. We understand many of our clients would prefer a swift tree report for planning so we offer prompt and reliable care.

The cost of this initial survey to address tree retention (or otherwise) in a proposed development will depend on the size and complexity of your site, but start from £250.

What is a BS5837 Survey? A pre-development tree survey to address tree retention (or otherwise) in a proposed development
What is involved in a BS5837 survey? Recording of all trees and their attributes  to inform a development plan, including tree retention and constraints data
How long will a BS5837 survey typically take? Usually between 1-5 days
How much is a BS5837 survey likely to cost? Will depend on the size and complexity of your site, but start from £250
How do I know if  I need a BS5837 survey? Anyone planning on making changes on property or land  which contains trees, or is in close proximity to trees, will need a survey

As well as Indigo Surveys Ltd operating with speed and efficiency, we also offer great flexibility with regards to BS5837 services. Wherever we are needed, simply inform us of your location and we’ll have one of our professionals visit your site. The specialist will then conduct a personalised evaluation which covers each and every of your site’s key features.

Our extensive experience and familiarity with tree surveys in the UK will be of great help, while our trained specialists enable us to understand the ecological needs of your specific site. As we provide the BS5837 survey, we’ll consider your site’s ecological needs, as well as current and future issues, offering ideas on how to deal with risks.

BS5837 Tree Survey

How do I know if  I need a BS5837 survey?

Anyone planning on developing on land which contains trees, or has trees adjacent to the site, will need a survey done.This survey will record all relevant trees and their attributes so that a development plan can be designed showing the retention of higher-quality trees where appropriate. 

A survey will provide tree constraints data including Root Protection Areas (RPA’s), and crown spread/height to aid layout planning. Where trees are considered a ‘material consideration’ (i.e. need to be taken into account), it is likely that a local planning authority will not consider an application for development without a BS5837 survey being submitted.

How is a BS5837 Tree survey carried out?

When surveying trees about your site, we utilise a range of different technologies and measuring devices to produce an accurate representation of the trees on your site which will aid your seeking of any planning permission.

The team at Indigo will put together your tree survey using a combination of some of the following:                             

  • GPS technology with tree surveying software
  • Laser and tree measuring devices
  • Visual Tree Assessment (internationally recognised VTA method) 
  • Using drones for hard to access areas (if required)
  • Tree climbing facilities for inspections (if required)

Our BS5837 survey ensures a tree protection plan is created in time for the construction phase of the development project and typically involves the following:

  • Mapping – Plot out the trees on site. The formation of trees helps get an idea of the surrounding green infrastructure, which can help with things such as reducing wind speed toward the development site.
  • Cataloguing – Identify, measure & categorise all trees on site or adjacent.
  • Shading Arcs – Map shading arcs that provide sun path analysis. With efficient use of shading, you can reduce energy demands.
  • Crown Spread Assessment – Crown Spread refers to the spread of the “crown” of the tree, meaning the very top. The spread and its features are analysed to determine the health of the trees.
  • Tree Constraints Plan – A Tree Constraints Plan creates a guideline for how the trees are going to be integrated into the construction project.
  • Root Protection Areas – A root protection area is an area of land where the roots of existing trees are below the ground level.
  • Arboricultural Method Statement Details – Assess the value and risks of all trees, differentiating the trees to be removed and the retained trees. Some of them may be rare or otherwise protected by law, making them part of the retained trees list, a group that must be protected from construction and development plans. This is also important for climate change adaptation.
  • Arboricultural Impact Assessment – Produce an ‘Arboricultural Impact Assessment’ that considers how a proposed development and its associated trees will co-exist in the present and future.
  • Providing recommendations for all trees on site, deciding on their retention, removal, or any replanting that may be required

The survey information we provide can be used at the planning, design & implementation stage of your project. A BS5837 is often required by planning authority before planning permission can even be considered.

When is a BS5837 Tree Survey required?

A suitably designed scheme (tree survey for planning application for an extension, new build, demolition or development proposal) which is deemed acceptable by your local authority tree department cannot be achieved without first assessing the site’s arboricultural constraints.

Where trees are located within the site boundary or on the adjacent land i.e. trees within impacting distance of the site (15m distance from site boundary is often used by the Local Planning Authority), a BS5837:2012 compliant Tree Assessment (Tree Survey and Tree Report) is required.

Essentially, anyone planning on making changes on property or land which contains trees or is close to trees will need a BS5837 survey. These surveys usually apply to large development sites, but can also be just as relevant to individuals who wish to make alterations to their own home, such as an extension or garage. 

Who is qualified to conduct a BS5837 Tree Survey?

The BS5837 Tree Survey, Advice and Report should be prepared by a suitably qualified Arboriculturist (Tree Consultant/Arboricultural Consultant) and will allow for a realistic understanding of the site and the limitations presented by trees. An acceptable BS5837 tree survey design will successfully incorporate the suitable trees without damage or future conflict and mitigate the loss of any trees being removed.

Ultimately, the local authority tree department will need an Assessment to inform their decision-making process. The current British Standard to Design, Demolition and Construction – Recommendations (4th Edition, came into effect on 30 April 2012 and supersedes BS5837:2005) outlines the requirement for an Arboriculturist to undertake a Tree Survey, Tree Constraints Plan and Tree Report to guide design.

Thereafter, and to the final BS5837 scheme, an Arboricultural Implications Assessment with Method Statement considerations and a ‘Draft’ Tree Protection Plan are typically required for a planning application.

Why choose us for your BS5837 Survey?

Indigo Surveys Ltd has a high level of professionalism in our tree survey for planning. We offer a trusted option in the BS5837 tree surveys we conduct for clients all over the country. We perform these in total compliance with current British Standard BS5837:2012 recommendations. This means that the surveys we conduct meet all safety and quality British standards required.

When you enlist the services of Indigo Surveys Ltd when looking for a tree report for planning, we will perform all of the required and recommended actions and provide appropriate advice. We are a company that offers our clients peace of mind whenever you enlist us to carry out a BS5837 survey.

We have a collaborative approach to the tree survey service we offer, ensuring we provide the right collective professional advice at the appropriate time. We will deliver a tree report for planning full of professional insight every step of the process.

All of your relevant questions will be answered in detail, covering all of the ecological requirements of your site. Thanks to the transferable skills of our highly flexible team of Tree Surveyors, we can adapt to varying projects, whatever their individual needs. We offer an ecological study, identification and an in-depth mapping of all of the important tree habitat features within your site.

You can be sure that the tree report for planning we deliver will encompass all of the detailed information you need for any application for planning permission. We make sure that you receive the best guidance on the trees on your site and their associated risks.

Our specialists offer a high level of professionalism ensuring a service that is high in both quality and value for money. This combination of strengths makes us a leading and highly reliable BS5837 survey option.

How long will a BS5837 Survey take?

The length of time taken to complete a BS5837 tree survey will vary due to a number of factors including the size of the site and the number of trees on or adjacent to the site. BS5837 tree surveys can be carried out in a matter of days, usually between 1-5 days. Any findings and recommendations made in a report will be limited to a specified time period due to the changing nature of trees and other site circumstances.

How do I book a BS5837 Tree Survey?

The specific tree related planning policies and/or supplementary planning guidance can be found via the council’s specific website sections. They can offer guidance on any issue related to a tree survey for planning application, BS5837 tree survey and many other BS5837 guidelines.

Our BS5837 specific Arboricultural Consultancy services are outlined at our Arboriculturist and BS5837 Tree Reports website sections however, please feel free to contact a member of the team for advice on 0333 123 7080 or


“We have retained Indigo Surveys to undertake measured surveys and tree services for various projects over the last 5 years and have always found the price, quality and customer service to be excellent. Andrew Turnbull is exceptionally helpful, easy to contact and always responds to queries in a timely manner.”

Claire Williams
Project Manager

“I have worked with Indigo on many school projects. Many ran at the same time and had very short pre-construction programmes. Indigo were proactive and able to meet the challenging programmes, which enabled us to meet all submission dates for approval. We were kept aware of all ecology/arboricultural issues from the outset.”

Jane Shaw
Senior Design Manager

“Indigo’s role in the Project Team was crucial in obtaining Planning Permission on a complex and challenging site. Their expert arboricultural knowledge resulted in successful negotiations with the Planning Authority and helped make the project feasible while also ensuring that it preserved the character of the site.”

Graeme Mill
Project Architect

“We used Andy at Indigo Surveys for a difficult planning scheme in Wimbledon Village and found his knowledge and strategy in dealing with the various issues thrown up very impressive and the added footprint that this gave the client on the scheme was invaluable. We continue to use Indigo Surveys Ltd for Arboricultural Consultancy services, and would be very happy to recommend them.”

Martin Down
Managing Director