Tree Survey FAQs

Find answers to some of the most common questions relating to tree surveys and tree reports…

What is a tree survey?

A tree survey will detail all the information about the trees on a site earmarked for development and help determine which trees are to be retained and which are to be removed. Tree reports allow proper informed decisions to be made by developers and landowners and highlight whether or not trees on the site or adjacent to will impact on the scope of the proposed development of an area.

What does a typical tree report include?

A tree report will highlight all the trees and significant vegetation such as hedgerows which could impact place constraints on a development. A typical tree survey outline a number of factors including:

  • Location and species of each tree
  • Tree measurements (including height and diameter)
  • Age of each tree
  • Condition and life expectancy of the tree
  • Tree recommendation whether the tree is to be felled or retained

What is an arboricultural survey?

Essentially this is just another name for a tree survey. A tree survey should be conducted by a professional arboriculturalist and will outline and identify all trees and a recommendation for their retention or removal. A professional arboricultural surveyor or arborist will usually work to the British Standard BS5837. 

Why do you need a tree survey?

A tree survey is typically used to analyse the impact of a development on an area and its immediate surroundings, and are commonly required by landowners and developers. A tree report will highlight the legal status (i.e whether they are protected or not) of any trees present within the area, as well as listing any disease or decay that may be affecting prominent trees in the area. 

A tree survey provides useful information on the trees and vegetation on a site so that informed decisions can be made on their future. They also help ensure that protected trees are not mistakenly cut down, in breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

If you are considering the construction of a new building or extending an existing one, and this is in close proximity to trees, then you will probably need a tree survey. Surveys are usually required of all trees on the site and those within 12 metres of the site boundary.

How much does tree survey cost?

The cost of a tree survey will depend on the scale of the development area and, of course, the number of trees and significant vegetation on the site. Get in touch with us and provide us with some details and we’ll be able to give you a fixed priced quote so there are no hidden costs for you. You will find it is money well spent as we are sure you won’t be refused planning consent when following our advice.

How long is a tree survey valid for?

Usually the findings of a tree survey are valid for 12 months from the date of the survey. If work has not commenced within a year, we would recommend an updated site visit to assess the trees and see if our recommendations first made are still valid.

You may think that not a great deal will have changed regarding the status of trees on your land within that time period, but it is possible that environmental factors, such as disease or a harsh winter with strong winds,  plus other site factors may have significantly affected the condition of trees.

How long does a tree survey take?

There is no fixed number of days for the amount of time it takes to carry out a tree survey as the size of the site and the number of trees on or adjacent to the site will have to be taken into consideration. We can usually complete a tree survey between 1-5 days and have your report with you soon after that.


What is a BS5837 tree survey?

A BS5837 tree survey is a pre-development tree survey that is required for any development in the vicinity of trees. The survey addresses the issues of tree retention in the context of a proposed development and is subject to the standards set out by BS5837 – ‘British Standard for Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations’. The most recent version was published in 2012 and provides guidance relating to trees that could be affected as part of a development process.

Will a tree survey tell me if a tree needs to be felled?

Indigo Surveys frequently carry out tree surveys for health and safety purposes, so we can help you whether you need a survey to check a single tree, several, or as part of an overall assessment of your land. We will consider the condition of your trees and make recommendations, whether that involves careful management (pruning) or complete felling.

Tree owners have a legal responsibility and ‘duty of care’ under the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 to ensure the safety of visitors to their land. This includes the need to apply reasonable measures for the safety of their trees. As such they must show that regular tree inspections have been carried out by a suitably qualified person, and this is where Indigo Surveys can help you out.

Can you provide tree surveys for mortgage or insurance purposes?

Trees can cause issues both for potential buyers seeking a mortgage and those looking to make an insurance renewal. We provide a tailored approach to tree surveys for homebuyers and homeowners when trees may be impacting (or likely to impact) on building structures.

We can review the risk of damage being caused to built structures from trees and vegetation. We know that trees can cause damage to hard surfaces such as driveways, paths, light structures such as walls and outbuildings, and buildings, and our tree consultant reports can recommend measures for effective tree management.

What is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)?

A Tree Preservation Order is an order made by a local planning authority to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands. An Order prohibits the cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage, wilful destruction of trees without the local planning authority’s written consent.  If your trees are protected by TPO or contained within a Conservation Area then you may need Council permission or to submit a prior notification of your intended tree works to the Council.

You can often check whether your trees are protected by TPO or whether a tree is located within a Conservation Area by visiting your local Council website, or you may contact your local authority Tree Officer directly. Should you need prior advice on the management of your trees, assistance in establishing the protected status of your trees, or liaising with the local council, contact us.


Why choose Indigo Surveys for your tree survey?

Indigo Surveys Ltd has a high level of professionalism in the tree survey services we provide. We perform our surveys in total compliance with current British Standard BS5837:2012 recommendations, meaning that all the surveys we conduct meet all safety and quality British standards required.

When you enlist the services of Indigo Surveys Ltd we perform all of the required and recommended actions and provide appropriate advice. We will deliver a timely tree report for planning full of professional insight. You can be sure that the tree report 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 quality and provides excellent value for money. This combination of strengths makes us a leading and highly reliable tree survey provider

How do I book a tree survey?

If you would like to find out more about our tree survey services, or any of our other services, it is easy to get in touch. You can contact our helpful team of specialists for advice by calling 0333 123 7080 or by emailing us at