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Indigo Surveys specialises in arboricultural consultancy and as part of our service, we provide a wide range of tree reports, tree plans and can offer you a detailed tree survey service. If you are needing a tree survey as part of a development or planning application, we are a skilled team who can help, with experience working for a number of clients within both commercial and residential fields throughout the UK.
What is a tree survey?
Landowners and developers use a tree survey report to analyse the impact of a development on an area and its immediate surroundings. Tree reports provide detailed information to developers and landowners regarding the extent to which trees or vegetation will have implications for a proposed development, either through direct occupation of an area that is to be developed on, or on space adjacent to properties that are to be developed.
A tree survey will detail all the information about the trees and vegetation on a site and help determine the trees that are to be retained and those that are required to be removed. A tree survey is extremely useful in that they allow proper informed decisions to be made. A professional tree surveyor or arborist will usually work to the British Standard BS5837.
A typical survey will usually outline the following:
- Detail of all the species of tree on site and their specific location
- Measurements of each tree including height and diameter
- The approximate age of the tree
- Condition, health and life expectancy of the tree
- Recommendations on the status of the tree i.e. whether it is to be retained, removed or requires work
A tree survey should be conducted by a qualified professional arboriculturalist. A tree report will clearly collate and present information relating to all trees on a site, with all trees identified and marked out and a recommendation regarding their retention, removal or any required work, such as pruning, in each case.
Why is a tree survey required?
Tree survey reports are required in a number of different situations. We work with a vast and varied client base, from large scale developers to domestic households. We produce thorough tree surveys, on both private and public lands, and provide accurate information in regard to the legal status of any trees present within the area, as well as listing any problems, such as disease or decay that may be affecting prominent trees in the area. This information provided by the tree survey will help support your planning application.
A tree survey provides useful information on the trees and vegetation on a site so that informed decisions can be made on what to do with them. They also help ensure that protected trees are not cut down accidentally, thus avoiding breaches of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Whether you are a developer, land owner, architect or householder, if you are thinking of constructing a new building or extending an existing one, and this is in close proximity to trees, then you will need a tree survey. Surveys are usually required on all trees on the site and those within 12 metres of the site boundary.
At Indigo Surveys, we have many years of tree survey experience and can help those looking to make changes on land understand the impact that any new development could have on the trees and vegetation on or adjacent to their site. The tree survey helps landscape designers come up with realistic designs based on the information, and plans can look to incorporate into their design those trees that cannot be removed.
Additionally, a tree survey can point out hazards, especially if trees are diseased or decaying and at risk of falling over in bad weather, in which case felling would often be recommended and the best option for safety. Overall though, a tree survey helps inform UK planning authorities so that sound decisions can be made and the chances of planning approval are generally much improved.
How do we assist our clients regarding tree surveys?
In respect of trees, we regularly advise a range of different clients including homeowners, estate owners and managers, developers, architects, planning consultants, project managers, engineers, councils, solicitors, retailers and other industry professionals. Our detailed and cost-effective tree reports are suitable for most industries and sectors.
Our arboricultural surveyors are appropriately qualified and experienced, with backgrounds in both private and public-sector tree surveying work. We provide sensible, client-focused and defensible solutions, boosting your chances of getting the planning permission you are seeking. No matter the size or scope of the location and the development, we have a team who can conduct tree surveys that provide the information required to help your project move forward.
Tree surveys are relevant to many different types of development including:
- new builds
- renovations of existing properties
Surveys can also be required due to health and safety concerns, or to help with insurance and mortgage applications for homeowners. We work to the standards and guidelines laid out by the industry, so you can be sure of the validity and accuracy of your reports.
Trees & Planning/Construction (BS5837)
If you are proposing any work in proximity to a tree, there is this potential risk of damage to the tree or damage caused in future by the tree as it grows. Also, if there are trees on or around your site, or within close proximity where they could potentially have an impact, you will need arboricultural advice to assist with your planning application.
As such, we undertake tree surveys to the British Standard 5837: 2012 ‘Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction – Recommendations’ (BS5837:2012). Arboricultural matters are but one consideration in the planning process and adherence to BS5837 and the council’s tree related planning policies ensures an application that can be defended and reduces time delays.
Our tailored approach assists in maximising your developable space and is further supported by the following:
- BS5837 documentation: BS5837 Tree Survey
- Root Protection Area calculations
- Tree Constraints Plan
- Scheme review & Arboricultural Implications Assessment
- Arboricultural Method Statement
- Tree Protection Plan.
As part of any planning application for large-scale development sites, it is vital that an accurate tree survey report is conducted, with precise and detailed information available, prior to any work being carried out. Tree reports must first be issued before any site layout preparation takes place.
These should include the dimensions of trees found on-site, including:
- diameter of stem
- crown height and crown spread
- structural integrity of the tree and its physiological condition
- the age class of all trees found on site.
Using the information gathered, a report can be put together that offers grades and classifications of all trees listed in the report, as well as any recommendations before development can continue.
Health & Safety Tree Surveys
Indigo Surveys provide Health & Safety tree risk management surveys. This includes a visual tree assessment including the physiological and structural condition of trees and tree stock to enable cost-effective site management. Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1984, tree owners have a legal responsibility and ‘duty of care’ to ensure the safety of visitors to their land and/or its vicinity.
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 competent person. From single trees to estate land, our arboricultural consultants specialise in tree hazard identification and providing sensible tree work recommendations in order to establish an acceptable level of risk.
So how often should trees be inspected? If you notice a problem with the condition any trees on your land, you should have them inspected immediately. Ordinarily, trees should be inspected every three years unless directed otherwise by a specialist. You may wish to have your trees inspected following severe weather, such as storms of excessive rain.
Tree reports for mortgage & insurance purposes
Indigo Surveys provide a tailored approach to tree surveys for homebuyers and homeowners in respect of a home purchase or mortgage/insurance renewal. We consider the trees within impacting and influencing distance of structures and review the likely, anticipated and foreseeable risk of direct and indirect damage (subsidence) being caused to built structures from trees and vegetation.
Also, we consider all trees on and around your property in respect of H&S tree risk management. We undertake a tree survey assessment and provide recommendations you to mitigate tree defects and pruning advice to suitably manage trees. Our specialist team provide a prompt survey and fast report turnaround to address the considerations which you, your advisors and other professionals require.
Damage from trees & vegetation
Trees can cause damage to hard surfaces (driveways, paths etc.), light structures (walls, outbuildings etc.) and buildings. Tree or vegetation-related damage can be from direct contact and displacement from roots, stem contact or branch contact. Or, damage may be indirect by vegetative influence, i.e. from the extraction of water from shrinkable soils.
Whether it be a preliminary site assessment due to the perceived risk from trees and vegetation, or a detailed investigation of tree-related building damage, our specialist tree consultants can provide preventative and reactive recommendations for tree/vegetation management. We provide tree reports for insurers and work in conjunction with loss adjusters, geotechnical/structural engineers, lawyers and nearby resident to establish the cause of any damage and suggest solutions.
The right initial advice will allow for preventative site management, pruning works and tree felling to be undertaken. Also, advice early after the identification of building damage can allow for the problem to be promptly remediated and potentially reduce the costs.
Tree Preservation Orders & Conservation Areas
A tree survey will help you understand the status of any trees on your land that might be protected in some way or other. Common questions you will get answers to with a tree survey include:
- Is my tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)?
- What can I do with trees on my land that are protected by a TPO?
- Is my house, my land or my tree located within a Conservation Area?
- What mitigation can be done if protected trees require removal as part of my development plans?
Indigo Surveys can undertake a baseline H&S tree survey to assess your trees and provide suitable and defensible recommendations for tree risk mitigation and tree stock management. If your trees are protected by TPO or contained within a Conservation Area then you may need Council permission or have to submit a prior notification of your intended tree works to the Council.
You can often find out whether your trees are protected by TPO, or if a tree is located within a Conservation Area, by visiting your local Council website, or contact your local authority Tree Officer directly. Should you need prior advice on the management of your trees, assistance in establishing the statutory controls and protection of your trees, or liaison with the local council, contact us for free advice and a fixed cost quote for our tree survey report options.
We understand how to work with local councils when clients are seeking planning approval on land with trees present that require protecting. The service at Indigo Surveys is built on a commitment by everyone in our team, including our tree surveyors, to provide a consistent level of high quality tree reports. We offer practical and reliable project solutions to cover a full range of development proposals, large and small.
All the tree survey reports we produce are delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner, ensuring that your projects stay on track. If you want to know more about our arboricultural, or other surveys, then contact our team by calling 0333 123 7080 or by emailing us at email@example.com.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”