What Is an Arboricultural Survey?

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An arboricultural survey is a specialised survey that helps homeowners and estate managers to promote the growth of healthy shrubs and trees on their site. They also play a significant role in the planning process, ensuring that trees are considered and preserved where necessary in any development.

The presence of trees, on or near a development site, need to be taken into consideration early in any planning process in order to satisfy requirements for planning. British Standard BS587 is the guidance that exists to aid the decision making process when it comes to existing and proposed.

Arboricultural surveys also play a significant role in ensuring health and safety, checking the condition of trees so they do not pose a risk. Additionally, they can also provide certainty to property owners and potential property owners by establishing the risk that nearby trees may present.

Why are arboricultural surveys required?


Arboricultural surveys are significant in that they inform which trees should be retained on sites, whether they pose any risk, and also inform developers of any constraints that may be placed on their plans.

Surveys can be conducted for several reasons, including: 

– Planning Consent: Any development plans must take into account the presence of trees on or adjacent to the site and plan accordingly. An arboricultural survey will make recommendations of which trees should be retained in order to stay within guidelines so that planning permission is likely to be granted.

– Subsidence: You can hire tree survey services, if you suspect tree roots are affecting the structural integrity of your building. Trees affect the foundation of buildings either by altering the level of soil moisture below the foundations or applying brute force.

– Personal Safety: Professional tree surveys help homeowners and property managers to evaluate the potential risk their trees may pose to the public, or onsite property. Indigo Surveys’ specialists understand that it is very important to assess older trees, which are at a higher risk of getting damaged or breaking.

– Mortgage Purposes: In some instances, mortgage lenders require property owners to perform in-depth arboricultural surveys, alongside the standard bank surveys, to show the expected longevity of property. Some trees may pose security and/or safety threats to the occupants, lowering the value of the home.

What does an arboricultural survey involve?

 

Arboricultural surveys are crucial to homeowners and property managers, and our service mainly involve:

  • Comprehensive arboricultural advisory services and reports
  • Onsite tree surveys including bat surveys if required
  • Woodland assessments
  • Professional BS5837 tree surveys, which mainly focus on the potential growth, health and age of trees within a designated area. The tree surveys are usually requested by the local councils, especially when applying for planning or development permissions.

For an arboricultural survey for planning purposes, a qualified professional surveyor will visit a site and examine each tree which will be catalogued and assessed according to a number of features, such as maturity, dimensions and condition. 

 

Each tree or group of trees will be plotted on a tree constraints plan, which identifies how trees could affect your development proposal. The report will provide advice on how you might optimise your use of the site in relation to trees.


Additionally, performing regular arboricultural surveys helps to pre-empt potential problems and identify any potentially dangerous tree before an issue happens. Although trees come with several benefits, individual trees, by virtue of their location or condition, may pose risk to people and/or onsite property. Professional inspection and survey are necessary to mitigate the potential risks and to inform on any action to be taken.

An arboricultural survey is often necessary to help tree owners to satisfy British duty of care and statutory requirements. Here at Indigo Surveys, we have hired a skilled and dedicated team of specialists to help you locate, identify and examine each tree during the initial onsite tree survey. All our arboricultural surveys satisfy the British and international standards for tree inspection and survey.

Our arboricultural surveys employ several non-invasive tools to assess the safety and integrity of onsite trees. Our surveyors take a range of images, spending ample time to identify, locate and quantify any current, and potential future, tree defects. The initial tree survey provides future surveyors with a point of reference to examine whether tree defects are likely to progress.

Tree owners can only properly fulfill their duty of care by demonstrating that they have taken all the necessary steps to inspect onsite trees on a regular basis to satisfy that duty of care. Negligence happens when a tree owner is deemed to have failed to meet the set duty of care or statutory requirements. Working with professional arboricultural consultants helps tree owners to evaluate the potential risks and make an informed decision about the necessary action to undertake to protect people and property.

Why does having trees on my land matter?


Trees can offer many environmental benefits and can also be home to an array of animals, and for this reason many are subject to Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). Removing trees subject to a  TPO or within a Conservation Area could result in action being brought against you.

Any development work on your land has to take into consideration factors such as the future movement and growth of trees, taking into account their root systems, stems and canopies in order to avoid future problems. The space required for any proposed new trees to become established is also an important consideration in any development.

 

Property owners also have a duty of care to ensure that trees on their land do not pose a risk to the safety of visitors. Over their life, trees can be vulnerable to a number of factors including environmental impact, pests and diseases which can potentially make them unsafe. A regular survey of trees can ensure that these trees do not pose a risk, or can be carefully managed to ensure safety of the public.

How will the presence of trees affect my planning application?


If there are trees on a site that you are planning to develop then a tree survey may be required. An arboricultural consultant will visit the site and categorise all the trees for their quality and value, with recommendations for their retention or removal.

 

It is possible that certain trees may be considered to be of such importance as to prevent a development occurring or lead to substantial changes having to be made to plans. If any trees are subject to a TPO, or are situated within a Conservation Area, permission must be sought prior to any work on site starting.

 

 

How long does an arboricultural survey take?

 

If you wish to enjoy swift and reliable services at affordable rates, it is crucial to hire tree inspection and survey services from a respected firm. Our specialists from Indigo Surveys deliver as quick a turnaround as possible, in order to enable tree owners to manage to manage their trees effectively. We help our clients to demonstrate that they have satisfied the duty of care and other British statutory requirements.

Our highly trained and qualified tree inspectors and surveyors have the required expertise and experience to complete the arboricultural survey within your timeline. Our specialists also take the time to assess and provide tree owners with advice on the ideal tree re-inspection frequency.

How much does an arboricultural survey cost?


Costs of tree surveys vary greatly based on a number of variables including the size of a site, number of buildings, and the number of trees or trees to inspect, but generally a tree survey cost (for one tree) starts at £210 + VAT.

 

How long is an arboricultural survey valid for?

As the condition of trees can change significantly over a very short period of time, due to external factors such as environmental conditions, disease, storm damage etc the findings of an arboricultural survey are usually valid for 12 months. We suggest that trees are inspected on a regular basis for reasons of safety.

 

How do I book an arboricultural survey?

Here at Indigo Surveys, we have hired a highly-qualified and committed team of specialists ready to help you perform robust arboricultural surveys, covering tree inspection and a range of other issues, all done within a swift timescale and at competitive rates. Every arboricultural survey issued by our team of specialists satisfies the British duty of care and statutory requirements.

We tailor our professional tree inspections and surveys to meet the specific needs of commercial and domestic sites. We want to support a happy community of tree owners across Britain. Get in touch with our team of specialists on 0333 1237080 or email us through info@indigosurveys.co.uk. for helpful advice and detailed tree surveys.

 

Testimonials

“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

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