Managing Risks from Trees

The benefits from trees are immense and many undisputed: ecological, mental health and financial benefits to name a few. The benefits of trees will be explored in subsequent posts as part of this series. This weeks' post seeks to briefly introduce the idea of management of trees from a hazard perspective.

What is a Tree Condition Survey?  

As discussed on the 'Tree Safety Surveys' section of our site, a tree safety survey is a management tool applied by clients and carried out by experienced, qualified consultants to demonstrate adequate management of the potential risks presented by trees to those with access. This extends to members of the public, employees, neighbours and anybody who may, with reasonable consideration, be impacted by a defective tree, including trespassers, (to a point - I'll cover this in another post).

When is a Tree Survey Appropriate? 

Quite simply, a tree survey can be carried out when trees are present and the individual concerned is required to demonstrate their duty of care. Naturally, there are a wide range of variables that may affect how a survey and report process is carried out. These are discussed, if not immediately apparent between the client and the consultant, at an early stage. It is also of paramount importance for the client to illustrate the physical dimensions of a survey in order that nothing is missed.

Why Should you Survey your Trees? 

It may have been years, possibly decades, since your trees were looked at (if ever). Nothing untoward has happened in our lifetimes so why should you bother? Simply put, although nothing has happened, this is not justification for inaction. If a scenario where death or damage were to occur is considered foreseeable from a tree defect perspective, there may be grounds for a case seeking to prove negligence on the part of the tree owner. Insurers may ask for tree hazard assessments as a condition of cover. 

As the saying goes, fortune favours the prepared mind. One should never be rushed into management decisions, especially those seeking to remove trees, possibly without cause. Trees present an immense, often unseen, contribution to our lives, therefore it is logical that the management of risks be carefully planned and understood in order to prevent unecesary tree loss and expenditure for the client.