Landowners who own plots of land with trees have a range of legal responsibilities, one of which is to ensure that their trees don’t pose a safety risk. For example, if the trees are in an open park that the public can access, the park owner must ensure the trees are safe.
To keep trees free of health and safety risks, landowners may need to cut the trees down or trim the branches. Just like roof maintenance at home or maintenance of public roads, trees require ongoing assessments to identify potential safety hazards.
What is a Tree Survey?
A tree survey is an objective way to measure how safe a tree is and it collects information about a plot of land and the trees that are planted on it. The survey looks at the age, number, location, and species of trees, and is carried out by a qualified professional.
A tree survey is a widely recognized method of gathering all of this information. It needs to follow a pre-determined set of guidelines and meet a legal standard.
How to Perform a Tree Survey
Performing a tree survey might sound complicated at first but after you’ve done it a few times, it becomes second nature. Here is a step-by-step guide to conducting a professional tree survey.
Divide Your Land into Areas
Before you can begin surveying your trees, you will need to split your land into smaller, more manageable areas. This ensures you don’t miss a single tree on your plot.
Establish a route that makes it easy for you to survey every part of your land. You could start at one end and work all the way down to the other end of your plot in lines, or you might prefer to work in quarters.
Gather Your Equipment
You will need a range of equipment to conduct a tree survey. The exact equipment depends on your specific plot of land, how tall your trees are, and how you plan to keep track of which trees you have already surveyed as you work across your land.
For example, if you have a lot of taller trees, you will need equipment to safely reach the top of them to check the higher levels of the trees. Most people like to use tags to mark their trees and note down the details of each one.
Complete the Survey
There are a number of things that you need to note down when completing a tree survey. Working in the same order for every tree will help you to remember every measurement.
When surveying a tree, note down the following details:
- Location on the plot of land
- Colour of leaf
- Size, including height and crown spread
- Condition of the roots
- Condition of the canopy
- Presence or absence of fungus
- Presence or absence of ivy
Report Your Findings
Once you have surveyed every tree, you will need to file a report of your findings with the landowner, landscaper, or local authorities. They will check that your survey complies with all of the legal legislation and can talk to you about future management of your trees.