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Tree Reporting

Free Tree Consulting Service

We offer a free consulting service prior to commissioning any reports:

  • Meet you on site
  • Carry out a basic Visual Tree Assessment
  • Advise you on what reporting option would best suit your needs

There may be no report needed. We use our experience of where council approve or reject tree permits under their planning controls to advise the likely outcome. Trees could:

  • Be exempt from planning permits.
  • Have common tree faults can justify a tree removal permit.
  • Cause complaints that do not result in tree permit approval.

There is no charge for our preliminary assessment service.

Contact us if:

… you want a tree gone and need a council permit
… you are worried about a tree & want free advice
… you want a tree assessed for development approval
… you want a tree audit of all your trees
… you are going to build around a tree

Which Tree Report Do I Need?

There are many different types of reports. The right report will depend on what you want to accomplish. Data gathered on your urban forest must have practical value. To guarantee that your tree management program will be effective today and useful tomorrow, you must match an appropriate report to your objectives. The most common report types include:

Application For Tree Removal From Council

  • Most councils require that application for tree removal supply a brief arborist report stating the reasons for tree removal.
  • This report will identify the hazard (if any) that will satisfy council specifications for tree removal
  • We use our experience with dealing with the particular council concerned, plus our visual tree assessment knowledge to supply council with the information that will most likely get the result our client requires.


Tree Hazard / Health Report

  • This type of report will usually concern one, or a small collection of significant trees that could pose a hazard if left unchecked
  • Details on the condition of the tree and recommendations for action will be detailed within this report.

Why Should I Get A Tree Hazard / Health Report?

  • I have an old tree: As trees age they can become more susceptible to failure. Some trees have heritage tree listing that requires tree owners to retain and maintain the tree.
  • I have a particular hazard query: If something looks dangerous we can offer our expert advice on the reality of the perceived risk.
  • I have a tree in a high traffic or high value property zone: The area around the tree can determine the acceptable level of risk. Trees are assessed based on the acceptable level of failure of the tree using a range of qualitative and quantitative tools.


Basic Tree Maintenance Report

  • Gathers data about a specific problem or condition for work contracts or work schedules. For example, a survey of hazard trees or the extents of elm beetle infestations are specific problem inventories. Note that every community should conduct a annual survey of hazardous trees. This is the most basic form of tree reporting, it requires a visual tree assessment (VTA) of every tree, but only the hazards are noted in the report with the focus on immediate requirements with less emphasis on long term planning or budgeting.
  • Will usually include a site plan showing the location of each tree, a photo of each identified hazard, a short description of the hazard and recommendations for remediation.

Why Should I Get A Basic Maintenance Report?

  • This plan will serve as a tender document to obtain quotations for the immediate work requirements. It will make sure that the tree crews are working to a pre-determined priority list that has been approved by your organisation. This process should be repeated annually to monitor changes in the tree population and to gradually move the focus of works into longer-term management rather than disaster recovery.


Complete Tree Inventory

  • Surveys the entire tree population including details on every significant tree. This is the only way to maintain an accurate list of hazard trees, full species diversity, vacant planting sites, and a prioritized list of maintenance needs. The complete inventory will serve as a database for long-term record keeping, budgeting and maintenance history of each tree.
  • Tree populations undergo constant change, and, as an inventory ages, it becomes less accurate and useful. No inventory will provide information that is useful beyond five to seven years. Consider the damage a single storm can do. Tree inventory tables should be updated at the completion of tree works to reflect the actions taken and then the site should be reviewed annually to note any changes that warrant attention.

Why Should I Get A Complete Tree Inventory?
There are many good reasons for doing a tree inventory. The inventory may be used:

  • To determine the need for an urban forestry program. For example, if the inventory reveals many dead and diseased trees, trees in decline, trees subject to new pest invasions or areas that are bare of trees, this indicates the need for a program incorporating tree planting.
  • To prioritize maintenance schedules in order to reduce the potential liability that results from hazardous trees. It also streamlines the efficiency of tree crews and facilitates long-term budgeting.
  • To educate stakeholders about the benefits of a healthy, well-managed urban forest, and to inform them about species best suited to various locations.
  • To dispel urban myths about the dangers of trees by placing risk into classes and isolating risk.
  • To provide the basis for the development of a comprehensive urban forestry management plan.
  • To demonstrate a higher level of accountability in tree management. Some organisations require evidence that all trees have had regular checking and maintenance, for example Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD).

What Information Should Be Collected During An Inventory?
Only data that will be put to use should be collected. Your organization must determine, in consultation with us, what objectives it wishes to achieve prior to conducting an inventory. Most often we collect the following information:

  • Species: – Common & Botanical
  • Size: DBH (diameter at breast height- 1.4m above ground), height and crown spread.
  • Condition: This is a judgement made by combining health and structural characteristics.
  • Damage: Record insect infestations, injuries and diseases by indicating the precise procedure necessary. For example, rather than describe lightning damage, indicate the need for pruning or removal. It is prudent to have a skilled tree crew correct the problem as soon as possible.
  • Management/maintenance: Record need to prune, remove, fertilize, repair curb and/or sidewalk damage inflicted by roots, or plant in an empty planting site. This record, when updated in the event of tree works, will inform the next actions required and therefore help schedule maintenance work, allocate equipment and prepare budgets.
  • Site characteristics: How much space is available for the root system? What is the condition and health of the soil in the planting space? The proximity of overhead/underground utilities and tall buildings? The potential for road salt/traffic damage? Is it zoned commercial?
  • Planting spaces: Research suggests that an organization should give highest priority to planting trees on streets where yard trees are few. Identify planting spaces to encourage the planting of bare areas.


Tree Protection Management Plan (TPMP)

Any site development (including as building, landscape works, or trenching for services) where the long-term retention of a pre-existing tree is desired should incorporate a TPMP from the very start of the design process. The Australia Standard AS4970 – Protection Of Trees On Development Sites serves as a guide when recommending protection measures.

Why Should I Get A Tree Protection Management Plan?
Trees are commonly overlooked when setting out on a construction project. An ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude towards tree roots is the number one cause of tree decline and death post-construction. There are numerous activities that cause irreparable damage to trees and their root systems that must be avoided. A TPMP is not there to impede developers but sets clear guidelines for architects, landscape designers, construction workers and others interested in the integrations between trees and construction, to ensure that the retained amenity trees remain healthy and safe long into the future.
Tree Maintenance Requirements