Tree Hazard Assessment

 As living organisms, trees are subject to a number of pests, diseases and structural faults.

Under the Owners and Occupiers’ Liability Acts 1957 and 1984 ‘the occupier’ of premises owes a duty of care to visitors. Under the 1984 Act, an occupier owes a lesser duty to non-visitors (“trespasser duty”). Both Acts require the owner of land or the occupier, or both to take ‘reasonable steps’ to discharge the duty owed, to minimize risks posed by trees to people and property. ‘Poll v Bartholomew’ and ‘Chapman v London Borough of Barking & Dagenham’ alludes to the level of competence required to identify potential hazards and fulfil a tree owner’s duty of care.

An experienced, professional arboriculturalist (must be a suitably qualified and insured ) can identify these risks through a Tree Hazard Assessment (a climbing inspection may be required) and if necessary, detect the extent o decay with the use of specialised equipment, before recommending remedial solutions that makes the tree safe to retain and prevent more extensive and costly future work.

Nurture Green can:

Provide a unique Tree Hazard Assessment Survey with recommended remedial works to make the tree(s) safe and can be tailored for private residential properties, multiple residential properties, public places and institutions such as schools.

Write Tree Safety Policies and Management Plans to specific requirements for particular circumstances and environment.

Write, tender and manage tree work contracts to retain trees in a safe manner

 Nurture Green’s customers are assured of a unique and tailored user friendly package in easily read format with pictorial information, and a non jargon, colour coded summary. Comprehensive management plans (up to 5 years) with timely reminders (generated by Nurture Green) of required / recommended works can be included, ultimately relieving individuals or businesses of some of the stress of tree management and administration.

 A Tree Hazard Assessment gives the tree(s) a bill of health, and if a problem is identified the target area, associated risk to persons and property and potential for the tree or part of it to fail is assessed.

 Recommendations for remedial works are then made, which enable the tree(s) to be safely retained, avoiding excessive or untoward works which can cause the tree to decline, allow pathogens to enter the tree and attack or cause excessive and abnormal growth.

 It is important to retain records of a Tree Hazard Inspection, evidence of remedial action taken and regular inspections (suggested as every 3 - 5 years)

 A Tree Hazard Assessment (with any recommendations followed) would allay real and perceived fears, offering essential peace of mind and allowing those of us who find ourselves living, working or just being around trees, to enjoy them and the huge benefits that trees provide as a fundamental part of our daily lives.

 Jason Trewinnard is Nurture Green’s arboricultural consultant and a registered user of the Quantified Tree Risk Assessment system (QTRA), which can be used to ascertain risk where appropriate.

Qualified and insured

There are a number of relevant professional qualifications awarded by the Royal Forestry Society , Arboricultural Association  and The Consulting Arborist Society amongst other organisations. Required membership for The Consulting Arborist Society is a minimum of four years experience in the industry and a recognised qualification in arboriculture to National Qualification Framework level four or above.

Qualification can also be based on professional experience which is valuable and important, though independent accreditation would demonstrate relevance to the industry.

Copies of Professional Indemnity insurance usually to a minimum of £1,000,000 should be made readily available by anyone offering arboricultural advice. Insurance providers are keen to establish professional qualification prior to insuring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poll v Bartholomew

Poll v Bartholomew (Viscount Asquith of Morley) 2006

The claimant, Mr Poll, collided with a fallen tree whilst riding a motor cycle and claimed for damages against the owners of the tree for personal injuries and subsequent losses.  The tree was a multi stemmed ash with bark included fork and a fungal bracket, defects that an experienced arboriculturalist would have identified as hazardous and made recommendations for remedial works to make the tree safe.

There were three levels of competence accepted by the High Court:

  • Level 1: Generalist –no specialist tree knowledge
  • Level 2: Competent - sufficient training, expertise and/or qualifications to identify tree hazards, assess the levels of risk and make appropriate management recommendations
  • Level 3:Expert - highest skills and knowledge

The tree had been inspected, but not by someone who was considered by the High Court to be competent for the job (level 1), and found in favour of the claimant.

 

 

 

Chapman v London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Chapman v London Borough of Barking & Dagenham 1998

The claimant, Mr Chapman, was seriously injured when a horse chestnut failed and fell on the cab of the van he was driving, leaving Mr Chapman, a paraplegic. Mr Chapman claimed for damages against the owners of the tree for personal injuries and subsequent losses and the court found in favour of Mr Chapman, but the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham appealed.

 

The Appeal Court ruled:

A person is liable for a nuisance constituted by the state of their property, if:

 

a.    By neglect of some duty he allowed the nuisance to arise.

b.           He omits to remedy it within a reasonable time after he did or ought to have become aware of it.

 

 

The appeal was dismissed and damages were awarded.

 

These cases demonstrate duty of care and the importance of regular tree surveys by a suitably experienced person as recognised by the courts. They allude to the level of competence required to identify potential hazards and fulfil a tree owner’s duty of care.

Tree Hazard Assessment

 

As living organisms, trees are subject to a number of pests, diseases and structural faults.

Under the Owners and Occupiers’ Liability Acts 1957 and 1984 ‘the occupier’ of premises owes a duty of care to visitors. Under the 1984 Act, an occupier owes a lesser duty to non-visitors (“trespasser duty”). Both Acts require the owner of land or the occupier, or both to take ‘reasonable steps’ to discharge the duty owed, to minimize risks posed by trees to people and property. ‘Poll v Bartholomew’ and ‘Chapman v London Borough of Barking & Dagenham’ alludes to the level of competence required to identify potential hazards and fulfil a tree owner’s duty of care.

 

An experienced, professional arboriculturalist (must be a suitably qualified and insured ) can identify these risks through a Tree Hazard Assessment (a climbing inspection may be required) and if necessary, detect the extent o decay with the use of specialised equipment, before recommending remedial solutions that makes the tree safe to retain and prevent more extensive and costly future work.

 

Nurture Green can:

·        Provide a unique Tree Hazard Assessment Survey with recommended remedial works to make the tree(s) safe and can be tailored for private residential properties, multiple residential properties, public places and institutions such as schools.

·        Write Tree Safety Policies and Management Plans to specific requirements for particular circumstances and environments

·        Write, tender and manage tree work contracts to retain trees in a safe manner

 

 

Nurture Green’s customers are assured of a unique and tailored user friendly package in easily read format with pictorial information, and a non jargon, colour coded summary. Comprehensive management plans (up to 5 years) with timely reminders (generated by Nurture Green) of required / recommended works can be included, ultimately relieving individuals or businesses of some of the stress of tree management and administration.

 

A Tree Hazard Assessment gives the tree(s) a bill of health, and if a problem is identified the target area, associated risk to persons and property and potential for the tree or part of it to fail is assessed.

 

Recommendations for remedial works are then made, which enable the tree(s) to be safely retained, avoiding excessive or untoward works which can cause the tree to decline, allow pathogens to enter the tree and attack or cause excessive and abnormal growth.

 

It is important to retain records of a Tree Hazard Inspection, evidence of remedial action taken and regular inspections (suggested as every 3 - 5 years)

 

A Tree Hazard Assessment (with any recommendations followed) would allay real and perceived fears, offering essential peace of mind and allowing those of us who find ourselves living, working or just being around trees, to enjoy them and the huge benefits that trees provide as a fundamental part of our daily lives.

 

Jason Trewinnard is Nurture Green’s arboricultural consultant and a registered user of the Quantified Tree Risk Assessment system (QTRA), which can be used to ascertain risk where appropriate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poll v Bartholomew

Poll v Bartholomew (Viscount Asquith of Morley) 2006

The claimant, Mr Poll, collided with a fallen tree whilst riding a motor cycle and claimed for damages against the owners of the tree for personal injuries and subsequent losses.  The tree was a multi stemmed ash with bark included fork and a fungal bracket, defects that an experienced arboriculturalist would have identified as hazardous and made recommendations for remedial works to make the tree safe.

There were three levels of competence accepted by the High Court:

  • Level 1: Generalist –no specialist tree knowledge
  • Level 2: Competent - sufficient training, expertise and/or qualifications to identify tree hazards, assess the levels of risk and make appropriate management recommendations
  • Level 3:Expert - highest skills and knowledge

The tree had been inspected, but not by someone who was considered by the High Court to be competent for the job (level 1), and found in favour of the claimant.

 

 

 

Chapman v London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Chapman v London Borough of Barking & Dagenham 1998

The claimant, Mr Chapman, was seriously injured when a horse chestnut failed and fell on the cab of the van he was driving, leaving Mr Chapman, a paraplegic. Mr Chapman claimed for damages against the owners of the tree for personal injuries and subsequent losses and the court found in favour of Mr Chapman, but the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham appealed.

 

The Appeal Court ruled:

A person is liable for a nuisance constituted by the state of their property, if:

 

a.    By neglect of some duty he allowed the nuisance to arise.

b.           He omits to remedy it within a reasonable time after he did or ought to have become aware of it.

 

 

The appeal was dismissed and damages were awarded.

 

These cases demonstrate duty of care and the importance of regular tree surveys by a suitably experienced person as recognised by the courts. They allude to the level of competence required to identify potential hazards and fulfil a tree owner’s duty of care.