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Need a Tree Survey?

Use RenKap

Need tree survey? Simply upload your site on the RenKap platform to:

  • Reduce your management time by 90%
  • Instantly receive a minimum of 3 quotes from our vetted suppliers
  • Receive one digital dashboard with survey recommendations
  • Quality reports every time guaranteed
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Need a Tree Survey?

Use RenKap

Need a tree survey? Simply upload your site on the RenKap platform to:

  • Reduce your management time by 90%
  • Instantly receive a minimum of 3 quotes from our vetted suppliers
  • Receive one digital dashboard with survey recommendations
  • Quality reports every time guaranteed
Site Investigation Checklist

The only site investigation checklist you need

Download our site investigation checklist, which covers the 13 site investigation surveys you need to complete on every site. This includes a rundown of why you need each of them and at what stage throughout the project lifecycle.

The only site investigation checklist you need

What is a tree survey?

A tree survey is a thorough examination of the trees on private or public land, so that property developers and landowners can make informed decisions about their trees.
The information in the tree survey may be used for planning purposes, to identify safety risks or can be utilised to prevent accidental damage to protected trees.

Are tree surveys required?

If you are developing a site, a tree survey is extremely important to ensure you don’t break the law by damaging or cutting down a protected tree and affect the species that they support. Also these surveys allow you to understand what trees are present so that your design team can consider them in the design of the development.

 

All trees on your site will have a BS5837 Retention category. BS5837 is the British Standard that provides guidance on how to complete the initial tree survey. The BS5837 categories grade the tree in relation to their health, size, longevity and ‘amenity contribution’. Depending on their category, some will be able to be removed and some may need to be protected.

How long does a tree survey last for?

The condition of a tree can change significantly over a very short period of time, so arboricultural surveys are usually valid for 12 months. It is recommended that tree surveys are performed regularly, preferably on an annual basis. However in reality these will be completed at the early stages of a new development in order to aide the architects in their designs.

What is the risk of not doing a tree survey?

If you damage or remove a protected tree, in accordance with the Wildlife and Countryside Act, you will be liable to prosecution. A tree survey will also highlight the condition or quality of the trees, helping you identify any potential safety risks. It will guide decisions, such as do the the trees require removal to remediate any health and safety concerns?

 

 

 

Additionally, without a tree survey your design team will not know where the trees are on the site and the location of their root protection areas. Without these they may design a scheme that won’t be approved by the local planning officers as it doesn’t consider the protection of local trees.

What is included in a tree survey?

The survey should be conducted by a trained and qualified arboriculturalist and will include information such as: 

  • The number of trees and their location on the site
  • Species of the tree
  • Physical measurements of each tree such as height and diameter
  • Age of the tree
  • Health of each tree
  • Management recommendations

Each tree will then be granted one of the following retention categories:

Category A:

These trees should be retained. They are usually large trees with a high amenity value, in good condition, well suited to their surroundings and with a life expectancy of 40+ years.

Category B:

The majority of these trees should also be retained though some sacrifice may be acceptable. These are substantial trees or smaller trees of merit, usually with a life expectancy of 20+ years.

Category C:

The retention of these trees is optional. These are trees of no particular merit, or trees with a short life expectancy.

Category R:

These trees have been recommended for removal due to their poor condition, and should be removed. They are not a material consideration in the application.

When is a tree survey required?

You should conduct a tree survey at the early stages of assessing a site for development – Typically RIBA stage 1 or 2. This will allow you to consider if the site is feasible before any abortive costs are spent on designing a scheme that may need to change in the future.

How long does it take to complete a tree survey?

A tree survey can be completed within a day and the report will be available within a week from the site visit. Ideally the supplier should have access to the topographical survey in order to plot the locations of the trees.

How much does a tree survey cost in the UK?

Arboricultural survey, or tree survey costs will depend on the number of trees on the site. As a guide, expect to pay anywhere between £400 – £900 (plus VAT) for a professional tree survey. Register now to get 3 quotes from our RenKap approved suppliers.

What is a root protection area?

Trees need healthy and adequate roots to thrive so it is very important that they have enough space for their roots. The root protection area is calculated by first measuring the trees diameter. This is taken from the trunk at a 1.5m height. The root protection area is equivalent to a circle with a radius 12 times the trunk diameter of the tree.  

 

The arboriculturalist will calculate all the root protection areas and include them within the report provided. Your design team can then consider these in their designs.

Can you build in the root protection area?

You may still be able to build in a root protection area. However, it will depend on your tree surveyor’s findings and guidance in relation to the British Standard’s advice.

What are the key pieces of information that surveyors need from a client to complete their survey?

The key pieces of information would include:

  • Site location
  • Redline boundary (the perimeter of the site boundary)
  • Development proposals
  • A scope of survey (i.e. a brief of exactly what they need to include)
  • Site access instructions
  • Unencumbered access to the site

What are the key items that would affect the cost of a tree survey?

The key factors that affect the price are the size of the site and the number of trees either on or near the site.

How to identify competent surveyors?

As a minimum they should:

  • Abide by the construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015)
  • Abide by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Have an appropriate level of professional indemnity insurance (Ideally more than £5m)
  • Have an internal quality assurance procedure
  • Have suitably trained and quality staff

 

The RenKap platform has already pre-vetted the best UK suppliers so you don’t have to. If you would like to learn more and check out our pricing plans click here.

Site Investigation Checklist

The only site investigation checklist you need

Download our site investigation checklist, which covers the 13 site investigation surveys you need to complete on every site. This includes a rundown of why you need each of them and at what stage throughout the project lifecycle.

The only site investigation checklist you need