Arboriculture – consultancy

Most trees need some sort of assessment before a decision is taken about appropriate work. This may only take a minute or so but the wrong decision can badly affect the tree for many years, if not for the rest of its life; this applies as much to a Leyland cypress hedge as a specimen oak. Although this level of assessment may not require a consultant, a tree owner has a duty of care and he / she should satisfy themselves that their tree(s) is not a danger to the public. If in doubt an arboriculturalist with the appropriate training and experience should be called in.

We take a minimalist approach to tree care – most trees need very little work done to them.

Advisory visits

We make simple advisory visits to discuss trees or specific tree problems and a written report is not usually necessary. 

This is a chargeable service with no obligation and gives impartial advice.  If we don’t think a tree needs work we will tell you.  However, if a reasonable amount of treework is needed and we are awarded the work the advisory fee is waived.           

Tree surveys and individual tree reports

We carry out tree surveys where there are a number of trees involved ranging from just a few to several hundreds. Once again the main reason is generally safety but also where a programmed plan of tree maintenance is required. Such areas are frequently roadsides, parks, estates, schools churchyards etc.

Individual tree inspections are generally carried out where there is a question of the health or safety of a tree, when it may be affecting a property or if the tree is the subject of a dispute. All reports include recommendations.

Development site tree reports

(BS5837:2012 'Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction')

We carry out arboricultural surveys and reports in support of planning proposals and planning conditions and mortgage applications

Inspecting very large old Scots pineTree Preservation Orders

If you want to take down a tree that carries a TPO, a full arboricultural report is generally required by the local planning authority. Even if only minor works are proposed, they need to be justified in arboricultural terms.


Decay detection

Sometimes visual analysis of a tree is not sufficient to determine its structural condition, particularly where areas of internal decay are involved, often at the base of the trunk. We use a specialist device called a Resistograph which inserts a 40cm micro-drill into the wood to take readings about the condition of the wood.

We also have access to the high-tech Picus system that produces ‘MRI’ type analysis of the tree’s structure to give a highly accurate picture of the internal condition of the tree.

Carrying out Resistograph test on a very old field maple with basal decay, near Hungerford

Diagnostic service

Chieveley beech avenue taken from the airOften as part of reports outlined above we provide a diagnostic service for tree problems. This may involve sending off samples to forestry laboratories for analysis. 

The aerial shot shows an avenue of beech trees which had a dying tree at either end. They were dying as a result of two unrelated causes. On the left the decay fungus Meripilus had invaded roots that had been damaged during a phase of development. On the right an over zealous application of weedkiller on weeds under the tree by the gardeners had directly affected this tree and killed it.