UKTC Archive

Re: Plotting groups

Subject: Re: Plotting groups
From: brendantuer@xxxxxxxx.co.uk
Date: Dec 15 2008 12:53:01
Thanks again for your comments,

My question revolves around a methodology that a local authority has 
devised.  They wish to plot trees as large groups, and to plot 
individual trees "only in exception."  This is driven by cost savings 
and a wish for a limited number of data entries within their database.

I am trying to ascertain whether I could be found negligent, as a tree 
surveyor, if a tree that I surveyed (which had defects) failed and the 
qualitiy of the information recorded for the individual specimen was 
poor, becasue the methodology required trees to be plotted as groups?  
I should state that we all plot trees as groups where circumstance best 
suits this purpose, but I usually plot large street trees, for 
instance, as individuals.

Do you know of any case law, where a tree has failed from within a 
"group record" within a database?  If so, did the prosecution question 
the quality of the survey data? 


----Original Message----
From: luketreescapes@xxxxxxxxxxx.com
Date: 15/12/2008 11:51 
To: "UK Tree Care"<uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subj: Re: Plotting groups

Hi Brendan,
If you've recorded that you inspected the trees in the group but that 
they didn't require any work then you have a record that you did just 
that and that's your opinion.  If a tree that's been inspected 
then fails the questions to ask are:
      * was the failure foreseeable;
      * was the risk posed by the tree unjustifiably high;
      * should risk abatement wrok have been carried out;
      * did the inspector carry out their job properly;
      * did the client employ the right person to inspect the trees.  
We all know that trees change over time and if you have a database 
that allows you to record groups it should also allow you to record 
individual trees within those groups later; for example 1.1, 1.2 or 
1.3, where the first digit refers to the group and the second to the 
individual trees within the group.  Databases should have the ability 
to be updated during subsequent surveys so that it can be seen what the 
surveyors comments are for a particular date.  
 
Luke


________________________________
From: "brendantuer@xxxxxxxx.co.uk" <brendantuer@xxxxxxxx.co.uk>
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Sent: Monday, 15 December, 2008 11:35:34 AM
Subject: RE: Plotting groups

Thanks Ron and Luke,
I suppose my question is more along the lines of...
"Is there any case law out there which has dealt with the failure of 
a 
tree from within a group of trees, where the tree was previously 
surveyed as "one-of-a-group," as opposed to an individual?"
eg. Lets say, a mixed woodland group is plotted within a GIS 
database 
as such, and a large ash failed from within this group.
In this instance, both the local authority and surveyor might 
struggle 
to provide proof that a detailed survey had been undertaken in 
respect 
of that particular tree.

I ask on behalf of a local authority, who wish to survey trees as 
groups and only plot individual trees as exceptions to this rule.  I 
wonder if Mike Ellison could help?





----Original Message----
From: Ron.Howe@xxxxxxxxxxx.gov.uk
Date: 15/12/2008 10:17 
To: "UK Tree Care"<uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subj: RE: Plotting groups

If one stem were to fail from your group then ... a 'stem' from the
group has failed ... A group of X number stems is now a group of Y
number stems. They don't have to be identical, anymore than all the
branches or multiple stems on a single tree are. They probably just 
need
to be of the same species, otherwise, it becomes a copse or a 
stand, 
or
grove, or group of mixed species. With TPOs you should be able to 
plot
the stems of a group and quote the number of stems of each species
represented. I did a TPO of a small wooded band between an 
industrial
park and housing. The group included 30 Cypress, 4 Oak, Poplar, 
Field
Maple etc.

Ron Howe
Planning Tree Officer
Mole Valley District Council
Pippbrook
Dorking
RH4 1SJ
Direct Tel. 01306 XXX XXX


-----Original Message-----
From: brendantuer@xxxxxxxx.co.uk [mailto:brendantuer@xxxxxxxx.co.uk] 
Sent: Fri, 12 December 2008 18:32
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: Plotting groups


"Why should a group of trees be treated any differently to say a
multistem tree, as long as you identify the faults and deal with 
them."

Yes. As long as you identify all the faults - but, my point is that 
its
very difficult to find a honogenous group (where all trees are
identical).
What tends to happen with databases, is a group is plotted and then 
a
couple of "problem trees" are identified as individuals within the
group.  But what if one of the other trees fails (one which has not 
been
recorded individually)?
  


----Original Message----
From: Ron.Howe@xxxxxxxxxxx.gov.uk
Date: 12/12/2008 11:08
To: "UK Tree Care"<uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subj: RE: Plotting groups

Brendan,

Why should a group of trees should be treated any differently to 
say
a
multistem tree, as long as you identify the faults and deal with
them. A
group of one species is a cohesive unit.


Ron Howe
Planning Tree Officer
Mole Valley District Council
Pippbrook
Dorking
RH4 1SJ
Direct Tel. 01306 XXX XXX


-----Original Message-----
From: brendantuer@xxxxxxxx.co.uk [mailto:brendantuer@xxxxxxxx.co.uk]
Sent: Fri, 12 December 2008 10:55
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Plotting groups

Question: Tree databases.

Plotting trees in groups is more cost effective.  It provides data
which
is easy to understand and easy to re-visit, (especially when 
compared 
with lots of confusing, individual records).  But does a 
methodology 
which promotes the surveying of the majority of trees as groups,
offer a
robust defence against litigation?

Let's say, "Bob" surveys 10 trees in a collective group.  They are 
generally in fair health but with some minor defects.  They are
located
next to a public highway.  Bob surveyed them all in detail at the
time
of inspection, but the methodology requires one generalised record
for
the collective group.  We know that all trees are slightly 
different
and
a single database entry for a group of trees will only ever record
the
"average tree" within the group.  

Now lets say one of the trees, fails.  The expert witness for the
"other
side" says what he is paid to say, "there was clear evidence that 
the 
tree would fail."  If we assume that "Bob" surveyed the trees
properly
(and yes, with hindsight, the tree should have been plotted as an 
individual, but the same applies to most of the others), is there 
an 
obvious problem with a methodology which promotes plotting trees 
as 
groups wherever possible?  Will such a methodology provide a 
robust 
defence against litigation?

Now lets apply the same scenario to a woodland.  There are over 
1,000 
trees and again, a general note appears within the database.  One 
of
the
trees fails...

Any thoughts?
Brendan









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This email and any files transmitted with it are intended solely 
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the use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed. If 
you 
are not the intended recipient, the E-mail and any files have been 
transmitted to you in error and any copying, distribution or other 
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of the information contained in them is strictly prohibited.

The Council computer systems may be monitored and communications 
carried on them recorded, to secure the effective operation of the 
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