UKTC Archive

Re: RE: VALID Tree Risk-Benefit Management Plan

Subject: Re: RE: VALID Tree Risk-Benefit Management Plan
From: Wayne Tyson
Date: Dec 20 2017 16:59:04
Might "relevance" and "context" be of any use, or are these concepts
already fully incorporated into "procedure?"

Wayne

On Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 5:19 AM, Julian Morris <jamorris@xxxxx.com> wrote:

This has been an interesting sub-thread, and a subject that was debated on
UKTC a couple of years ago but not resolved.

Stripped back to its fundamenetalsm the Plan says -

"The aim of a Level 1 - Basic assessment is to find ... trees with obvious
defects where the risk might not be acceptable"

"A visual assessment on foot, bike or from a slow moving vehicle with a
spotter and driver, depending on the area assessed"

"A Level 2 – Detailed assessment is a more thorough investigation to find
out whether the risk is acceptable, tolerable, or unacceptable."

So by my reading the issues are these -

"Obvious defects" are not defined, and here the debate a few years ago
differed on whether it was enough to look from afar at failing vitality or
visible structural failure.

"where the risk might not be acceptable" presumably puts the individual
tree in context in terms of size and targets, or at least I hope it does.

"depending on the area assessed" says nothing about accessibility,
availability of budgets, ivy, undergrowth. So the question of modes of
transport or the need to go round the back of a tree has not been
prescribed.

"A more thorough inspection" is not defined either. Unlike with VTA, there
is no statement about confirming the presence of a defect and quantifying
the strength of what's left.

I am all in favour of simplification but I think that any Council adopting
the Policy and Plan as as succinct and sufficient statement of how it will
discharge its duty of care will be exposed to risk. There is a sentence in
the OLAs that does it much more succinctly. And what it doesn't say is that
austerity is an excuse for not discharging that duty adequately. We don't
need ot wait for a court to say that ivy should be stripped from every
tree, or that they be pull tested or climbed, nor can we say that becusue
the courts haven't ordained that that it is OK not to. Not to do something,
that is, a bit more responsible than not trying to get to the base of the
tree because of undergrowth or ivy. Remembering Wagon Mound, devastation
that could have been prevented by closing a valve, at nearly no cost. Value
of Statistical Life of say £2M compared with the cost of a typical on-foot
survey of £2 per tree per 5 years.

The stripping of ivy from every tree vs the drive-by only is typical of
modern devil's advocate internet debate, whereas the reality is that there
are endless nuances in between. The Plan doesn't seem to attempt to pin
them down. Quite wisely, I think, because it would be a long but ultimately
inconclusive document if it tried.

Maybe teh context of the Policy and Plan using VALID will make more sense
when we see appendices and the app?

Julian A. Morris - Professional Tree Services
jamtrees.co.uk  and  highhedgesscotland.com
0778 XXX XXXX - 0141 XXX XXXX


Sent: Monday, December 18, 2017 at 11:14 PM
From: "Paul Muir" <PaulMuir@xxxxxxxxxx.co.uk>
To: "UK Tree Care" <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: RE: VALID Tree Risk-Benefit Management Plan

Sorry David. I misunderstood you. I was talking about reasonable
practicability (in the legal sense) in relation to risk assessment. I
wasn't thinking of hazard assessment. I would actually consider it to be
grossly disproportionate to aim to identify all the hazards posed by trees
in most scenarios. This is nothing to do with "cutting corners to fit the
budget". It is about an appropriate use of one's client's resources...in
relation to the risks posed.

I do agree that plotting and recording a lot of data about every tree is
very comforting for the surveyor though. A drive-by or walkover survey
requires a degree of confidence and experience and it can seem unnerving
without putting it into the context of the client's management obligations
across the whole area of ownership.



Paul Muir
Principal Arboricultural Consultant
Treework Environmental Practice
Mobile: 07966 XXXXXX
Head Office:  0117 XXX XXXX
www.treeworks.co.uk

Monarch House, 1-7 Smyth Road, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 2BX


Treework Environmental Practice Covers the UK

London and South East  – Birmingham and Midlands –
Bristol and South West – Wales – Manchester and North

Treework Environmental Practice is the trading name of Treework Services
Ltd.
Registered Office & Place of Registration: Treework Services Ltd,
Monarch House, 1-7 Smyth Road,
Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 2BX

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-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info [mailto:uktc-request@lists.
tree-care.info] On Behalf Of David Bailey
Sent: 18 December 2017 22:36
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: VALID Tree Risk-Benefit Management Plan

I think reasonable is the key word here,

If you can't do a reasonable job for the cost, then you need some more
money. Otherwise a bad job is going to be done and who's fault will that be?

I wonder, given all the experience on the forum, who thinks that they
have done a reasonable job of initially assessing trees for risk they pose
to the general public by driving by them and not attempting to look at them
from all angles?

I have carried out quite a few safety inspections for trees, one
involving 38 000 trees on a series of golf courses. I was not willing to do
a golf buggy-by as I would not be confident of spotting all the hazards
which trees posed. I would not be comfortable that I had done my job
properly.

Surely doing the job properly is what we should be advocating here? If
we keep cutting corners to fit the budget, then eventually (probably on the
way now by the looks of it) there is going to be a tragedy that could have
been averted, probably hiding behind the back of a tree next to the A34.

As for assumptions you have made about my assumptions, no, not really.
But at least trying to walk around a tree to get a better look at it to
spot tree hazards is better practice than driving by with Radio 1 on.

cheers

Dave


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info [mailto:uktc-request@lists.
tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Paul Muir
Sent: 18 December 2017 11:02
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: RE: VALID Tree Risk-Benefit Management Plan

It's ALL about cost and what is reasonable though David. You're making
the assumption that walking around the base of a tree, banging it with a
mallet and poking with a screw driver is somehow best practice. As David
points out why not specify a climbing inspection and a static load test to
be really sure and have the best possible information upon which to base a
decision...


Paul Muir
Senior Arboricultural Consultant / Contracts Administrator Treework
Environmental Practice
Mobile: 07966 XXXXXX
Head Office:  0117 XXX XXXX
www.treeworks.co.uk

Monarch House, 1-7 Smyth Road, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 2BX


Treework Environmental Practice Covers the UK

London and South East  – Birmingham and Midlands – Bristol and South
West – Wales – Manchester and North

Treework Environmental Practice is the trading name of Treework Services
Ltd.
Registered Office & Place of Registration: Treework Services Ltd,
Monarch House, 1-7 Smyth Road, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 2BX

Reg No.: 1621606
VAT No.: 397 XXXX XX

This email including attachments is intended for the addressed recipient
only.  It may contain confidential information and may be subject to legal,
professional or other privilege. It must not be copied, disclosed or used
by any other person.  If you are not the intended recipient, please notify
the sender and then delete from your system immediately.

Treework Environmental Practice does not guarantee the attachments or
enclosures are secure or virus-free.


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info [mailto:uktc-request@lists.
tree-care.info] On Behalf Of David Bailey
Sent: 18 December 2017 10:58
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: VALID Tree Risk-Benefit Management Plan

Hi Paul,

That isn't really my point. I fully appreciate there ususaly is a cost

I will use another analogy, based on something we have been talking
about here, to try and show what I am saying.

Suppose you are the manager of a large contracting firm and you are
writing the company policy on felling large poplar trees.

Do you write, "get the gob in, half hitch it to the back of the truck,
cut from the back and Mad Max it when the hinge looks about right".

This will work most of the time, but as we've seen, sometimes it doesn't.

If I were writing the policy I would make sure I'd include best pracitce
in throughly weighing up potential for things to go wrong and effectively
reducing the risk of it happenind before the chainsaws start, because when
thing go wrong the blame will be passed up to the top. None of the fellows
on site appear to have been charged, it was the company which took the
large fine.

There would be times that felling option 1 is precisely the right thing
to do but not in all circumstances.

Don't get too much into the analogy. What I am meaning to say is that if
you are going to put something in writing about how a basic tree inspection
is going to take place, specify the better way of doing it (if possible)
and let those putting it into pracitce justify their reason for not doing
it.

Otherwise the blame will just get passed up!

Cheers

Dave


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info [mailto:uktc-request@lists.
tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Paul Muir
Sent: 18 December 2017 10:14
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: RE: VALID Tree Risk-Benefit Management Plan

Hi David B.

To simplify David E's response...You are asked to tender for a tree
survey. Shire County has 50,000 trees across 500 square km. They have a
budget of £10,000. What services do you think would be even remotely
feasible?

To make matters worse...the 50,000 roadside trees are all covered in
ivy. And undergrowth means that you can't physically walk around 25,000 of
them.

The NTSG proposes that you only have to manage risks to a level that is
as low as reasonably practicable and you should not enter into grossly
disproportionate expenditure. Despite the scaremongering in the arb
industry, this approach is at the core of the UK legal system. The only
time it goes wrong in court cases is if the "experts" tells the judge that
it would be normal to strip ivy off 25,000 trees and walk around them all.




Paul Muir
Senior Arboricultural Consultant / Contracts Administrator Treework
Environmental Practice
Mobile: 07966 XXXXXX
Head Office:  0117 XXX XXXX
www.treeworks.co.uk

Monarch House, 1-7 Smyth Road, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 2BX


Treework Environmental Practice Covers the UK

London and South East  – Birmingham and Midlands – Bristol and South
West – Wales – Manchester and North

Treework Environmental Practice is the trading name of Treework Services
Ltd.
Registered Office & Place of Registration: Treework Services Ltd,
Monarch House, 1-7 Smyth Road, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 2BX

Reg No.: 1621606
VAT No.: 397 XXXX XX

This email including attachments is intended for the addressed recipient
only.  It may contain confidential information and may be subject to legal,
professional or other privilege. It must not be copied, disclosed or used
by any other person.  If you are not the intended recipient, please notify
the sender and then delete from your system immediately.

Treework Environmental Practice does not guarantee the attachments or
enclosures are secure or virus-free.

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info [mailto:uktc-request@lists.
tree-care.info] On Behalf Of David
Sent: 16 December 2017 11:55
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: VALID Tree Risk-Benefit Management Plan

Hi David

I think I know what you were getting at.  Perhaps I wasn't making myself
clear.  So, I'll try to expand on the points.

<<Now the ideal situation would be to walk around the whole tree to see
it from all sides to get a feel for it. 'Drive-bys or Bike bys (seriously
dangerous?)* will not give as good an assessment of the tree.>>

Ah, but wouldn't climbing every tree each year, and after every storm,
be even more of an 'ideal situation' than walking around the tree because
you can never be too safe :-)?  There's a spectrum between doing a
ridiculous level of assessment like climbing every tree, and doing
nothing.  Surely it would be better to assess all of your trees that you
decide to actively assess with a drive-by than just some of them by walking
around them within a time scale and budget?  I think there's a problem with
saying you're going to walk around every tree if the budget doesn't stretch
to that and you fail to meet your own objectives - which seems to be
increasing the case for councils in this time of austerity.  There's also
plenty of trees you can't walk around.

<<Perhaps best to let people make their own decision to use worst
practice rather than recommend it is what I am  trying to say.>>

Apart from disagreeing with the term 'worst practice' to describe a
level of assessment that could be entirely proportional, and therefore
'best practice', I agree with you it's up to the tree manager to choose;
hence the options.  What I've posted is a working template for people to
play around with.  In some cases a drive-by would proportional, and for
others it'll be walking.  As you point out, whichever one is chosen will
have its own self-explanatory limitations.

*BTW The biking suggestion came about for cycle paths.  When I was doing
some of the measuring and modelling whilst building VALID I spent some time
looking at the Bristol - Bath one, and I reckon the most cost-effective way
of assessing that would be to cycle it for Basic assessment, and then stop
for a Detailed assessment if a risk looked like it might not be
acceptable.  That said, it's a Moderate Likelihood of Occupation, so I
think a case could be made that 'active assessment' isn't necessary.  But I
didn't look at the Bristol end of it, and stretches of that -and others in
cities - might be busier for commuting and take a High Likelihood of
Occupation.

Cheers

Acer Ventura




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