UKTC Archive

RE: VALID Tree Risk-Benefit Management Plan

Subject: RE: VALID Tree Risk-Benefit Management Plan
From: David
Date: Dec 21 2017 07:02:43
<<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 

Hi David

I'll give it another go, from another tack, and turn the volume up to 11 to 
see whether that helps.

By wanting to walk around the tree, you've clearly got a level of assessment 
that you're comfortable with and think that's the right thing to do.  But if 
you step back, there's no basis for saying that anything less is not 
'reasonable', or more importantly, 'proportional'.  That is, walking around 
the tree is doing the job properly and anything less is cutting corners.

For example, you say <<look at them from all angles?>> but you seem okay not 
applying that to branches or roots.  You're not climbing every tree, when we 
know the structural importance of wood loaded in tension on branches.  You're 
not testing the roots by a root collar excavation, or a Static Load Test when 
uprooting could result in the greatest consequences.  Why not do the job 
'more properly' and do these as well?

Even without climbing every tree, or root collar excavations, I could simply 
raise the bar of what is considered doing the job properly.  Say, I walk 
around a tree and tap every tree with a sounding hammer from the tips of my 
toes to the height I can reach at no more than 250mm intervals for 360 
degrees.  I use binoculars from 8 points of the compass, from the base of the 
tree, at half the height of the tree, and the height of the tree.  Even if 
this requires hopping over into a neighbours garden, or traffic control.  
Then I go back in winter if I was assessing a deciduous tree when it was in 
leaf.  Any less is cutting corners.

Of course I don't do this, but do you see what I'm getting at?  What you 
consider being a job properly done is a point in the level of assessment 
spectrum.  More or less could be done.  I can't see a basis for saying you 
have to walk all the way around the tree otherwise you're cutting corners and 
you've done a bad job.  Assessing a tree from one side, which you don't like, 
is not that much different to assessing a branch from one side, which you 
seem okay with.

<<If we keep cutting corners to fit the budget>>

I think you might have the wrong end of stick here, as has Julian in his 
post.  Doing a drive by is not cutting corners to 'fit the budget', it's a 
reasonable and proportional approach to assessing risk when you have a large 
population of trees.  Your coffers could be overflowing, but that does not 
mean you should be paying someone to walk around the back of every tree when 
we know the overall level of risk is so low, and that obvious defects are 
often so obvious they're picked up 'passively' by trained folk such as 
yourself without 'actively' looking for them.

I think you know this anyhow, but our role isn't to try and spot all 
'hazards' is it?  In your golf course example, there would be levels of 
Occupancy that would low enough that you're not going to have to actively 
assess the trees, or even walk around the back of any trees.


Acer ventura

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