UKTC Archive

Re: Tree hazard potential assessment study Highway and street tree needs and effects

Subject: Re: Tree hazard potential assessment study Highway and street tree needs and effects
From: Wayne Tyson
Date: Oct 09 2019 17:00:21
Re: Jim Quaife's reply of October 4, 2019

Would I be correct in assuming that Jim's reply sums up the universal
position of the tree management profession(s) on this collective/forum?

Wayne

On Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 12:23 AM Jim Quaife <jq@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.co.uk>
wrote:

The difficulty is that tree failures of any significance are not only
rare, but largely unpredictable.  We may see a "dodgy" branch overhanging a
road and feel that we have done our job by requiring it to be removed (as
we have), but we have absolutely no basis upon which to assess whether an
incident has been prevented.
As I have said before, we have no statistically significant data upon
which to assess tree risk.  In the professional field of statistics, being
significant is not primarily a matter of the sample size (which with tree
risk is microscopic) although that is a factor, it means that the results
can discount randomness.  Whichever way one looks at it, tree failures are
random, and incidents caused by tree failure are also random.
There is no easy answer because the primary drive for tree risk assessment
is from insurers.  The coroner in the Wirral case had no advice provided
about tree risk and although the recommendation for the authority to
smarten up its act was correct, the stated purpose was to "prevent" another
such incident.  There is no tree risk assessment - in the world - that can
prevent tree failures.  Tree risk might be reduced, although we have
absolutely no idea as to the effectiveness, but other than clear-felling
tree failures are a fact of nature, and aggravated by the treatment we
expose urban trees to as Ian describes.
May I make it absolutely clear that I do make any criticism of the coroner
at all.  I'm not sure I understand tree risk as comprehensively as I should
- and I'm supposed to know!
Despite being unable to gauge their efficacy, tree risk assessments are
necessary as the alternative is utter indifference.  I like to think that
we have saved some damage, injury and death over the years, but that is
merely intuitive.
Jim


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info [mailto:
uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Wayne Tyson
Sent: 03 October 2019 22:02
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Re: Tree hazard potential assessment study Highway and street
tree needs and effects

Thanks for the excellent summary; unfortunately it appears that the UK is
plagued with some of the same threats to trees that are common in the US.
Trees need advocates, but so do victims of tree failures--as I said, trees
don't fail unless the, shall we say, the stress:resistance ratio comes into
balance. That, plus one "silly millimeter" of additional force is added by
one last insult to tree integrity, is all it takes to come to the last
straw, and the camel or tree is lost, taking other things with it.

There can be no question that predicting *when* a tree is going to fall is
functionally impossible, but even though some indicators of an unarrested
trend toward further instability may be difficult to assess, that should
not license the ignoring of obvious indicators/factors that add up to that
trend. If, shall we say, that proactive measures were taken to intercept
such trees or branches before they kill some one or smash motorcars, etc.,
the precautionary principle should not be said to be taken to extremes. *In
such cases only*, if trees exhibiting clear evidence that such trends
exist, taking them down before they drop (branches or entire trees) before
the trend becomes so advanced that the tree reaches a point where it is
dangerous to work on/in, it should at least qualify as a "mercy killing"
and reduce or eliminate tree hazard potential. After all, the tree so
assessed is going to die anyway, so "putting it out of its misery" and
preventing the loss of whatever it happens to collide with simply make
ultimate good sense.

However, *denial is on the increase*, at least here in the USA (where it
has reached absurd levels from top to bottom), meaning that it becomes an
issue of sense or sentiment in the political realm. Decision-making in the
face of senseless opposition takes courage.

Wayne

On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 11:47 AM Brewster, Ian <Ian.Brewster@xxxxxxx.co.uk>
wrote:

It’s a case of tree fitting in with the street scene not the other way
round as otherwise there would be very few good urban trees.
Once back in the Victorian days and earlier there were no hard surfaces,
just mud tracks, then came gas, electric, cables, standard highway
builds,
high sided vehicles, all contributing to the gradual shrinkage of a
trees’
potential crown and root expanse.
So subsequently those large trees and future plantings were shaped,
hybridised (Streetwise!) and pushed into holes thinking that their roots
would inevitably find their own pocket of gold…often wrapping around a
solid pipe to extract condensation or under a paved surface trying to
grip
onto something solid to hold itself up during those high winds. So pipes
get fractured, repairs carried out hacking through roots by non arbs,
roots
get shaved and tarmac re-levelled and laid by highways engineers, by non
arbs, etc. etc. So we introduce more utilities, some statutory like water
and telecommunications, and the tree has to put up or be removed. Any
poor
arborist trying to keep on the top of all this adverse pressure by
providing alternatives/routes and then having to deal with concerns from
residents expectation for more light, garage/driveway cracks, wanting
more
light, less leaf fall and bird sh*t is one special person imo. Ever tried
finding an actual intact RPA in the highway is a rarity so that’s why
Highway trees have a reduce shelf life having to contend with other
needs.
Will the root hacking, branch cutting ever cease, doubt it. But those
utility and highways engineers need to be aware of the consequences as a
result of their actions.
What ever happened to the most excellent NJUG?

From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info <
uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
On Behalf Of Wayne Tyson
Sent: 03 October 2019 19:19
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: Re: Tree hazard potential assessment study Highway and street
tree needs and effects

Ok, but how about other tree professionals?

Remember, I'm from the USA, so don't know anything about UK laws, etc.

I look at tree condition solely from the standpoint of the tree. My study
has revealed that nearly all street and highway tree failures occur
because
of some form of interference to the tree's normal development--to put it
politely. Here in the USA, I am beginning to suspect that too much is
taken
for granted with (dis?)respect to trees. Root damage, including "pruning"
does not improve tree condition and is unjustifiable. Crown pruning
practices such as "lacing" and "top-hatting" seem to be expedients
practiced by those with limited knowledge of tree biology. Any pruning
that
unbalances the crown is similarly suspect. Highway construction tends to
damage the root systems of adjacent trees, and and street tree planting
also interferes with normal root system development. Needless to say,
trenching, even at some distance from the tree reduces the amount of
resistance to toppling, even though severed roots are relatively small.
Large roots on most species do not "grow back." I could go on, but you
get
my drift. I am interested in how other countries approach trees and their
management and prevention of damage, injury, and death due to tree
failures.

Tree failures or often blamed on God or Nature in the USA, or are written
off as "freak accidents." Bs.

My recommendations will have the effect of increasing work/business for
tree professionals, not reducing it. But it also will increase the level
of
competence. Any yahoo with a chain saw should not be able to pass
themselves off as any sort of tree professional, so the incompetent and
others who are certain they know everything may be concerned about the
exposure of their "new clothes" as being at least transparent if not
nonexistent. Of course those on this list are, by definition, presumed to
be exceptions--their participation in this forum is a sign of intelligent
enquiry, not arrogance (with, perhaps, occasional exceptions).

Wayne

On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 7:36 AM Brewster, Ian <Ian.Brewster@xxxxxxx.co.uk
<mailto:Ian.Brewster@xxxxxxx.co.uk>>
wrote:

I expect that would be the majority of tree failures from the Highway
but
doubt any TO is going to provide you with examples on this public
forum.
.


Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
I expect that would be the majority of tree failures from the Highway
but
doubt any TO is going to provide you with examples on this public
forum.
.


Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.


-------- Original message --------
From: Wayne Tyson <wt750mv@xxxxxx.com<mailto:wt750mv@xxxxxx.com>>
Date: 03/10/2019 15:32 (GMT+00:00)
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info<mailto:
uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>>
Subject: Tree hazard potential assessment study Highway and street tree
needs and effects

I would like to hear from as many tree professionals as possible
regarding
how proximity of a highway or other public or private paving in areas
where
failure of the tree could be due, in part, to substandard root
development
and/or root system damage caused by the construction of improvements
that
affect tree health and related risk.

I am only concerned with the tree's welfare; I am not concerned with
laws,
rules, and other conventions that are not based on solid, preferably
scientific, evidence.

I am finding that such proximity is often a factor in tree health and
failures.

Thanks in advance to all respondents.

Wayne



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http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/><
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/>>
NPS
-------- Original message --------
From: Wayne Tyson <wt750mv@xxxxxx.com<mailto:wt750mv@xxxxxx.com>>
Date: 03/10/2019 15:32 (GMT+00:00)
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info<mailto:
uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>>
Subject: Tree hazard potential assessment study Highway and street tree
needs and effects

I would like to hear from as many tree professionals as possible
regarding
how proximity of a highway or other public or private paving in areas
where
failure of the tree could be due, in part, to substandard root
development
and/or root system damage caused by the construction of improvements
that
affect tree health and related risk.

I am only concerned with the tree's welfare; I am not concerned with
laws,
rules, and other conventions that are not based on solid, preferably
scientific, evidence.

I am finding that such proximity is often a factor in tree health and
failures.

Thanks in advance to all respondents.

Wayne



--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/><
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/>>



--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/>




--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/>
It’s a case of tree fitting in with the street scene not the other way
round as otherwise there would be very few good urban trees.
Once back in the Victorian days and earlier there were no hard surfaces,
just mud tracks, then came gas, electric, cables, standard highway
builds,
high sided vehicles, all contributing to the gradual shrinkage of a
trees’
potential crown and root expanse.
So subsequently those large trees and future plantings were shaped,
hybridised (Streetwise!) and pushed into holes thinking that their roots
would inevitably find their own pocket of gold…often wrapping around a
solid pipe to extract condensation or under a paved surface trying to
grip
onto something solid to hold itself up during those high winds. So pipes
get fractured, repairs carried out hacking through roots by non arbs,
roots
get shaved and tarmac re-levelled and laid by highways engineers, by non
arbs, etc. etc. So we introduce more utilities, some statutory like water
and telecommunications, and the tree has to put up or be removed. Any
poor
arborist trying to keep on the top of all this adverse pressure by
providing alternatives/routes and then having to deal with concerns from
residents expectation for more light, garage/driveway cracks, wanting
more
light, less leaf fall and bird sh*t is one special person imo. Ever tried
finding an actual intact RPA in the highway is a rarity so that’s why
Highway trees have a reduce shelf life having to contend with other
needs.
Will the root hacking, branch cutting ever cease, doubt it. But those
utility and highways engineers need to be aware of the consequences as a
result of their actions.
What ever happened to the most excellent NJUG?

From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info <
uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
On Behalf Of Wayne Tyson
Sent: 03 October 2019 19:19
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: Re: Tree hazard potential assessment study Highway and street
tree needs and effects

Ok, but how about other tree professionals?

Remember, I'm from the USA, so don't know anything about UK laws, etc.

I look at tree condition solely from the standpoint of the tree. My study
has revealed that nearly all street and highway tree failures occur
because
of some form of interference to the tree's normal development--to put it
politely. Here in the USA, I am beginning to suspect that too much is
taken
for granted with (dis?)respect to trees. Root damage, including "pruning"
does not improve tree condition and is unjustifiable. Crown pruning
practices such as "lacing" and "top-hatting" seem to be expedients
practiced by those with limited knowledge of tree biology. Any pruning
that
unbalances the crown is similarly suspect. Highway construction tends to
damage the root systems of adjacent trees, and and street tree planting
also interferes with normal root system development. Needless to say,
trenching, even at some distance from the tree reduces the amount of
resistance to toppling, even though severed roots are relatively small.
Large roots on most species do not "grow back." I could go on, but you
get
my drift. I am interested in how other countries approach trees and their
management and prevention of damage, injury, and death due to tree
failures.

Tree failures or often blamed on God or Nature in the USA, or are written
off as "freak accidents." Bs.

My recommendations will have the effect of increasing work/business for
tree professionals, not reducing it. But it also will increase the level
of
competence. Any yahoo with a chain saw should not be able to pass
themselves off as any sort of tree professional, so the incompetent and
others who are certain they know everything may be concerned about the
exposure of their "new clothes" as being at least transparent if not
nonexistent. Of course those on this list are, by definition, presumed to
be exceptions--their participation in this forum is a sign of intelligent
enquiry, not arrogance (with, perhaps, occasional exceptions).

Wayne

On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 7:36 AM Brewster, Ian <Ian.Brewster@xxxxxxx.co.uk
<mailto:Ian.Brewster@xxxxxxx.co.uk>>
wrote:

I expect that would be the majority of tree failures from the Highway
but
doubt any TO is going to provide you with examples on this public
forum.
.


Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
I expect that would be the majority of tree failures from the Highway
but
doubt any TO is going to provide you with examples on this public
forum.
.


Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.


-------- Original message --------
From: Wayne Tyson <wt750mv@xxxxxx.com<mailto:wt750mv@xxxxxx.com>>
Date: 03/10/2019 15:32 (GMT+00:00)
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info<mailto:
uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>>
Subject: Tree hazard potential assessment study Highway and street tree
needs and effects

I would like to hear from as many tree professionals as possible
regarding
how proximity of a highway or other public or private paving in areas
where
failure of the tree could be due, in part, to substandard root
development
and/or root system damage caused by the construction of improvements
that
affect tree health and related risk.

I am only concerned with the tree's welfare; I am not concerned with
laws,
rules, and other conventions that are not based on solid, preferably
scientific, evidence.

I am finding that such proximity is often a factor in tree health and
failures.

Thanks in advance to all respondents.

Wayne



--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/><
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/>>
NPS
-------- Original message --------
From: Wayne Tyson <wt750mv@xxxxxx.com<mailto:wt750mv@xxxxxx.com>>
Date: 03/10/2019 15:32 (GMT+00:00)
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info<mailto:
uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>>
Subject: Tree hazard potential assessment study Highway and street tree
needs and effects

I would like to hear from as many tree professionals as possible
regarding
how proximity of a highway or other public or private paving in areas
where
failure of the tree could be due, in part, to substandard root
development
and/or root system damage caused by the construction of improvements
that
affect tree health and related risk.

I am only concerned with the tree's welfare; I am not concerned with
laws,
rules, and other conventions that are not based on solid, preferably
scientific, evidence.

I am finding that such proximity is often a factor in tree health and
failures.

Thanks in advance to all respondents.

Wayne



--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/><
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/>>



--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/>




--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/<http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/>
NPS




--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/




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To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/



--
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To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/




-- 
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/