UKTC Archive

RE: How does one inspect big hairy common limes, allowed to grow a secondary forest of basal sprouts?

Subject: RE: How does one inspect big hairy common limes, allowed to grow a secondary forest of basal sprouts?
From: David Evans
Date: Oct 29 2019 10:12:54
Hi Mike

<<I would suggest that one could be held negligent by pronouncing a tree to 
be safe when it hasn't been inspected properly (due to epicormics, ivy or 
whatever).>>

I'd strongly suggest never using the S word no matter how thoroughly a tree 
is inspected.  Safe, to most people, means the complete absence of risk.  You 
can't make a tree safe.  What a duty holder should be looking to do is manage 
the risk to a tolerable or acceptable level.  Not minimise or reduce the 
risk.  If a tree fails and kills someone clearly it wasn't safe.  It could be 
a tolerable or acceptable risk though.

<<when it hasn't been inspected properly How would one defend that decision 
in court?>>

What's inspected properly?

I'm guessing you're okay with inspecting trees and assessing the level of 
risk without climbing each one and checking the upper side of all the 
branches you can't see?  Or not entering every garden that's necessary to see 
a tree from all angles.  Or without carrying out sonic tomography and running 
it through some software like TreeCalc on each tree to see whether there's 
significant strength loss from decay?  Or without carrying out a Static Load 
test on each tree in case the roots are decayed?  The same principle applies 
to ivy, climbers, bramble, rhododendron, epicormics, very steep slopes etc.

If you look at the issue through the spectrum of risk, because we know the 
overall level of risk is extremely low (our base rate, on which 
proportionality is founded), you should only be looking closer if there was 
an obvious defect, like dieback, to trigger the extra effort and cost.  As an 
assessor, you simply note the limitations of the assessment.

Cheers

Acer Ventura


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