UKTC Archive

Re: [EXTERNAL] Tree failure potential assessment study WAS Civil cases for nuisance or damage to property

Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Tree failure potential assessment study WAS Civil cases for nuisance or damage to property
From: AV Arboriculture
Date: Jan 15 2020 11:17:09
Thanks for clearing that up Jim - I thought I had been reading a different 
BS!  I do agree with your comments.

Mike Charkow 

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Company Registration Number: SC413171

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Quaife" <jq@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.co.uk>
To: "uktc" <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Sent: Wednesday, 15 January, 2020 10:09:25
Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Tree failure potential assessment study WAS Civil 
cases for nuisance or damage to property

Mike,
Quite a few years ago, prior to writing my article on roots for the AA I 
conducted a straw poll asking how far beyond the radius of an RPA the root 
system would extend.  The principle of the RPA is to protect an area (with 
implied volume - which of course is dependent upon the rooting depth profile) 
of a tree's root system that would sustain it if all roots around the 
circumference were severed. 
I make no pretence that the results of the question was in any way 
scientific, but the overwhelming answer was that the root system was twice 
that of the RPA.  Funnily enough, this was much the same as the thinking 
behind the notion of the Root Protection Distance of the 1991 BS, and the 
1980 BS consideration of the crown footprint.
Simple maths makes the RPA a quarter of the root system if the radius is half 
that of the root system.
This is an "alarming" prospect and so I have reduced it to a third as this 
less "scary".   There does not seem to be any research that looks at a root 
system in terms of the RPA, but I am comfortable with the notion of it being 
a third of a tree's root system.
I have argued that when determining what may or may not be acceptable in 
terms of intrusion into an RPA, firstly the intrusion should not compromise 
the assimilative and structural function of the root system, bur secondly the 
intrusion should be considered in terms of the entire root system.
As ever, this is a matter of judgement and justification.
Of course there is no mention of this in 5837, but it is not a text book.  
For instance, there is no justification or research basis for the 20% limit 
on permanent hard surfacing within an RPA!  There are arguments to suggest 
that this needs to be a matter of justification in each instance and not a 
matter for some random benchmark.  Again, this falls within the need for 
justification on page iii, 2nd para under the heading 'Use of this document'. 
This sentence is an honest recognition of the need for interpretation and 
justification of the BS. I may add that I am a supporter of 5837 and was 
gratified that a few of my insistencies are included, but it does necessitate 
applied interpretation.  
Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info 
[mailto:uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of AV Arboriculture
Sent: 15 January 2020 09:07
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Tree failure potential assessment study WAS Civil 
cases for nuisance or damage to property

Jim, 

I was a bit startled at your comment: "BS5837 advocates the removal of 
perhaps two-thirds of a tree's root system." I am not aware of this in the 
BS, but perhaps I have misunderstood you? 

Wayne, there has been a lack of research into the effects of root pruning. 
Andrew Benson from NZ has been doing his PhD work on this, and was speaking 
at the AA conference last year. His Research Gate page is [ 
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andrew_Benson9 | here ] . 

Mike Charkow 
[ https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andrew_Benson9 ] 

From: "Wayne Tyson" <wt750mv@xxxxxx.com> 
To: "uktc" <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
Sent: Wednesday, 15 January, 2020 01:32:21 
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Tree failure potential assessment study WAS Civil 
cases for nuisance or damage to property 

Dave (if that's your real name), I quite agree about the importance of 
specifics with respect to cases, provided individuals are left out. I 
believe that the Moderator is correct to eschew personal exchanges like ad 
hominem attacks. When discussing matters in the abstract, I believe that it 
is the responsibility of the discussants to be directly responsive to the 
points made by the other correspondent, and quoting same in the "reply" 
otherwise it is not *responsive*, by definition. This includes avoiding 
restatements that distort or misrepresent the other's statement. That is, 
one should quote the statement to be discussed, discuss it, wait for a like 
response, then reconcile the issue(s) if not resolve them. I consider it 
poor form to "bait" the other discussant(s). 

For example, to your statement: "Precise, reasoned and easily repliable 
[sic] are the way to go" I would add *relevant*. [*Je ne parl pa Francias*] 

If you would like to discuss a specific issue about arboricultural 
practice, please discuss the merits and validity of the practices, for 
example, of "lion-tailing," "top-hatting," and "lacing" (all US terms; they 
may be used in the UK too, for all I know). 

Cheers, 
Wayne 

On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 4:07 PM oldoaktree@xxxxxxxxx.net < 
uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> wrote: 



Wayne, I appreciate what you say, and I am very much interested in the 
mechanics of argument. 

I imagine that your 'expert' dismissal is down to the Dunning-Kruger 
effect where people of little knowledge on a subject think themselves as 
massive experts because they talk about it a lot. 

(on the other hand, people being immensely knowledgeable, tend to avoid 
giving comment because they know of the lack of DATA to ensure a reliable 
answer). 

We are beginning to get well Batman philosophical here, but my point would 
be that on a moderately technical and ethical forum such as this, we need 
to post fairly direct comments and make our questions or criticisms very 
pointed. 

Precise, reasoned and easily repliable are the way to go. 

Cheers 

Dave 

-----Original Message----- 
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info <uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
On Behalf Of Wayne Tyson 
Sent: 14 January 2020 23:33 
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Tree failure potential assessment study WAS Civil 
cases for nuisance or damage to property 

Perhaps, Dave, you misunderstood. My remark was not aimed at any 
particular person, only a category--that, by the way, covers every "expert," 
regardless of what field the individual might be out standing in. If you 
read my remarks carefully, I hope you will find that this is clearly so. 
Henry Wheeler Shaw put it this way: "The worst kind of ignerance ain't so 
much not knowin' as 'tis knowin' so much that ain't so." 

Apparently I was wrong, but I presumed that every tree professional would 
agree with the statement, since (I presumed they would all believe) none 
of us knows everything. As Margaret Mead once put it: "The most important 
thing to know is what you don't know." 

So my statement was not aimed at those, while perhaps possessing a lot of 
knowledge in a particular field, do not consider themselves omniscient (the 
fools to which I was referring), but continuing scholars advancing 
knowledge and exchanging ideas through forums such as this one. I'm 
certain, Dave, that you know many things that I do not. I would hope that 
we could continue to discuss principles without interpreting each others 
remarks as a personal offense, and thus gain in the exchange. 

Wayne 

On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 2:14 PM oldoaktree@xxxxxxxxx.net < 
uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> wrote: 

Nicely shot from the hip there Wayne, but you rub a lot of peoples 
noses in the dirt there. 

Talk like "show me an expert and I'll show you a fool" doesn't really 
gell very well with any of us who might have some expertise in certain 
areas. 

If you want to make a criticism, then please make it clear, specific 
and recognisable. Scattergun approaches do not help your position. 

Ta 

Dave 

-----Original Message----- 
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info 
<uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
On Behalf Of Wayne Tyson 
Sent: 14 January 2020 20:30 
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Tree failure potential assessment study WAS 
Civil cases for nuisance or damage to property 

Then "arbs" have a long way to go. "They" haven't scratched the 
surface of science, and if by "judgment" you mean "experience," they 
are settling for far too little. There are WAGs and SWAGs, but show me 
some DATA! That is, *discipline*! Where are the actual studies that 
can back up "judgment?" I can't find 'em. The tree professions *can* 
get better and better, if the individuals in it want to. Show me an 
"expert" and I'll show you a fool. At the very least, the profession 
can move from "imminent" to recognizing unstoppable trends. 

On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 11:42 AM Jim Quaife 
<jq@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.co.uk> 
wrote: 

Nice idea Wayne, but no chance of enactment. By and large root 
systems are over-designed in nature, and root severance is a matter 
of judgement and not law. BS5837 advocates the removal of perhaps 
two-thirds of a tree's root system. There are any number of 
instances where roots have been severed to an extent that raises 
eyebrows and yet the tree doesn't miss a beat. 
Of course there are converse examples, but I have been in situations 
where a single root is deemed to be important and when one looks at 
what else is sustaining the tree, that notion is frankly ridiculous. 
Like everything else to do with trees, root severance is a matter of 
judgement and justification. This is an arb's stock in trade! 
Jim 

-----Original Message----- 
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info [mailto: 
uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Wayne Tyson 
Sent: 14 January 2020 18:38 
To: UK Tree Care 
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Tree failure potential assessment study WAS 
Civil cases for nuisance or damage to property 

The main "practical" point is that there should be a law prohibiting 
the severance of tree roots. Of course, we all know that's not going 
to happen, but it should be done with full knowledge of the 
consequences, and under permit that requires real data on the 
potential consequences (including 
liability) derived from sound scientific procedures (e.g., tritium 
tracing or approved equal [For the record, I have not performed this 
procedure, only read about it.]). What is not well understood is the 
complex nature of the radial root system development in all 
directions from the stem/trunk in relation to tree health and 
structural stability. What really provides resistance to 
toppling/uprooting is the fine-root matrix that extends to and 
beyond the "drip-line" of the tree and whether or not meristematic 
tissue is present to facilitate "recovery" of the severed roots, which 
is limited to fine roots. 
Anchoring roots tend, in many if not most species, to lack such 
tissue, and their severance kills the attached finer roots that 
actually provide the resistance. Big roots lacking the capacity to 
recover do not, by themselves, provide much resistance--root "pruners," 
listen up! Loss of resistance is essentially permanent, and the load 
continues to increase as the tree grows. At the very least, such a 
practice does not increase resistance (root-system "strength"). 

Here is a link of relevance I recently discovered by one of our (US) 
best arborists. It should be noted that while it may be an absurdly 
extreme case, tree failure potential can be significantly induced by 
far 
less. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFqU2kBlxkI 

WT 

On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 4:33 AM Harrison, Sean < 
Sean.Harrison@xxxxxxxxxxx.gov.uk> wrote: 

Nice one Wayne; 
I shall use that next time an insurance company wants a 200 year 
old tree removed because roots are damaging the foundations of a 
70 year old 
house. 
Sean 



-----Original Message----- 
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info < 
uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
On Behalf Of Wayne Tyson 
Sent: 11 January 2020 22:40 
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Tree failure potential assessment study WAS 
Civil cases for nuisance or damage to property 

Warning: email from outside of MVDC - if in any doubt do not open 
links 
or 
attachments, or carry out requested actions 
________________________________ 


Mike Charkow, 

Somewhat tongue-in-cheek but (contrarily and seriously), I might 
suggest that the construction of the fence and slab might have 
caused damage and 
to 
the root system and compromised its integrity, possibly 
compromising the tree's well-being and shortening the tree's life, 
not to mention 
weakening 
the tree's ability to support itself constitutionally and 
physically, as well as the slab depriving the root system of air 
and water, thus causing the root system to favor the part of the 
soil profile nearest the 
surface, 
i.e., the slab as well as possible or probable damage to the root 
system 
by 
the digging of fencepost pits, not to mention the installation of 
underground facilities such as foundations, utility facilities, etc. 

On the other hand, the planting of a large-growing tree in a 
location close to a property line by someone who knew or should 
have known that it would encroach upon an adjacent property might 
also be questioned. If the tree was natural, both owner and 
neighbor might be guilty (as if there 
were 
any justice for Nature's voiceless) of compromising the tree's 
rights to the quiet enjoyment of its home and sustenance, as well 
as expectations 
of 
freedom from injury. 

I'll be interested to know (and get links to) any cases and 
judgments. Do tree's have standing? 

Wayne 



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