UKTC Archive

RE: Tree failure potential assessment study See Tree Risk-Benefit Management Strategy | Update Inbox

Subject: RE: Tree failure potential assessment study See Tree Risk-Benefit Management Strategy | Update Inbox
From: Jim Quaife
Date: Jan 27 2020 20:09:37
Wayne,
The essential criterion is to have an ordered thought process.  The rest is 
standing in front of a tree with a clipboard/tablet using knowledge, 
experience and judgement.
I have shied away from methods that require an arb to input figures for which 
(s)he can only guess at, or to use some sort of matrix to arrive at an 
outcome which still has to be interpreted.  I don't want to be accused of 
blowing smoke up David's clinometer but VALID is fundamentally intuitive.
The thinking behind any risk assessment method will necessarily involve 
mental gymnastics, but over-complicating its use in the field is 
counter-productive.
Your elephant might be the lack of data; mine is that we have absolutely no 
basis upon which to determining in terms whether surveying trees for risk is 
of any use. As I have posted before, we may be gratified to spot a defect 
that has a risk potential and to have it cut off, but there is no basis other 
than intuition to say whether had it failed it would have caused an incident.
Now don't run away with the idea that I am indifferent, because the opposite 
is true.
The bottom line is that our primary responsibility is to our insurers, (I 
mean secondary - the primary responsibility is to ourselves and our 
reputation) and thirdly our clients.  The differential between them is 
slight, but it is most definitely in that order.
Of course you are in line with everyone else surveying trees in that the 
tree's condition is the first consideration.  The assumption should be that a 
tree is safe and one is looking for any factors that might change that.  The 
assessment of risk follows, but as we have no data and the risk from trees is 
so small, one has no option other than to form an opinion.
If you don't, what are you doing there? 
Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info 
[mailto:uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Wayne Tyson
Sent: 27 January 2020 19:40
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Tree failure potential assessment study See Tree Risk-Benefit 
Management Strategy | Update Inbox

This is intended to relate my own perspective on the subject, with which I
understand that some may differ. I intend to post several times, in the
hopes of simplifying the discussion by discussing one issue or coherent
subject at a time, perhaps ending with a general and more comprehensive
discussion of the results. Of course, I entertain no illusions that the
discussion will ever "end," nor, in my view, should it. I *hope* that posts
and responses will be confined to *issues*, with personalities left out. I
am not, however, going to hold my breath.

My study is restricted to assessment of the condition of the tree; it
leaves out any consideration of "risk."

For starters, I believe that the biggest elephant in the room is the
absence of useful data. I know of no central database for the assembly of
relevant data and a sufficiently disciplined practice of data collection
and contribution to a central database that can be readily accessed and
assembled according to the user's needs. "Opinion" is dangerous territory,
especially in the absence of relevant facts.

Feel free to post your own relevant subjects or issues for discussion--I'm
not trying to run the show here.

Wayne
US foreigner



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The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
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