UKTC Archive

Re: Hidden defects

Subject: Re: Hidden defects
From: AV Arboriculture
Date: Jul 27 2020 13:06:47
Someone on the forum referenced a court case from 2018 in which a failed tree 
caused an injury. 

The NTSG have published [ http://ntsgroup.org.uk/123-2/ | their opinion ] on 
the matter: 

NTSG comment on Court of Appeal decision in Witley Parish Council v Cavanagh 
EWCA Civ 2232 

"... It does, however, highlight that zoning is material in safeguarding 
against risk to the public, and that some trees in locations with high levels 
of use (generally to be determined by landowner or agent) may warrant more 
frequent and thorough inspection than trees in other locations." 

The key point here, in light of this topic, is that trees with high occupancy 
levels should be subject to a more thorough inspection; I agree with this. I 
may not spend a lot of time removing ivy on a tree growing in the middle of a 
field, but - as in the case of the tree I mentioned in my initial post - if 
it is next to a road, bus stop and house then I am doing to to my damnedest 
to find out if there are any non-obvious defects. I believe this to be 
reasonable. 

It would seem logical - in the light of this case- that if one followed a 
regime of not looking under the ivy growing on such a tree, then it failed, 
then it is quite likely that someone involved in the inspection process would 
be prosecuted. 

Mike Charkow 
Principal Arboriculturist 
______________________ 
Arbor Vitae Arboriculture Ltd 

Planning surveys, Tree inspections, Bats in trees inspections, Arboricultural 
consultancy, Soil de-compaction, Root Investigation, Woodland Management. 

[ mailto:info@xxxxxxx.co.uk | info@xxxxxxx.co.uk ] 
[ https://avtree.co.uk/ | www.avtree.co.uk ] 
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From: "AV Arboriculture" <mike@xxxxxxx.co.uk> 
To: "uktc" <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
Sent: Monday, 27 July, 2020 13:32:55 
Subject: Re: Hidden defects 

I'm not sure that there's much need for a discussion on semantics. To my mind 
our job is to look at a tree carefully (inspection) and assess any potential 
defects or symptoms of defects (assessment) to quantify - to the best of our 
ability - the risk. It's all part of the same process. However, we do need to 
find the potential defects in order to be able to assess them. 

Assessment: the action of assessing someone or something. 
Inspection: careful examination or scrutiny. 

Mike Charkow 
Principal Arboriculturist 
______________________ 
Arbor Vitae Arboriculture Ltd 

Planning surveys, Tree inspections, Bats in trees inspections, Arboricultural 
consultancy, Soil de-compaction, Root Investigation, Woodland Management. 

[ mailto:info@xxxxxxx.co.uk | info@xxxxxxx.co.uk ] 
[ https://avtree.co.uk/ | www.avtree.co.uk ] 
07917XXXXXX 
Company Registration Number: SC413171 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Evans" <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com> 
To: "uktc" <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
Sent: Friday, 24 July, 2020 17:07:43 
Subject: RE: Hidden defects 

<<The problem with moving strictly to risk is that some very important issues 
are missed. Municipalities are often interested in inspections including 
details of needed pruning, details of disease & insects, details of trees 
blocking stop signs and street lamps, notes on damage done to soils and roots 
etc.>> 

Hi Michael 

The question I was exploring with inspections related to their use as a risk 
assessment tool. 

I agree with you that the main reasons why trees are looked at by 
Municipalities and other government agencies or large institutions, and the 
tree work generated, are little to do with the risk of branches or trees 
falling. Are these kinds of audit/inventories defined as inspections though? 
In the UK, they'd usually be called 'surveys'. An inspection being a closer 
look at an individual tree; which might be for risk, subsidence, or pests and 
diseases etc and would usually be triggered by a reason to take a closer 
look. 

<<To think that inspections are redundant and that most risk is so low that 
inspections should not be done seems rather narrow sighted.>> 

I haven't advocated this though, have I? 

If it's the risk from branches and trees falling we're looking to manage, 
then the overall level of risk is what drives the proportionality - how much 
effort you put in to manage it. We know the overall level of risk is 
extremely low. I suspect the risk from tree failure is so low that Passive 
Assessment would pick up most of the 'red' risks. Hence the value of the 
Obvious Tree Risk Features Guide, which is what triggered this thread. 

This is what VALID's tree risk-benefit assessment structure looks like; 

Active Assessment | Basic > Detailed > Advanced 
Passive Assessment 

That's four levels of assessment to manage the risk, but no inspections. Each 
level of assessment is clearly defined. It seems to me that an inspection 
isn't clearly defined and it means different things to different people. 

Cheers 

Acer Ventura 




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