Why inspect a tree? Tree Inspections - what's involved? Owner liability.


What is a tree inspection?
An expert assessment from leaf to root that informs you if your trees are in good health or in decline; safe or unsafe. This is written into a tree report for and shows that you have taken your legal obligations seriously if a dispute should arise.

Why inspect a tree?
To save money - A tree inspection will confirm the condition of your trees for a fraction of the cost of removal. Remember trees increase property values by 5-18% due to their landscape value and are an important part of your home environment. Your local Tree Surgeon is likely to be a highly skilled tree worker but few of them are qualified inspectors and tree workers make a living from practical work – the more you ask them to do - the more you will be charged. A tree Inspector will not normally recommend a specific tree surgeon unless it is an emergency but he/ she will give you good advice about selecting a reputable and reliable company when necessary. A tree report may cost you £150 but a tree unnecessarily removed will be cost closer to £500 and may devalue your property.

A tree report may cost you £150 but a tree unnecessarily removed will be closer to £500 and devalue your property.

The right treatment for your tree - A tree inspector is a fully qualified tree ‘doctor’ – remember trees are living things just like you and they need to be treated correctly by someone who knows what they are doing. The tree report will specify exactly the work to be carried out by a contractor.

Safeguard against legal action - Tree owners are responsible for trees on their land and have a legal duty of care. If you own or are in control of land that contains trees then you must:

Secure competent advice from a fully qualified, fully insured Arborist / Professional Tree Inspector.
Set up a regular programme of inspection.
Take the remedial action recommended by your tree inspector.

When should trees be inspected?
This varies depending on the tree, its condition and whether there are safety issues involved. A rough guide is every three years. However, in extreme weather conditions more frequent tree inspections are advisable. Existing tree owners should have inspections carried out if no inspection has been carried out as soon as possible. Prospective homeowners should have the trees on a property inspected before purchasing a new home as a tree problem could be expensive to solve or have damaged the building in some way. Sometimes Banks and mortgage companies require home buyers to get a survey before purchase. A tree inspection is particularly important if mature trees are in the grounds or near the buildings.

Never undertake tree work yourself or allow an amateur to do it because you think it will save you money. Tree work is potentially highly dangerous requiring skilled craftsmen often high above ground level using special equipment which can only be used legally by a certificated and competent person. Do not leave yourself open to risk, avoid injury to yourself, other people, damage to your property, and legal action - household insurance will not protect you.