You don’t have to own a woodland or have the responsibility of tree management for a Local Authority to need a tree survey. Tree surveys are also carried out to determine the risk they potentially or actually pose to members of the public, buildings and property. If you’re trying to buy a house which has large trees situated in close proximity to the building a mortgage lender may also request a tree survey to be carried out; likewise if there’s a indication of building subsidence and a tree or trees are close to the subsidence area a survey may necessary to determine the extent of any actual or potential damage the roots may be causing.
But we mustn’t forget that cutting down trees willy-nilly can be illegal. To help the conservation of trees the Law protects certain species by placing a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on them. This makes it illegal to carry out any work or deliberate destruction on a tree, including cutting down, without the consent of the Local Authority.
We’re all too aware (or should be) of the impact of deforestation and while you may consider the cutting down of one tree to be harmless or out of context, it’s worth considering – if every person deliberately cut down a tree there would be a loss of over 61 million trees in the UK alone. Furthermore, cutting down a tree which has a TPO and you could be fined £20,000.
Like many things in life there are exceptions to the rules and you’ll need to contact or speak to Arbtech Ecological Survey to find out whether you need a tree survey carried out and the option available to you. Tree surveys aren’t solely about the protection of a tree itself, animals which are using a tree to reside in also need to be taken into consideration; for example a tree may not be under a TPO, or on Conversation land, but it may have a bat roost. Bats are protected species and it’s illegal to move them or their roost, so once again you’ll need to call in the professionals for advice and guidance.