Why are tree condition surveys important?

After the weather we have had this winter, there has never been a more critical time to carry out tree condition surveys on trees you manage.

Climate change is fuelling ever-more extreme weather events – with one-in-a-hundred-year storms now occurring frequently. Over the past two years, we have seen an increase in tree failures occurring across the United Kingdom, with storm Arwen recently bringing down an estimated 16 million trees across the north of England and Scotland. This caused devastation to infrastructure and property and even cost lives. Regular safety inspections of trees are therefore becoming an increasingly important part of responsible management.

Trees are a fundamental part of a healthy ecological system. They provide a myriad of fundamental benefits such as oxygen and habitat, as well as more nuanced societal benefits such as amenity and well-being impacts. They do however pose some risks as they grow and age. Professional tree condition surveys provide you with the assurance that you have reduced any risk to an acceptable level. During your tree condition survey, we will identify defects such as weak branch junctions, disease or decay and we will assess how the structural integrity of each tree is affected. We will also produce a pruning schedule with our management recommendations that can be passed on to a suitably qualified arborist.

The video above is of Ivan Button undertaking a tree condition survey on a large oak tree that was sadly, but necessarily, recommended for removal. After this video, he goes on to use a Resi Drill ™ to confirm the physical findings. You can find out more about the Resi Drill ™ here. Crown Tree Consultancy then submitted a 5-day Notice of Intent to remove the tree, to the Local Authority, owing to the dangerous proximity of the tree to the house.

Ivan explains:

“The video shows the importance of tapping around the base of trees during safety surveys. The bark around the base of this tree appeared absolutely fine upon visual inspection – no indication of death or decay whatsoever. The sparse canopy and abundance of dead twigs indicated a root disorder (so did the client’s report of fungi at the base).  I tapped around the base and found a couple of areas where the sound was very dull. Other than that dull sound, there was no indication of dead bark or decay. Then I peeled back the turf around the base and started investigating with a metal probe – and you can see what I unearthed.”

Regular tree condition surveys are an important part of responsible tree ownership. By focusing on your legal obligations, Crown Tree Consultancy will help you to manage your tree stock affordably. During the survey, all trees will be professionally inspected, with detailed reporting limited to those few trees that require remedial works. This method reduces survey fees and maintenance costs, as well as saving you time. Furthermore, because we remain independent from tree surgery operations, we have no incentive to recommend unnecessary work.


If you haven’t had a tree condition survey recently, you are advised to arrange one to ensure your trees do not pose an unacceptable risk to anyone attending your property.

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