Professional Tree Inspection

This is a course for experienced arboriculturalists with an in depth knowledge of tree science, tree health and tree ID and at least 5 years experience of tree survey and inspection.
The course
3 days to include written and practical exam
Classroom based + site visit

• Role of tree inspector in risk management
• legal framework affecting duties & liabilities of owner, manager & inspector of trees
• Constituents of a safe/healthy tree
• Methodology for carrying out advanced level tree inspection
• Collection of data in the field
• Recognition of mechanical & biological defects
• Identification of common pests, diseases and disorders
• Appropriate control/remedial measures to eliminate or reduce risk to acceptable level
• Prioritising tree/management works based on risk assessment
• Balance between remedial measures and benefits/values of trees

This course enables candidates to:
• Recognise the role of the tree inspector in risk management.
• Identify the legal framework in the context of statute and common law that affect tree inspection and the duties and liabilities of the owner, manager and inspector.
• Summarise how a tree system functions, what constitutes a safe tree and know that energy is required to keep the tree in a healthy/safe state.
• Adopt a systematic and consistent methodology for carrying out visual tree inspection at an advanced level with the aid of binoculars, mallet and probe.
• Collect data out in the field in accordance with the inspection instructions (having determined the scope and limitations) using a suitable format. (For this course a written survey template with appropriate headings will be used).
• Recognise a range of observable mechanical and biological defects as seen in trees and confirm by the use of textbooks where necessary.
• Identify a range of commonly seen pests, diseases and disorders that affect tree safety, confirm their identity by the use of textbooks, where necessary, and state the arboricultural significance of finding them in the field.
• State the appropriate control/remedial measures required to eliminate or reduce risks identified in the inspection process to an acceptable level. Determine when an aerial inspection is required, also if pro-active management recommendations can be made which may eliminate future defects from forming.
• Prioritise the necessary tree/management works with time scales based on a broad category of risk assessment.
• Identify when it is appropriate to recommend the use of decay detecting or measuring equipment, based on a basic knowledge of the working principles of commonly available equipment.
• Understand that a balance between the remedial measure opted for and the range of benefits/values that a tree may have requires special attention e.g. amenity, wildlife, historical, veteran, rarity and public access.

What should you bring to the course?
Trainees should be prepared with outdoor clothing, suitable for current weather conditions, for the Site Visit , Hi Viz Jacket or waistcoat

Other Useful Items:- Clipboard, Pro – forma record sheets, Binoculars, Mallet and probe, Diameter Tape , Height Measuring device (Hypsometer, clinometer etc)

The following reading is recommended:
• Lonsdale, D. (1999). Principles of Tree Hazard Assessment and Management, Research for Amenity Trees No, 7, Stationery Office, London.
• Mattheck, C. & Breloer, H. (1994). The Body Language of Trees, Research for Amenity Trees No, 4, Stationery Office, London.
• Strouts, R.G. & Winter, T.G. (1994). Diagnosis of Ill Health in Trees, Research for Amenity Trees No, 2, Stationery Office, London.
• Davis, C., Fay, N & Mynors, C. (2000). Veteran Trees: a guide to risk and responsibility. English Nature, Peterborough.
• Shigo, A.L. (1991). Modern Arboriculture. Shigo & Tree Associates, Durham, NH, USA.
• Weber, K., & Mattheck, C. (2003). Manual of Wood Decay in Trees, The Arboriculural Association.
• Recommendations for Tree Work. BS 3998. (1989 with 1990 amendment) British Standards Institute, London.
• Tree identification book(s)
• Fungi identification book(s)

Tree and Fungi Field guides would be useful on the course if you have them.

Candidates should have at least 5 years experience of tree survey and inspection


All trainees must be over 16 years of age and in good health.
Persons with certain ailments or on certain medication may not be able to take part in the practical sessions


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