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Arborist Reports: What They Are & Why You Need One

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Tree consultant prepares arborist report

When it comes to arborist reports, and arborists ourselves for that matter, there is often a misconception about what in fact is done, presented and undertaken.

There are arborists who indeed are those wonderful individuals you call when you have a tree and needs trimming or removal.

These individuals or companies are also known to work on tree clearing, pruning, land clearing, tree lopping – essentially any job big or small.

Removed from this, there are also “Consulting Arborists”, whose role is a little different.

Depending on their level of certification, any arborist or arboriculturalist that holds a Cert 5 Qualification or higher, is qualified to provide an Arborist Report.

Ideally, these specialists are also members of the Institute of Australian Consulting Arborists or Arboriculture Australia who are the recognised as the leading authorities on Arborist reports and their applications.

What is an Arborist Report?

An arborist report is a legal document that can hold up in court – if and when required – that outlined specifically on Trees on developments sites and how likely they are to be affected.

In addition, where work is proposed on heritage listed or significant sites or trees considered prominent in a heritage conservation area.

They detail a range of specific information about the proposed development site including but not limited to:

  • The developer (client), purpose of the report, site details
  • The Arborist, their methodology used to come to the conclusions the report reached
  • Tables for each of the ‘in question’ trees including a range of details such as name, height, age, canopy spread, condition, hazard assessment and estimates of the trees useful life
  • Summaries of the site, such as nearby structures, soil & draining, landscape, weather exposure and past human intervention
  • Whether or not there have been previous disease or pest problems

With all these key details tabled, the report then sets out a range of key recommendations and conclusions for the use by the governing authorities – local, state or federal councils – or other interested parties, such as architects, engineers, developers or even the courts.

These included but again are not limited to:

  • Supporting evidence such as test results, images, photos etc
  • Discussion of all the options available on how damage can be reduced through preventative measures pre, during and post construction
  • Recommendation of the actions and rationale
  • Resource materials referenced and report from any Resistograph or Tomograph testing

Why do I need an arborist report?

These reports are not only something that is a requirement in most planning processes from councils around the country, but they are something that is vital to the integrity of your project.

From a simply domestic removal of a tree in a heritage listed area through to the full-blown report for the development of a new housing estate or development, they are truly one of the first steps in any development process.

Without the recommendations and actions from the arborist report, people within your project team may unwittingly remove or damage trees or habitats.

Such actions could not only delay your development or cost a lot of money in fines or future restrictions or replanting but may also adversely affect your site’s ecosystem, leading to much wider issues and implications for the integrity of your site into the future.

Why risk it? Get your tree advice from an expert

Keep it simple, keep it safe, speak to a licensed and qualified team of arboriculturalists or specialists that can fast-track your development through skilled and expert knowledge and get your project off to the right start.

Speak with Tree Science today for all your development site arboriculturalist needs.

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