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Understanding the Basics of Vegetation Management Plans

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Looking up at a tree canopy

If you’re looking for a vegetation management plan for your property or you are looking to get your head around the term for your arboricultural appraisal, it can be difficult to get all the information in one place from a qualified and knowledgeable arborist.

As an experienced arboricultural services consultancy, Treescience understands the ins and outs of VMP and have outlined the essential information you need to know for VMP or tree protection management plans so you have the information you need for your upcoming project.

What is a vegetation management plan?

A VMP simply relates to a Vegetation Management Plan, and this term became an old and out-dated acronym when changes were made to the Australian accepted standards over the past 5-10 years.

Since the inclusion of the Australian Standard AS4970 – 2009: Protection of Trees on Development Sites, Government Departments are now referring to AS4970 – 2009 in their policies and guideline proceedings for the management of Urban Vegetation.

You may have guessed from the title of the new Australian standard, the focus of this policy is primarily on trees as opposed to general vegetation.

For this reason, a VMP is now referred to as a Tree Protection Management Plan, and any such plan needs to be completed by a suitably qualified arborist.

An example of a Tree Protection Management Plan

Below is an example of a Tree Protection Management Plan that you could expect for development and guidance, and is essential for those beginning building developments, commercial construction projects, or major design renovations to an existing structure.

Part 1: Completion of the Preliminary Arboricultural Impact Assessment at the pre-design stage assesses the value and contribution of the tree(s) located on-site, independent of any proposed layout design.

This unbiased approach to evaluating trees will allow the highest quality tree(s) to be retained, which will be capable of tolerating the pressures during the development process. This represents the constraints imposed on-site by the existing tree(s), indicating Tree and Root Protection Areas, tree dimensions, tree health and structure.

This raw data/tree survey information should be used as a design tool to inform the proposed layout.

Part 2:  In the post-planning stage, the arboricultural appraisal will determine the preferred design layout plans to highlight conflicts associated with the location of existing established tree(s).

This may include modifications to the Tree Protection Zone, and preparation of the Tree Protection Management Plan to guide construction practices.

Note: The arboricultural appraisal is to be coordinated with the design team to establish a satisfactory layout, which will allow a harmonious juxtaposition of the established existing tree(s) with existing structures and their associated infrastructure.

Part 3. In the post-planning approval stage, the final layout designs will have satisfactorily been mitigated in alliance with a construction methodology to ensure the development can successfully be achieved based on the arboricultural constraints.

As a part of the post-planning approval stage, the Tree Protection and Management Plan will determine the impacts of the planning conditions, which may include modifications to the Tree Protection Zone to meet the legislative requirements for the various State/Local Government Planning Authorities.

Part 4. The conclusion of the approval phase will culminate with the implementation of the approved Tree Protection and Management Plan on-site, under the supervision of the named project arborist for the following stages:



Post construction

Note: This part may also incorporate future management plans or post-development monitoring.

This is just an example of how a Tree Management Protection Plan may be constructed, as each plan is designed with your specific project, site and requirements in mind.

That’s why it’s essential you choose an arborist with the needed practical and technical development experience to prevent the wasting of time and money that is likely if you use someone inexperienced.

Preparation of a VMP is a legal obligation under the NSW Water Management Act 2000. More information can be found here.

Do you need help with a Tree Protection Management Plan? Call the experts at Treescience

If you have a construction or development project that you need an assessment or a Tree Protection Management Plan, contact the experts at Treescience today.

Our arboricultural services and consultancy work with clients across Australia on a wide range of industries to create Tree Management Protection Plans and assessments.

We have the experience to ensure that your site is both in line with Australian standards and local and state government planning authorities, which means no unforeseen issues down the track.

An innovative and socially conscious arboricultural consulting company, Treescience has office locations in Queensland and New South Wales, and offers its services to governmental, business and personal clients. 

If you need help with your next project, call us today on 1300 731 859 and we will provide the essential information you need for your arboricultural services.

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