Before you can make any decisions regarding woody shrubs on your property, the council will often require you to hire an arborist to conduct a tree report. These assessments are used to record observations about plant type, size and health. They will also often detail what can be done to rectify any issues and prevent disease. In Australia, some species of plant are protected due to rarity or the fact that they provide a home for many different animals. It is for these reasons that the council or government are quite strict when it comes to removing or pruning a woody shrub. What you may not be aware of, however, is that there are several different types of tree report. Each variation is designed for a different purpose. If you want to understand which tree assessment you need, keep reading.
Type 1: Preliminary Assessment (Pre-Development Application)
This type of tree report provides information that will help to decide the layout of new developments (either residential or commercial). The aim of this is to retain as many plants as possible, especially those that are rare species or are a habitat for animals. Preliminary assessments detail the species, height, spread and condition of any plants on the site, as well as numbering the shrubs. Photos will also be taken to assist with the plan alongside a location plan showing the plant’s number and value. The aim of this assessment is to help people wanting to build on their property decide where to place the new development and what plants (if any) can be removed.
Type 2: Arboricultural Impact Assessment
This is another form of tree report to assist with developments, and should accompany the development application to be lodged with the Consent Authority. The assessment should detail all construction and provide a concise evaluation of plant retention. Arboricultural impact assessments should consider what the effect the new building will have on the landscape.
Type 3: Root Mapping
Root mapping is undertaken when proposed construction or development is within the structural root zone. This type of assessment has to be non destructive, meaning hand excavation and ground penetration radars are to be used. The aim of this type of tree report is to determine how far the roots of a tree travel over the property in order to decide if, and where development can take place. So if you are planning on adding an extension, you may need to get a root assessment completed before continuing with your plans.
Type 5: Risk Assessment
A risk assessment is carried out to decide on the risks associated with either a single tree, or a group of trees. If you have a tree that you believe is unhealthy, this is the type of tree report you should consider getting. Risk assessments will tell you what is wrong with the plant in question and how it can be cared for to ensure it is not a hazard. There are different levels of this type of inspection, including, visual, basic and advanced. The arborist you hire should indicate which level you will need, and explain what this means.
Type 6: Landscape Maintenance and Management
Landscape management may or may not be related to development; the primary roll of this assessment is for continuous arboricultural maintenance. Both existing shrubs, and newly planted shrubs will be assessed. The current condition of all relevant woody shrubs in the area is noted, alongside photo evidence. This is often done so a comparison can be made against future, or previous inspections. It is the goal of the council to keep all plants healthy and prevent hazards. Furthermore, a description of all maintenance methods will be recorded as well as recommendations for how these practices can be improved upon.