Winter Gritting Experts

Why A GRITIT Tree Survey Saves You Money!

February 14, 2021

Trees and woodlands are an extremely important part of any facility's landscape and for the well-being of users and visitors. The benefits given by trees are numerous, and the appreciation of trees in a facility grounds is almost universal. But trees are large structures that can affect your facility, which means that property and facility managers require tree surveys to be able to make informed decisions.


Why do we have trees?

Trees have numerous benefits on estates and facilities:

Economic benefits:

  • Trees increase property and land values (by 5-10% for commercial properties and 27% for undeveloped land (with mature trees present) 
  • Trees provide a sustainable source of woodchip biofuel (as a by-product of tree works)
  • Trees are a source of compost (leaf matter) for use elsewhere on the facility 

Social and health benefits:

  • Trees provide an appealing setting for your visitors and staff, especially in urban areas 
  • Trees helps reduce stress levels 
  • Trees soften and brings colour and character to any built-up environment 
  • Trees release scents and aromas that can promote a positive emotional state which contributes to better health and well being

Environmental benefits:

  • Absorb airborne pollutants such as ozone, carbon, sulphur and nitrogen dioxides from nearby traffic
  • Carbon sinks (converting carbon dioxide into plant tissue) 
  • Filtration of dust, other particulates and noise
  • Production of oxygen
  • Reduction of extremes in temperature (helping to cool the air in summer and warm the air in winter)
  • Reduction in the effects of flash floods
  • Habitats for wildlife

Why have a tree survey?

A tree survey gives a clear, well-defined description, location and condition of your trees. This information can be used to provide an opinion of tree health, amenity value, probability of failure, level of impact following failure and risk to people and property, the latter being the main driver why large estates and councils usually order tree surveys on a three year cycle.

In fact, in an increasing number of facility and property-related estates, tree surveys are mandatory, to prevent a protected tree from being cut down accidentally (based on the Wildlife and Countryside Act). Usually though, tree surveys are conducted because there is an intention to build outbuildings or additional offices/parking, perhaps somewhere near the locations of the trees. In this instance, a tree survey becomes extremely important.

The information retrieved from a tree survey is useful for many aspects of a facility manager's project management. For instance, with investment into new offices or car parks, the grounds architect can come up with computer designs and drafts based on the information collected in a tree survey. Such drafts are more realistic, because of the input of accurate information. It is almost impossible to come up with an accurate draft without the information from the tree survey.

Next, your grounds maintenance contractor may decide to earmark or even add trees, so as to increase the overall asset value. Any that cannot be removed by law can be incorporated into the design so that they look as part of the overall landscape, instead of being inappropriately located.

Trees can be hazards

All that said, a tree survey can also point out hazards and risks, a point which is always uppermost in good facility management. For example, a tree may fall any moment (especially when there is a strong wind or foul weather) due to fungal decay. In this case, it is better to have the tree removed. These are safety aspects that need to be taken care of.

A comprehensive tree survey will give you a good sense of what is on a particular piece of land. Sound decisions can then be made in the best interests of all parties, including the relevant authorities.

GRITIT tree surveys

GRITIT carries out "Walkover Tree Surveys" on any small, medium or large sites - please contact your account manager for details. On our surveys, each tree within a site boundary shall be inspected from ground level in areas identified as high or medium use. Only trees requiring remedial action would be included in the schedule and identified on the Tree Survey Plan. All these identified trees shall be tagged, and a schedule shall be attached to the final document containing the following information:

  • Tree id number.
  • Species.
  • Target evaluation.
  • Age of the specimen.
  • Estimated height.
  • Stem diameter.
  • Structural condition assessment.
  • Vitality assessment.
  • Estimated life expectancy.
  • Observations.
  • Recommendations for possible works.
  • Priority rating for any prescribed works.

A GRITIT tree survey also ensures that branches are always monitored to be cleared to 2.4m over paths, 5m over roads, 1m from all street lighting, traffic signs, traffic lights, street name plates and 2m from windows or adjacent premises, as per the law of the land. In high-risk areas such as schools, tree surveys have to be carried out frequently, as much as twice every year.

It is recommended to stagger these surveys due to the changing nature of trees throughout the seasons. Autumn and winter often highlight different problems to spring and summer.

For advice, a tree survey or tree treatment, please call GRITIT on 0330 100 2811




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