Trees can provide many benefits and value on development sites when retained in the appropriate way and location and should be a material consideration from the outset. They have been shown to increase property value and mature trees enhance the visual amenity of a developing neighbourhood adding maturity and amenity value.
Our pragmatic approach, focuses on trees as assets rather than development constraints, producing clear and considered design solutions. Care must always be exercised over misplaced tree preservation. We take great pride in providing practical and innovative solutions that ensure councils retain viable trees and developers optimise their investment. We know that your time is your money, and in each project we undertake, we focus on delivering the right information to the right people, as quickly as possible.
Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants provide tree reports in line with British Standard 5837:2012 ‘Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction – Recommendations’(BS5837:2012), which are designed to guide our clients; architects, landscape architects, planning consultants, site managers, and contractors, through the planning and development process, whilst aiding the retention and protection suitable trees and maximising the chances of a success.
All of our consultants have considerable experience as LPA arboricultural/tree officers and arboricultural consultants and are proficient in the use of AutoCAD. We minimise delay by delivering what LPAs require, when they require it, in a format that is easy for them to process. We understand that your success depends on our ability to deliver the right information to the right people, as quickly as possible.
The provision of a topographical survey (which can be e-mailed to us) ideally forms the basis of our digital survey plan, which features accurately drawn crown spreads and shapes with colour coding to illustrate the ‘retention category’ of each tree. Plans are provided to scale where required and can be emailed back to your designer to overlay onto the proposal.
Prior to the purchase of a site or offering a site for sale, we can provide an overview assessment of the arboricultural site constraints. This information would usually be provided in the form a site plan identifying key areas and a brief report. It will provide broad indication and should be used as a tool when identifying potential development sites.
Understanding the complete constraints of any site whether it be arboricultural, ecological or topographical to name but a few is critical in order to design and plan a successful proposal.
The Tree Constraints Plan is produced from the tree survey and will illustrate the root protection areas required for each tree and the above ground constraints of a trees canopy. The tree constraints plan should be used as a design tool to evolve plans to the final layout design as it highlights all trees which are suitable for retention and as well as those trees that should not be regarded as a constraint.
The Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA) evaluates and recognises effects and where required mitigate the extent of direct and indirect impacts on existing trees, which are likely to arise from a final design layout implementation. Any tree loss required to implement the design, and any potentially damaging activities proposed in the vicinity of retained trees will also be detailed. Such activities might include the removal of existing structures and hard surfacing, the installation of new hard surfacing, the installation of services, and the location and dimensions of all proposed excavations or changes in ground level, including any that might arise from the implementation of the recommended mitigation measures. In addition to the impact of the permanent works, account should be taken of the buildability of the scheme in terms of access, adequate working space and provision for the storage of materials, including topsoil.
The AIA report will provide reasoned explanation for tree retention and for tree losses in support of the proposed development. This report should be submitted to the LPA with a formal planning application.
In addition to this evaluation of the extent of the impact on existing trees, the arboricultural impact assessment should include:
a) the tree constraints survey ;
b) trees selected for retention, clearly identified (e.g. by number) and marked on a plan with a continuous outline;
c) trees to be removed, also clearly identified (e.g. by number) and marked on a plan with a dashed outline or similar;
d) trees to be pruned, including any access facilitation pruning, also clearly identified and labelled or listed as appropriate;
e) areas designated for structural landscaping that need to be protected from construction operations in order to prevent the soil structure being damaged;
f) evaluation of impact of proposed tree losses;
g) evaluation of tree constraints and draft tree protection plan;
h) issues to be addressed by an arboricultural method statement (see below), where necessary in conjunction with input from other specialists.
An Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS) and Tree Protection Plan (TPP) is a report that provides site specific and detailed methodology for particular processes which mitigate issues where trees and development are forced together and potential conflicts may arise.
The stage at which an AMS is required is completely dependent on the site, the proposed layout and the LPA. AMS are often a requirement in order to fulfil a planning condition to be discharged prior to development commencing.
The preparation of AMS may include:
• Site inspections and monitoring with written file notes
• Pre-commencement meetings
• Location of site cabins, working areas
• Implementation of tree works
• Tree protection methodologies and plans
• Specialist foundation construction
• Installation of hard surfacing
• Installation of services and infrastructure
• Tree planting methodologies and specifications
Following the completion of the final design layout being finalised a TPP should be prepared to include the following information:
• Trees to be retained, clearly identified by number and marked on plan.
• Precise location of protective fencing/barriers marked on plan to identify construction exclusion zone.
• Precise location of ground protection marked on plan to identify construction exclusion zone.
• Design details of the proposed physical means of protection.
• Areas of structural landscaping to be protected.
• All protective details made available to all interested parties showing areas in which access and works may and may not take place.
We take great pride in coming up with practical and innovative solutions to the whole range of technical problems. See the Case Studies to review a number of examples. All of our site surveys and report for proposed development follow the information as set out within BS5837:2012, and are tailored to meet our individual client requirements.
New development often provides opportunities for new planting, which, if chosen wisely, will integrate successfully, and improve the overall balance of tree cover on a site. The introduction of young trees can help to ensure continuity of cover, provide screening, improve the diversity of species and add general amenity value. We are not landscape designers but our specialist knowledge of trees enables us to make the right choices for new planting which will enhance developments with immediate effect and long into the future.
Our tree planting schemes are designed to complement existing stock, add interest and diversity and avoid tree related problems in the future.
“Barberry has always found the Wharton team to be knowledgeable and efficient in their input backed with a commercially realistic approach to the development process”
M P Winters, Construction Director, Barberry Group Limited
Our experienced team will guide you through the process from estimate to planning approval.