It is possible that your premises contain a large number of beautiful trees. Beautiful though they may be, they may also come with risks that you should try to manage. Read our guide to understand how.

Legal requirements

Depending on your specific circumstances and premises, you may be legally obliged to manage your tree stock for a number of reasons:
  • Reduce the risk of property damage from subsidence
  • Maintain tree stocks to preserve their amenity, conservation, and environmental value
  • Prevent personal injury or vehicle damage

Potential hazards

Common hazards to look out for include:
  • Signs of decay 
  • Cracking in the trunk or lower branches
  • Gaps or poor condition of the tree crown
  • Splitting at branch forks
  • Excessive swaying in the wind
  • New exposure of previously sheltered trees
  • Grafts
  • Neglected pollards
  • Damage after storms

Risk management overview

1. Identify trees you have responsibility for. Take account of their position and the degree of public access to them. You might want to divide the trees into two zones depending on this degree, high versus low public access. Document this information.

2. Decide what trees might pose a risk and arrange inspections as required. Plan for future periodic inspections.

3. Ensure that any necessary precautions are taken and remain effective. Act on any issues of concern reported to you.
4. Ensure that any employees and volunteers involved in any inspection or minor tree work are provided with necessary information and training. Record what information and training are given. 

5. Document your arrangements and responsibilities for tree management and review these periodically.