When you have trees on your property, you are responsible for ensuring they are growing optimally and not posing any safety risk to the surrounding communities, including the people and properties in the area. It is also important to ensure the land’s vegetation remains healthy so as not to endanger other trees. In order to do this, you need to have a tree expert conduct a proper assessment of your property and the condition of the trees it features. In most cases, it is necessary to obtain an Arborist Report.
What is an Arborist Report?
An Arborist Report is a formal document prepared by a Certified Arborist with an AQF Level 5 – Arboricultural qualification. Arborists at this level possess a mastery of their craft and have an in depth understanding of anything related to trees.
The report is prepared when formal assessments are required. Typically, creating it starts with the qualified arborist completing a Visual Tree Assessment (VTA), where they conduct a thorough tree examination and review the vegetation in the area. They will determine vital information about the tree (e.g. species, health, vigour, structure, form and amenity value). The goal is to identify any existing issues, damage, other areas of concern and potential safety risks and threats.
Depending on what the arborist is assessing and what the information is being used for, the arborist will provide either an Arborist Report, Impact Assessment Report or a Vegetation Management Plan.
Arborist Reports are general reports and assessments on vegetation. Impact Assessment Reports are provided for development & building projects and usually submitted to council as part of a development application. Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) are plans created to manage large areas of vegetation, suitable for schools, body corporates and commercial properties.
Functions of an Arborist Report
An Arborist report serves a range of purposes in relation to a property and its trees. As people and their city councils become more aware of tree safety, maintenance, and the benefits of healthy vegetation in the community, requests for Arborist Reports become more frequent.
The two most common reasons to have an Arborist Report done are:
- Gold Coast Council requirements for development and building projects – This is to confirm if any trees will be significantly impacted by the development and to identify any trees that will be retained and require protection during building works.
- Body corporate and schools – They may need Vegetation Management Plans (VMP) and reports to manage any risk associated with their vegetation. The arborist will prescribe pruning, removals and replanting to maintain levels of vegetation, ensure the longevity of all greenspaces and reduce the risk of any tree or branch failure that can cause impact to property of persons.
Although Arborist Reports don’t hold legal weight and are purely recommendations, tree owners can be found negligent for being aware of an issue identified in a report and choosing not to act on it. However, the document itself can’t enforce any action.
Do you need to obtain an Arborist Report? Call Frontier Tree Services.
The above mentioned are just a few reasons to have an Arborist Report done. There are still many, and if you’re not sure whether you need one, please feel free to contact us. We have AQF Level 5 Certified Arborists in our team who can help assess your trees and prepare an Arborist Report for you.