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What Does a Tree Inspection Involve?

While it may seem like an unusual comparison, the importance of having your tree inspected can be likened to taking your pet to a vet when you suspect they are ill – you would only arrange for them to visit a fully qualified professional who knows the signs and symptoms to look out for, and the same is needed for the trees in your garden if their condition has deteriorated. 

As shown in our previous article, ‘How to remove a tree stump’, at Artemis we believe it is important to explain the different types of tree work, so you know exactly what they entail should you require these services. In this edition, we will be explaining what a tree inspection involves, the types of tree surveys available, and who should carry them out.

What is a tree inspection?

Sometimes known as a tree risk survey, the aim of a tree inspection is to identify any problems with the tree which can put it, you or your property at risk. The objective of the inspection is twofold:

  • to check the current condition of the tree
  • to identify any potential issues with the tree which might arise in the near future

Who carries out a tree inspection?

All tree works must be carried out by a fully qualified arborist who has the experience and accreditations to conduct a thorough and detailed assessment.

Who is responsible for arranging a tree inspection?

It is sensible for any person who owns or manages the land where trees are situated to enlist the help of an arborist who will check that it is in a safe condition. For commercial settings, this might be an estate manager who requires an in-depth survey of the trees surrounding their properties, or a local council who have an obligation to protect the public, whilst also preserving the wide ranging environmental, ecological, social, economic and amenity benefits provided by trees. 

Alternatively, homeowners who wish to learn more about the trees in their garden or who have noticed that the tree near their house isn’t looking as healthy as it once did, may decide to have their trees inspected. 

What is included in a tree inspection?

As leading arborists, our tree surveys detail:

  • tree species (including scientific name)
  • measurements of trees
  • overall condition of trees and detailed observations of any issues found

Based on this information, we make management recommendations, and, where appropriate, attach tree tags to help locate the trees surveyed. 

What are the different types of tree surveys/inspections?

Depending on budget and individual requirements, there are several types of tree surveys available: 

Walk-Over Tree Survey

Most suitable for environments with a large number of trees, such as schools, parks and woodland areas, a walk-over tree survey is a visual inspection of all trees from ground level. The arborist will check for any areas with damage, cavities or decay, creating a report to detail any remedial work required and the timescales at which this needs to be carried out. In addition to being recorded in the report, any potentially hazardous trees will also be tagged. 

As the most cost-effective option, this type of survey is most suitable for those with a large area of trees or limited budget.

Full Tree Survey

Compared with the walk-over tree survey, a full tree survey is conducted at a more detailed level. Each and every tree on the site will be assessed, and all works will be recorded within a comprehensive inventory. 

This type of tree inspection is most suitable for a collection of trees which are being looked after for research, conservation or education purposes, or areas with a variety of tree species. 

Climbed Tree Inspection

Following an initial inspection at ground level, in some instances defects spotted high up in the tree may require further investigation. In such cases, the arborist may recommend a climbed tree survey for a more detailed assessment. From this, they will produce a report to detail the findings, accompanied by photographic evidence and recommendations. Due to the safety precautions required for working at height, it’s imperative that this work is carried out by a qualified professional. 

BS5837:2012 Tree Survey

Finally, this type of survey is required for those planning to alter their property or land which contains or is close to trees. This is most commonly applicable for trees on development sites or those requiring planning permission for works on their property, and assesses any potential restrictions caused by surrounding trees, such as rooting or the blocking of light. This is a British Standard for potential construction sites, and must be undertaken prior to any further work being carried out. 

What services are available to fix any issues found in a tree inspection?

In the event that your tree survey flags an issue with your tree, your arborist will provide sound advice and recommendations on the remedial work required. From felling diseased or dangerous trees in conservation areas to simple removal of dead wood, there are myriad of options available to address any tree-related problems.


Here at Artemis Tree Services, we are proud to offer a comprehensive range of tree services, including the tree reports and BS5837 surveys listed in this article, along with tree pollarding, tree felling, tree maintenance and much more. As a CHAS-accredited and Arb-approved contractor, you can rest assured knowing that you have enlisted the help of experienced, fully qualified arborists when coming to us. For further information or to arrange an appointment, contact us today.


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