Tree survey before design to lower costs.
In most cases, a tree survey carried out pre-design phase can be highly beneficial. Information gathered about existing trees can save the design team time and money.
Today I inspected an over mature Lime tree located to the side of a narrow single lane road, the only access to a development site in Belfast. Quite a bit of time had been expended on how to circumvent the Root Protection Area of the tree to allow access.
I visited the site and could instantly see the issue. The tree had a diameter of 1.5m and the RPA would be impinged upon by multiple buildings. My first job was to carry out a Visual assessment on the Lime. To the untrained, the tree looked over mature but healthy. However, upon observation from all angles, I noticed a loss of vigor in the Southern quarter of the upper canopy.
The base of the Lime was covered with Ivy and sucker growth but some selective pruning with secateurs allowed me to inspect the base of the main stem. Upon sounding with a hammer I began to notice a hollow report leading into some fluting.
My efforts found some decay fungi growing from a large internal cavity. This tree has now been categorized as U according to the British standard BS5837 and has been marked for removal thus preventing further design around the tree.