Please click the headings below to find out more…

A balanced and proportionate approach to tree safety

Land owners and those who manage trees owe a duty of care to all people who might be injured by their tree(s). The overall risk posed by trees is extremely low and the law does not expect owners to maintain their trees in a ‘completely safe’ condition, but risks should be managed to within acceptable levels.

Our services range from the inspection of individual specimens in private gardens to extensive tree populations across large estates. Our inspection and survey reports include: clear mapping/plotting, relevant information on physiological and structural condition of the trees, identification and management of significant pest and diseases, a structured appraisal of risk and clear management recommendations (if any) with work priorities.

We always give careful consideration to the landscape and environmental benefits of trees when making management recommendations and provide clear guidance of any legal obligations. If the trees are covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), growing within a conservation area, or require a felling license we can take care of all the paperwork for you.

Our arboriculturalist, Jonathan Astill, holds the ABC Level 6 Professional Diploma in Arboriculture and the LANTRA Professional Award for Tree Inspection, ensuring a proficient assessment of tree health and condition using systematic methods in line with current industry best practice. Where it is deemed necessary, we can also carry out aerial inspections, decay mapping and root inspections.

To ensure that management for large tree populations is both practical and proportionate, we will normally carry out a preliminary site visit with the client to discuss their requirements and assess how the land is used around the trees (buildings, structures, frequency of traffic and pedestrian activity). The type and frequency of survey can then be tailored to ensure that resources are allocated to those trees requiring it the most. For large tree populations, working to a bespoke risk management plan is a defendable, cost effective approach to tree safety and can be incorporated into your organisation’s wider policies. This ensures peace of mind with regards to the condition of your trees and demonstrates that you are fulfilling your duty of care.

For more information about the ‘common sense risk management of trees’ click here. Alternatively, give us a call to see how we can help.

“Achieving harmony between trees and the built environment”

Astill Treecare provides a comprehensive service for clients seeking planning consent for development projects in proximity to trees. We have a wealth of experience in undertaking BS.5837 surveys and delivering arboricultural support for planning applications from small extensions to major development projects.

Our objectives are to realise the aspirations of our clients, work closely with the design team / local authority and achieve a harmonious relationship between trees, structures and future occupants. Our reports and plans are presented to a high standard with clear mapping and annotation using the most up-to-date AutoCAD LT software.

Trees are an important factor on development sites and a material consideration in the UK planning system.
The process follows a logical sequence of events as outlined in BS.5837:2012 – Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations. We will ensure that the existing trees are surveyed and categorized in accordance with accepted standards and advise on the feasibility, design, planning application and construction stages.

As a former senior local authority tree officer dealing predominantly with trees and development, Jonathan is well placed to guide you through the processes and planning authority requirements, maximising your likelihood of securing planning consent.

Planning and development services include:

• Site and feasibility appraisals
• BS.5837 tree surveys
• Tree constraint plans and appraisals
• Pre-application liaison with Local Planning Authorities
• Arboricultural impact assessments
• Tree protection plans and arboricultural method statements
• Strategic and detailed soft landscape schemes (trees, shrubs and hedges)
• Supervision and monitoring of sensitive construction activities

The full range of services is seldom applicable in all instances. Variables such as the size, intensity and proximity of proposed development in relation to trees will determine the level of detail required for a planning application.

“Finding realistic solutions and making them happen”

Where trees make a significant contribution to the amenities of a local area, planning authorities are empowered to protect them by making Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). The principle effect is to prohibit the cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage or wilful destruction of certain trees without formal consent. Similar legislative protection is afforded to trees growing within designated Conservation Areas.

The law allows for the pruning or removal of protected trees where it can be demonstrated that the proposed work is justified for the reasons put forward. With a wealth of experience in this area, Astill Treecare can provide authoritative, technical advice to make or support your application and maximise the likelihood of achieving your desired outcome.

We can also represent you in formal objections to the making of unsuitable TPO’s or, where appropriate, lodge appeals against a refusal of consent carry out works to protected trees. Whilst we have an excellent track record in helping our clients achieve a satisfactory solution to their tree issues, please note that we never want to waste anyone’s time or money by pursuing applications or appeals that we know have no realistic chance of success.

For more information about TPOs and conservation areas click here or feel free to give us a call so we can discuss your requirements.

“Respecting our elders”

An ancient tree can be broadly described as having passed long beyond maturity and being exceptionally old for its species. They often have very wide, hollow trunks and many features such as cavities, decay, dead wood, splits and snags. Veteran trees, whilst often mature, will support significant battle scars and decay caused by historic storm damage or past management, but are not necessarily attributed to the tree’s exceptional age.

Ancient and veteran trees often provide rare habitats for a diverse range flora and fauna. They stand as living links to a time gone by and, through their gnarly and wizened form, provide character to the landscape and inspiration to those that behold them. Whilst the UK is fortunate to support the largest population of veteran and ancient trees in Europe, they are still vulnerable to neglect, unnecessary risk aversion and insensitive management of their soils and surroundings.

Astill Treecare has had the privilege of working with, studying and advising on the care of many veteran and ancient trees across a broad range of sites. Good management and understanding includes ‘reading’ the tree but also looking beyond the tree to its soil and surroundings. We promote the continued longevity of these special trees, managing risk to acceptable levels, whilst still aiming to protect the historical, cultural and biological benefits they provide.

For more information about the care and management of ancient and veteran trees click here or get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.

“A consistent and objective approach to municipal tree management”

Jonathan has 11 years’ experience working in local authorities across Hampshire and Dorset, with the final 4 years as the senior arboricultural officer for East Dorset District Council. He has been fortunate to hold positions that spanned across both the planning and leisure remit providing a wealth of knowledge in the processes of local government and a common sense approach when dealing with sensitive or complex issues.

This valuable insight to the workings of private and public sector arboriculture has given Astill Treecare an advantageous understanding of procedure and regulation, whilst still addressing the relationship between trees and people with a broad perspective.

Our service extends to providing locum expertise to the public sector in the following areas:

• Consultation on applications / notifications to work on TPOs trees and trees in conservation areas
• Consultation on development applications affecting trees
• Review of Tree Preservation Orders
• Preparation of appeal statements and attendance at hearings
• Tree surveys and inspections for trees growing on public land
• Consultation on high hedge complaints

“Nurturing and establishing trees for the future”

Whether you want to prepare a landscape strategy or a detailed plan for a development site, enrich an existing garden, plant an avenue, parkland trees or small woodland, we can provide the expert advice to help you achieve your desired outcome.

Where trees are the primary component of a soft landscape, talk to us about:

• Your objectives (e.g. ornament, structure, shelter, habitat, screening, fruit…)
• Right species selection for your objectives, the soil and the setting
• Projections of future growth and appropriate spacing / location
• Sources of trees and planting materials
• Successful establishment of trees in hostile environments (e.g. car parks, highways and public areas)
• Specifications for ground preparation, planting, protection and anchorage
• Programme of aftercare for healthy establishment (e.g. weed control, irrigation, formative pruning)