What does a tree survey involve?

​A visual assessment of the tree is undertaken at ground level. The health and condition of the tree is assessed and any physiological or structural defects noted. The measurements of the tree are recorded along with information such as species, age and predicted life expectancy.

Why do I need a tree survey?

Trees are inspected for a variety of reasons; perhaps a tree survey has been requested by a Local Planning Authority to accompany a planning application, or maybe the tree owner has concerns about a trees health and safety. Fundamental to each tree inspection is a physiological and structural assessment, which then allows informed decisions/required action to be taken.

What is BS5837?

BS5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations’ is the British Standard specification for tree surveys, Arboricultural Implications Assessments (AIA) and Arboricultural Method Statements (AMS).

How do I find out whether a tree is protected?

Trees are protected if they are in a conservation area or if they have a tree preservation order (TPO). Most local planning authority (LPA) websites will have maps of their conservation areas and some also have interactive maps to check for TPO’s.

Do you carry out tree works (tree surgery)?

No, we are Arboricultural consultants who are people who have gained recognised qualifications and expertise in the care and management of trees.  JCA can however recommend reputable tree surgeons to carry out tree works. We would recommend that you search for a tree surgeon via the Arboricultural Association or the International Society of Arboriculture websites.

What is a Homebuyers Report and do I require one?

Mortgage lenders tend to ask for a tree survey as a condition of granting a mortgage and insurers may require a tree survey to assess if trees are implicated in subsidence damage.

Mortgage reports are often recommended to lenders or estate agents by surveyors and mortgage offers can be withdrawn if a surveyor is concerned about trees close to a property. JCA’s reports are reasonably priced and can be completed in a matter of days.

A JCA mortgage report provides a full description of every significant item of vegetation, detailing any required tree works. Also provided as part of this document is a clear, colour site plan showing tree positions.

What should I do if I see a tree with a hanging branch?

Trees like any living thing can become ill (through disease or infestations) or be injured (through cracking or physical damage).

Most trees will live for a long time and are perfectly healthy with little or no maintenance but others, depending upon their location, may need some attention from time to time.

If the tree is on private land, then you should contact the owner of the tree first of all as they have a duty of care to make sure that their tree(s) are kept in a safe manner.  If the tree is on public land then the local council should be contacted.

A tree safety report by JCA will provide details of necessary arboricultural works, in order to reduce liability. It will give recommendations with a view to safety and the long term management of a sustainable tree cover.

Can tree roots damage my drains?

Tree roots cannot actively seek out water within an intact drain. However, if a drain is damaged, tree roots will exploit this, which can lead to drains becoming blocked with tree roots.

Are trees causing subsidence at my property?

Trees can cause damage to your property. However, this is very much dependent on the soil types on which your property is constructed and must consider factors such as foundation depths and eliminate leaking drains, landslip etc.

Do I need an Ecological Survey?

Ecology surveys are required where there is potential for protected species to be disturbed by a proposed development. The results of these must then be submitted as part of the planning application.

Planning authorities will expect to see a report from a qualified ecologist accompanying any planning application where the characteristics of the site and its surrounds suggest suitable habitat for any European Protected Species (EPS).

When should I get an Ecologist Consultant involved in my project?

The earlier the better and ideally before a planning application is submitted. The most cost effective and least impacting upon your project is to involve an ecologist at the design stage so that informed decisions about the surveys recommended, site design, project schedule and budgets can be made.

Are There Seasonal Restrictions on Ecological Surveys?

This depends upon the species and what is required. A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal can be undertaken at any time of the year. Further survey work for specific species may be restricted to when species are most active. Please refer to our ecological survey calendar for more information.

If an ecologist finds a protected species will that stop me developing my site – what happens next?

The simple answer is no, but you have to apply for a species Mitigation Licence from Natural England, Natural Resources Wales or Scotland Natural Heritage government bodies. Applying for Mitigation Licences can take up to 10 weeks during busy periods. Ecologists will work with developers, their architects and planning ecologists to design practical and cost-effective mitigation and ensure that the licensing process which would have to be done is as seamless as possible.

I need to undertake some work to trees and shrubs, but there may be nesting birds. What can I do?

Often, a development will require the removal of trees or other types of vegetation. Should vegetation works be deemed necessary within the breeding bird season (approximately between March – August depending on bird species behaviour), a bird survey for nesting birds will be required to ensure that no birds are currently nesting at that time. Every site is different, so we would need to assess the area to make an appropriate judgement.

What access is required when surveying a building for bats?

Surveys will be conducted on the exterior of all building structures as well as internally, all loft spaces, cellars and culverts must be inspected.

Which areas do you cover?

JCA Ltd are based in Halifax, West Yorkshire and we operate all around the UK and are able to travel internationally.

Once surveys have been carried out, what happens next?

The consultant responsible will write a detailed report in a format which meets the needs of planners and architects. This will advise the planners as to the likely arboricultural/ecological impacts allowing their tree officer/ecologist to decide as to whether any further work is required or whether any further mitigation (ecology) may be required. The recommendations in the report may be used to condition the planning application, so that your development can proceed but under the conditions set out by the arboricultural/ecology survey findings.

How do I obtain a quotation?

There are a number of ways you can obtain a quote from JCA. Firstly you can use the request a quote form, you can call us on 01422 376335 and speak to one of our consultants or if you’d prefer to email, you can send to info@jcaac.com

How much will a survey cost me?

The cost for our services depends wholly on the project requirements, which will determine the amount of time estimated. Please contact us directly with your enquiry and we can provide you with a quotation.

Why choose JCA Ltd?

Established in 1997, JCA are industry leading arboriculture & ecology consultants, reporting on all related issues. Our friendly, qualified team can advise on tree safety, developing near trees, subsidence risk, trees and the law, bats, ecology and tree diseases. We welcome private clients with a single tree to municipal clients with over 50,000 trees and we operate in the UK and internationally.

We provide quality tree & ecology surveys & advice with excellence and prompt delivery being keywords in our office. In a recent poll of development clients in 2013; 98% obtained their planning permissions and we don’t think this can be beaten.  For a quote or advice, give us a call on 01422 376335 or email info@jcaac.com today and one of our consultants will be happy to help!

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Not sure where you stand on an arboricultural or ecological related issues? At JCA our specialist team are here to help you, contact us today!