Decay Detection, HG1

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Our client requested a decay detection test to assess the internal condition of a Weeping Willow tree which was protected by a Tree Preservation Order. The owners of the tree had genuine concerns over the condition and risk of the tree due to its close proximity to a school and heavily pedestrianised throughfare.

An application to fell the tree was not accepted by Harrogate Borough Council and as such JCA Limited carried out the decay detection assessment in order to fully assess the trees risk and provide an alternative yet suitable management option for the tree if required.

The Sonic Tomograph is a specialised electronic instrument which is used to assess the internal structure of a tree branch or stem. The condition of the tree is assessed by measuring the speed that sound travels through the wood in a number of different directions from a number of set positions.

The results from the Arborsonic Tomograph indicated that there was sound internal wood throughout, and therefore it was not considered to be in a structurally compromised condition that would warrant the need for its imminent removal on the grounds of health and safety.

However, the tree had a wide spreading canopy and had been historically reduced. The tree also dropped a large branch over the neighbour’s driveway, which has left a slightly one-sided/overweighted crown over the road. Therefore, our consultant recommended that the tree have a canopy reduction and crown lift.