Decay Detection Survey, Sheffield, S20

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JCA initially carried out a developmental survey at this site in Sheffield. As a result, one of the trees, was identified as requiring further surveys in the form of a sonic decay detection and a resistograph test.

The tree in question was described in the development survey as an overmature Purple Beech. It sits prominently within the site and would have been categorised as an ‘A’ within the Development Survey had there not been such a large wound that warranted further investigation and significant moderate deadwood.

Further inspections reveal that the wound may have more likely happened due to a lightning strike rather than the branch tearing out as initially theorised in the survey.

The wound was on the eastern side of the stem and canopy. This aspect of the canopy overhung the existing unit; due to the height of the damaged branch, it was likely that this would have been touching the building rather than being above it. The car park was also within the target zone of the tree if limb or stem failure were to occur.

The results of the sonic tomograph indicated that the wood was generally structurally sound and only had two very small areas of decay. Neither of the two areas of decay were immediately adjacent to where the wound was located. The resistograph results indicate that the wood has good structural integrity, and the decay had not extended radially.

Although minor decay was identified in both decay detection tests, the tree was identified to be structurally sound at the current time. Therefore, no further action was required at the present time. However, due to the presence of the decay, it was recommended that the tree be re-surveyed on an annual basis to reassess whether the condition was still acceptable in terms of health and safety.