Arborists praise revised standard

Arborist welcome more involvement in assessing trees within building developments

Arborists have welcomed a new standard that would give them closer involvement in building projects, unveiled at the Arboricultural Association’s annual conference, held in Exeter last week. British Standard BS 5387, which covers the relationship between trees and new buildings, has been extensively revised. Under the new standard, arborists will be expected to survey any major building site, assess the trees and make recommendations on which trees should stay. They would also recommend ways of protecting roots during building works. Arboricultural Association director Nick Eden welcomed the new standard: “It’s good for trees and it puts arborists at the centre of developments.” He also criticised local authority inefficiency caused by a lack of proper planning. The conference gave advance details of the new Trees in Town survey, which will be published shortly by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and which reveals the failings of local authorities. ODPM arborist Peter Annett revealed that 75 per cent of local authorities fail to make a proper assessment of the tree budget needed. In addition, 70 per cent of local authority tree work is unplanned and carried out in response to problems. Thirty-five per cent of trees are not given any post-planting maintenance, which means they are far more likely to die. The conference also heard from US independent consultant Tony Mucciardi, who has helped develop new ways of using radar to detect the presence of roots under soil. # Fountains won the tree climbing and utility skills competition for the third year running. The team was Andrew Huggins, Neil Austin and Matthew Flynn.

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