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BS5837 Tree Surveys

//BS5837 Tree Surveys
BS5837 Tree Surveys 2018-05-16T14:46:36+00:00


The retention and protection of trees on development sites is a consideration for Planning Authorities. Developers should plan for such requirements from an early stage by undertaking an appropriate tree survey, and incorporating its findings into proposals and site construction.

This survey should meet the British Standard BS5837 – and hence the often-given survey title. A Tree Survey can be commissioned at a variety of stages in the development of a project proposal, but it is advisable to commence the process early to avoid later complication. We would recommend such a survey during plan development, and preferably well in advance of any planning application submission.

The surveys can also be undertaken in situations where applications have been rejected on tree related grounds, and those where Planning Conditions are imposed relating to tree protection.


Pre-Commencement Requirements

A topographical survey or a scaled site plan is required from the outset, with all trees and significant shrubs accurately plotted. We are able to provide this service.

Any relevant correspondence from the Planning Authority such as Planning Conditions or Tree Officer comments should also be made available.

Any plans of the proposed development and site photos should also be made available.


The process will begin with an on-site consultation, during which our arboriculturalist will survey and review trees both on and adjacent to the site. At this point we can either work from a topographical survey provided by your land surveyor, or create one for you. Trees and woodland will be assessed according to their retention value, and a tree survey drawn up showing which trees will need to be retained and protected. This is accompanied by a Tree Constraints Plan which identifies the area around trees that must be protected from damage and visually shows the relationship between the developed buildings and the retained trees providing the basis for assessment.

Post Design Planning

Before a design is finalized, an Arboricultural Impact Assessment (may also be called an Implications Assessment) will assist a client in understanding the relationship between the retained trees and the development itself, considering key aspects such as ground compaction, installation of underground services, local amenity values, shading, and the eventual size of retained trees. The Assessment develops recommendations to reduce impacts from the construction on the trees.

Post Planning Approval

Nicholsons will then prepare an Arboricultural Method Statement which details how the trees will be protected throughout the development process. Establishing the ground rules for site works, our statements combine specialist knowledge with workable practical solutions in a way that can easily be followed by both clients and contractors alike. Nicholsons also offer a site monitoring service to check and facilitate the implementation of the tree protection.
An Arboricultural Method Statement is only appropriate once the Arboricultural Impact Assessment has been completed, and a design finalized, and/or if conditional Planning Permission has been granted and it is a condition of the Planning Permission.


Topographical Survey
Tree Survey
Tree Constraints Plan

Post-Design Planning
Arboricultural Impact assessment

Post Planning Approval
Arboricultural Method Statement and Monitoring

It is important for developers and landowners to understand that tree removal which is not sanctioned under FULL Planning permission may be subject to the Felling Licence and Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations applied by the Forestry Commission, as well as Tree Preservation Order and Conservation Area Protections designated by the Local Authority. Other Environmental Regulations may also be enforced.

At Nicholsons we offer a bespoke service to meet your requirements. Our Arboricultural Team, supported by professional Tree Surgery and Forestry staff are experienced, NPTC certified and fully equipped to ensure an optimal service is provided. If you would like to enquire further about our BS5387 surveys, please email the team at We also provide a full Tree Surgery, Tree Safety Surveys & Inspection service, operating throughout Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties and will consider jobs further afield dependent on the scale and nature of the work.

BS5837 Tree Surveys
BS5837 Tree Surveys
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BS5837 Tree Surveys

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