Top advice from Nick Hellis - Tree Consultant

Updated: 16th March 2012

BS-5837 gives recommendations and guidance on the principles to be applied to achieve a satisfactory juxtaposition of trees, including shrubs, hedges and hedgerows, with structures;

The standard recognises that there can be problems of development close to existing trees which are to be retained, and of planting trees close to existing structures.  BS.5837 sets out to assist those concerned with trees in relation to construction to form balanced judgements.  It does not set out to put arguments for or against development, or for the removal or retention of trees.

Where development, including demolition, is to occur, the standard provides guidance on how to decide which trees are appropriate for retention, on the means of protecting the trees during development and on the means of incorporating trees into the developed landscape.

Tree Reports for Development Sites

The tree report for a Development Site accompanies an application for planning consent. To satisfy the Local Planning Authority, the report will contain some or all of the following elements, depending on the specific requirements of the proposed development;

Land survey

An accurately measured land survey showing all relevant existing site features including the location of all trees, shrub masses and hedges. It maybe necessary to include spot heights to show ground levels throughout the site.

Tree Survey

The survey should include all trees included in the land survey and it should categorize trees or groups of trees for their quality and value within the existing context.

Tree Constraints Plan (TCP)

A plan, prepared by a qualified arboriculturist (such as Nick Hellis), showing the root protection areas (RPAs) and representing the effect that the mature height and spread of retained trees will have on layout design through shade, dominance, etc.

Construction Exclusion Zone

An area based on the RPA, identified by your arboriculturist, to be protected during development by the use of barriers and/or ground protection fit for purpose to ensure the successful long-term protection and retention of a tree.

Tree Protection Plan (TPP)

A scale drawing, prepared by your arboriculturist, showing the finalized layout proposals, tree retention and tree and landscape protection measures detailed within the arboricultural method statement (AMS), which can be shown graphically. 

Arboricultural Implications Assessment (AIA)

A study, undertaken by your arboriculturist, to identify, evaluate and possibly mitigate the extent of direct and indirect impacts on existing trees that may arise as a result of the implementation of any site layout proposal. 

Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS)

A methodology for the implementation of any aspect of development that has the potential to result in loss of or damage to a tree.

Pre Development Tree Work

A schedule of tree works, prepared by your arboriculturist, listing all the trees to be removed to clear the main development area and those remaining that require remedial works.

Proposals for New Planting & Post Development Management

A plan and schedule, prepared by a landscape architect or other competent person, showing the intended location of new planting, taking into consideration the future use, layout and design of a development site.


This article was provided by kind permission by our friend and colleague Nick Hellis - Arboriculturalist.  We are happy to recomend Nick's services to our clients... So Why not give him a call if you need any specialist assistance with trees on your own property?

For guidance with Development Planning, Estate & Land Management issues - contact Ian Firth who advises land owners and developers on related matters.


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