If you are responsible for any areas that include trees, or you are responsible for employees working with or near trees, you need to consider the following when fulfilling your responsibilities.
Arboriculture meets the law in two different ways. The first relates to the protection of trees themselves, and the second relates to the effects that trees have upon the world around them.
The law recognises that trees require protection, both as groups and individually, because of their ecological value and because of their use as habitats by endangered animal species. This means that those working with trees must have the knowledge to avoid breaking the law. For example, you might not be allowed to remove a tree from your property – even though you own the property – because it is home to a rare type of bird or insect.
Historically, trees were valuable as a source of building material and firewood. However, taking into account the above protections, the law recognises that trees can affect the modern world. Trees that are not trimmed can block light or views of scenery, and tree roots can damage building foundations. Planning applications that include new trees will need to consider the possible impacts for generations to come.
So, whether it’s planting trees or cutting down trees, a certified arborist can best advise you so as to avoid those nasty legal issues.
Risk Assessment and Management
Linked to the avoidance of legal issues is the question of properly assessing and managing the risks associated with arboriculture.
Are your untamed garden shrubs causing damage to your neighbour’s fence as they grow? Are your overhanging tree branches a hazard to anyone walking by? Are your tree-care employees properly trained in the use of the equipment you have provided?
A great deal of legislation exists requiring risks from the cultivation and management of trees to be assessed and managed. If any legal issues do arise, you will be in a much stronger position if you have assessed and managed risks properly.
A qualified arborist will be able to advise you about identifying hazards and putting the proper precautions in place, and thereby give you peace of mind.
In most modern urban settings, trees are cultivated and valued for their visual appeal. Many new residential areas are planned to include public parks or gardens and the look of those areas is just as important as their ecological value.
Also, management of existing trees involves more than avoiding legal issues or risks. Arboriculture is also about creating something beautiful at the same time.
Which trees should you plant for maximum visual appeal? How can you trim your trees to manage risk without spoiling the look of the area? A certified arborist will be able to tell you which trees are best suited to the surrounding environment or how best to cultivate your trees to achieve the best look.