The risk from falling trees

The media often broadcast when a tree fails and results in a fatality. Such media exposure helps to create the impression that there is a significant risk to the general public from falling/collapsing trees. However the reality is that there is a very low risk to the general public as a whole.

What the law requires

The law requires that the tree owner takes reasonable steps to safely manage their trees and that they can demonstrate this if challenged.

Risk management

In managing the risks from tress, a balance should be struck between risk reduction, it’s financial cost and the cost of lost benefits provided by the trees as a result of the risk reduction. The law recognises this and makes provision for this where possible. The legal duty of care is commonly perceived as an onerous task to comply with, but in practice is quite straightforward. Some trees do need an elevated degree of attention, but this is still no onerous task to implement. 

Quantified Tree Risk management

‘..applies established and accepted risk management principles to tree safety management. Firstly, the use of land upon which trees could fail is assessed and quantified, thus enabling tree managers to determine whether or not and to what degree of rigour a survey or inspection of the trees is required. Where necessary, the tree or branch is then considered in terms of both impact potential (size) and probability of failure. Values derived from the assessment of these three components are used to calculate the probability of harm.

The system moves the management of tree safety away from labelling trees as either ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ and thereby away from requiring definitive judgements from either tree assessors or tree managers. Instead, QTRA quantities the risk of significant harm from tree failure in a way that enables tree managers to balance safety with tree values and operate to predetermined limits of tolerable or acceptable risk.‘

Arborhelp are licensed QTRA users and all tailored tree risk assessments either employ this system in full, or follow the spirit of it.

Our services
  • Arborhelp are experts in quantifying the risk trees pose to their environments & as such, are able to develop tree management policies & implementation strategies that fufill the duty of care required by tree owners, while still preserving the value of their tree assets.
  • We tailor tree risk management policies & their implementation according to the objectives and needs of our clients, particularly if there are multiple objectives identified.
  • Please feel free to call us to discuss your tree management needs – we provide tree risk management services for all sizes of tree populations.

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