Preliminiaries and Consultation

Prior to undertaking a basic tree survey it is recommended that discussions be held with the client of the restoration project (land management agent or project planner/lead) to determine the expectations and criteria for assessment. A summary and explanation of the survey process and personal capabilities of the surveyors knowledge should be outlined to the client. Surveys can range from identifying trees that are an immediate threat to people or they can encompass an assessment of every tree within a target area and their potential hazards. After discussions have been held with client, clear and specific requirements should have been realised (e.g. tree size, species, urgency of work and safety etc). The surveyor's surveys are an advisory assessment in lieu of a fully qualified surveyor and cannot be held responsible for sudden tree failures.


1. Discuss expectations of survey with the client
2. Obtain relevant permissions for access and materials for surveys
3. Obtain written confirmation of agreed criteria for tree surveys

tree survey from towpathPhoto: Large willows with potential hazards over the towpath

Further Guidance

More information regarding the necessity of tree safety can be found from the Forestry Commission's National Tree Safety Group


For advice on hazardous trees on your restoration site contact Alex Melson at


Tree Survey Form

Example Risk Assessment

OPAL Tree Identification Guides