Decay Detection Drill
Trees become hollow once they have reached a certain age and size, this is a natural process and does not necessarily mean the tree is mechanically or structurally weak. What the IML resistorgraph does is penetrate the wood and tells us the amount of good residual wood around the outer area of the tree. Simple mathematical equations can then be applied to ascertain if the tree is structurally sound. The IML drill feels the resistance within the tree and produces a graph. This graph can indicate cracks and other abnormalities within the tree that could cause mechanical failure.
Tree Root Analysis
If you have damaged walls, driveways or other structures, a tree root sample can be taken and analysed. This can help determine the species of tree that is ultimately damaging one of the above. Once this has been proven, a report can be produced that provides the landowner with a document highlighting the issue. This type of survey is becoming more and more popular where construction has taken place next to trees.
Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) are quickly becoming a useful cost effective tool in Arboriculture. Covering large areas quickly using 4K video and hi-res photo capability, these cameras can capture large amounts of data that can be gained by hovering and being stabilised on a gimbal (aids stability and reduces vibration).
Their usage includes;
Inaccessible and/or high embankments where tree stability, form and vitality are easily assessed and which avoids using rope access work.
Avenues of trees and parks were the form or canopy health can be quickly recorded and then studied in safe environment of the office on a monitor in slow motion. Where security fencing protects valuable stock and the fencing could be damaged by a failing tree or tree part.
Utility corridors (power lines and pipelines) can assess pruning requirements on a large scale where vegetative growth can be predicted allowing the company to predict risks such as when a tree might fall onto the power cables. Replacing helicopters with drones can be very cost effective.
Woodland/forests can be viewed from high above to assess canopy health where disease like Phytophthora is spreading. Areas of wind blown trees after a storm can be located prioritising work areas near public or utility corridors. Vehicular access and footpaths can be observed to ensure they are clear and free from failing or failed trees or tree parts.
Other none arboricultural uses includes aerial inspections of roofs, gutters, bridges, towers and wind turbines. Infrared cameras can be used to observe water stress in trees and turf in golf courses, agriculture.
Working in association with Cirrus Aerial Surveys Ltd, a CAA Approved Aerial Survey company we are able to provide, HD and 4K Ultra HD video and high resolution aerial photography.
Cirrus Aerial Surveys Ltd are a UAV specialist operating throughout the UK with a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) issued from the CAA.
There are three levels of Arboriculture Tree Surveying to choose from;
Level one (limited visual) assessment involves a visual assessment of an individual tree or a population of trees near specified targets. Targets are buildings, cars, roads, people or events who could be affected by a tree or part of tree failing. This limited assessment conducted from a specified perspective in order to identify certain obvious defects or specified conditions. A limited visual assessment typically focuses on identifying trees with imminent and/or probable likelihood of failure. Level 1 assessments do not always meet all of the criteria for a risk assessment if they do not include analysis and evaluation of individual trees. This level can be a drive by, drone use or just a quick walk through. This level of survey is usually a quick overview of large scale projects for example woodlands, forests and housing estates.
Level two (Basic) is a full VTA (Visual Tree Assessment) as written by Mattheck and Breloer Arboricultural Journal 1994. This is the standard inspection of a tree performed by an arborist in response to most private client requests for tree risk assessment. This involves a detailed visual inspection of a tree and its surroundings and then surroundings and an analysis of the information collected. Additionally it includes a full 360 degree check of the stem and crown, buttress roots, limbs and branches for both biological and/or mechanical issues, and an overview of the site. Equipment used includes a nylon mallet testing for hollow stems, measuring tools, magnifying glass, binoculars, probe, fungal testing kits, a camera etc. The information recorded would include a tress common name, Latin name, tree height, crown spread, DBH (Diameter at Breast Height), age, condition and recommendations.
Level three (Advanced) are performed to provide detailed information about specific tree parts, defects, targets or site conditions. This is usually highlighted by the level two and involves either the use of decay detection equipment to ascertain the amount of good residual wood within or tree climbing. This requires a level 4 certificate in arboriculture so management decisions can be made upon a tree or group of trees. This is where experience and knowledge play an crucial roll in making decisions on a trees. A hollow tree is a natural process (for most species) and does not always suggest a tree is mechanically weak, far from it as it often it is a sign of a widening platform of stability.
Qualified to carry out both the qualitative ISA TRAQ (Tree Risk Assessment Qualification) or the quantitative QTRA (Quantified Tree Risk Assessment).
Zoning and tree work prioritisation
Organisations and landowners who have large amounts of tree stock that over hang public areas, highways and utilities can divide the land and assign zones of priority to areas. This will be followed by weekly, monthly, bi annual or annual level one inspections by staff who can then sign off these zones to say they have either been passed, require remedial work (like removing deadwood) or require a level two or three inspection by a qualified arborist. This can help protect tree owners from insurance claims resulting from tree or tree part failure and in addition it also helps encourage a safer environment.
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