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Tree and Development Surveys - BS5837:2012

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BS5837 : 2012 Tree Surveys for development and Planning

Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction. Recommendations (April 2012).


We have provided BS5837 tree survey reports to several Government Agencies, Councils, Schools, Universities, Housing Associations, Parish Councils and Utility Companies.

"Where there are trees on a potential development site, as part of planning process the Local Authority (LA) will require a comprehensive tree survey to assess them. This is often known as a pre-development tree survey or a BS5837 Tree Survey."

When used in a timely manner BS5837 development tree surveys will provide guidance to the designers. Using the information within the Tree Schedule and Tree Constraints Plan (TCP) any tree related issues will be put into context in the Arboricultural Implications Assessment (AIA) for the various design options. The finalized design will require a Tree Protection Plan (TPP) and an Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS) that could include details of pre-development tree work, timing and phasing of operations, compliance with Construction Exclusion Zones (CEZs), installation of services, any work required in CEZs and landscaping mitigation and Arboriculture supervision.

Ideally the tree survey should be carried out very early on to inform the design (it should be thought of as the vital 1st step in the design process).

Oak leaf photo - Arboriculture Consultancy

We have worked on large and small tree surveys for development projects that conform to the British Standard BS5837 :2012. These tree surveys help you to understand your tree resource and help the design team to use the appropriate trees within a development project. Where possible we look to retain trees to add significantly to any development but this depends on the appropriate assessment. We use AutoCAD and can produce CAD plans to your requirements that detail the tree No., tree species, tree height and the root protection areas etc.


We can provide:

BS 5837 :2012 standard requires that the quality and value of each tree or group or woodland is assessed as one of the following:

BS5837 Tree Survey Plan - Tree Constraints Plan

When used effectively the BS5837 survey will result in the retention of the most suitable trees and create the conditions necessary to ensure their long-term survival within or around a project, thereby enhancing the scheme and the local landscape for the future.


We have full access to AutoCAD and a wide variety of GIS software so that we can automate drawing production which saves us time and ultimately saves you money. Topographic Surveys are often needed for planning applications and to help with the design and these are usually provided in DWG/DXF format and preferably to Ordnance Survey Grid. We can convert topographical survey plans into GIS to aid in the field surveys.


Tree Plan Production

We can produce plans for you and it is helpful to receive the tree survey data as an Excel Spreadsheet to save time and costs and the template below can be used.

From the tree survey schedule we can produce:     

The 'Root Protection Area' (RPA) of each tree can be accurately plotted on a plan and this illustrates the below ground constraints and should be used at the early planning stage to inform the design especially of ducts and services. The RPA is there to help avoid unnecessary damage to tree roots or rooting environment of retained trees during developments. The RPA is usually plotted around category A, B and C trees.

Other Tree Plans

We are increasingly being asked to produce Tree constraints plans over laid on top of proposed site drawings which enables you to easily identify which existing trees will be impacted upon. This also greatly aids the production of the Arboricultural Implication Assessment which Local Planning Authorities may also request.

For a BS5837 Quote / Estimate please provide the following (if you have it available):

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TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEYS - From the outset of the project we can provide detailed topographical surveys for any given site that are captured to the correct specification for all the project team to use. All topographical surveys are not the same.

We use experienced land surveyors to ensure that the survey plans are delivered to the very highest standard, on time and on budget. As they use the latest in survey technology, they are able to collect, process and present the topographic survey information efficiently and accurately in the format you require. This helps with tree surveys and cuts down on time. Contact us to find out more about topographical surveys. For any quote we need a map that clearly shows an outline of where the site boundaries are.

We can also provide Tree Safety Surveys for your land holding and any practical tree planting advice.

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James England NDF, BSc(Hons)For, MicFor
Consultancy: GIS - Forestry - Arboriculture - Website Design