Specialist reports

Structural engineer’s report

Supporting evidence in the form of a report may be required from a structural engineer where:

  • There is alleged damage from tree roots to buildings or major structures; or
  • Alternative design is required to minimise tree root damage to a prominent tree that may be affected by construction works.

Council recommends that a report be prepared by an engineer with tertiary qualifications in structural engineering and a minimum of five years post graduate experience.

The following information is required in the preparation of a report from a structural engineer:

  • The client, specific author (contact and title of qualifications), purpose of report, subject site, date(s) of inspection
  • Methodology of techniques used in the report
  • A summary of findings
  • A site plan showing the location of all relevant trees, buildings, pathways, underground services etc. The site plan must accurately show the location of each tree
  • Detailed site description and site usage
  • Detailed description of the footings of the existing or proposed building and whether the footings comply with current building regulations
  • Geotechnical information
  • Detailed description of methods to isolate building foundations from tree roots
  • Discussion of all options available – why they are recommended or not recommended e.g. can the tree remain with minor modification of building design
  • Recommendation of the preferred option and the supporting reasons.

Additional arboricultural information may be required such as a root mapping report to support any recommendations.

Any report lacking in sufficient detail or applying incorrect analysis or subjective opinion may result in the application being refused or some or all of the recommendations rejected.

Licensed plumber’s report

If tree roots are suspected of contributing to blocked sewer or stormwater pipes a report from a licensed plumber may be required as supporting evidence. The report must be a balanced and objective assessment of the problem and is to include:

  • A clear and legible sewer or stormwater diagram
  • Exact site of suspected blockages in relation to location of the tree
  • Documented history of previous blockages together with photographic evidence of roots retrieved
  • Objective assessment as to the age and condition of the affected pipes
  • Balanced and objective discussion of practical methods of preventing further blockages e.g. replacing affected section of pipeline; re-lining of pipe.

Pest control report

If pests are affecting the health of a tree(s), an additional report may be required from a licensed pest control operator in conjunction with a consulting arborist. The report is to include:

  • Evaluation and discussion of the impact of the pest on the long term health and structural condition of the tree
  • Recommended treatment and management program.


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