Arborist reports

When is an arborist report required?

Supporting evidence for the removal or pruning of a tree(s) requires a report from a consulting arborist where:

  • Trees on development sites are likely to be affected
  • Work is proposed on heritage listed or significant trees or trees considered prominent in a heritage conservation area.

Additional information may also be required such as an: aerial inspection; root mapping; root diagnosis or internal diagnostic assessment; tree impact assessment report; or tree protection plan.

Who should prepare an arborist report?

The report must be prepared by a consulting arborist who holds the Diploma of Horticulture (Arboriculture) Australian Qualifications Framework of Level 5 or with similar level of qualification. Council will consider reports from members of either the Institute of Australian Consulting Arborists or Arboriculture Australia. The report must include a statement from the arborist that their report is an impartial assessment of the tree/s and their condition based on the available evidence and projected outcomes.

What information is required?

The following information is required in the preparation of an arborist’s report:

a) The client, specific author (contact and title of qualifications), purpose of report, subject site, date(s) of inspection

b) Methodology of techniques used in the report

c) A summary of findings

d) A site plan showing the location of all relevant trees, numbered to correspond with text in the report. The site plan must accurately show the location of each tree and existing or proposed buildings/structures and above/underground services

e) A table for each tree detailing:

  • Common name and scientific name
  • Approximate height and age
  • Canopy spread
  • Diameter at one meter height (and number of trunks if more than one)
  • Condition and structural health of the tree/s e.g. signs of dieback and other trunk indications, loss of branches, leaves, stunted/distorted growth, wounds, cavities, cracks, included bark/co-dominant branches, pests and diseases and root conditions/issues
  • Hazard assessment of any of the above where relevant
  • Estimates of the tree’s useful life expectancy of the tree using accepted industry methods

f) A summary and discussion of other relevant tree and site information e.g. nearby structures; soil and drainage characteristics; habitat, landscape and amenity values; weather exposure; previous human intervention etc

g) If pest or disease problems are affecting the health of the tree/s, further expert diagnosis and discussion of treatment may be required

h) Supporting evidence such as test results, annotated and relevant photographs

i) Discussion of all available options and the reasons why they are recommended or not recommended e.g. can services be diverted to avoid root pruning; can a structure be relocated or rebuilt and retain the tree?

j) Recommended actions and the reasons for their adoption

k) Resource material to be referenced in an accepted method. References not used in the report are not to be included
l) Reports from any Resistograph/Tomograph testing must include copies of the charts, be clear and legible and have scientifically supported
Related forms/documents

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