Have you ever driven around your suburb and seen trees with temporary fencing around them? Of course, if you are a builder or developer you will know why this is, but if you’re an average Joe Blow then you may not be aware that these trees are the subject of a Tree Protection Plan and the temporary fence is, well, doing its job by keeping the tree protected.
With so many new developments taking place across NSW the need to install adequate tree protection measures to prevent damage to established trees is increasing.
To get the low down on just what’s involved with tree protection, we had a chat with local tree expert Colin Curtis from Complete Arborcare who shared his extensive knowledge about the tree protection process.
What’s Involved with Tree Protection
Tree protection is actually a fairly simple process that starts with a Tree Impact Assessment.
When a new development is in the planning stages a development approval application will be lodged with the Local Council for review. If the site has established trees, the Council will often request a Tree Impact Assessment to be conducted as part of the approval process. And, as a fully qualified & insured Level 5 Consulting Arborist, Colin is just the man to conduct this assessment.
Once engaged by the Architect, Developer or property owner, Colin will attend the proposed development site and assess the trees and site conditions. This information, combined with Local Government Legislation will determine if the trees in question requires protection and if so, to what degree… According to Colin, every assessment is different and the requirements for each tree varies considerably.
“Not all trees will require tree protection” Colin advises. “Of all the Tree Impact Assessments I write each month, I estimate approximately 80% will list Tree Protection as a requirement.”
Colin also goes on to add that the specified type and degree of tree protection also varies from site to site.
“Installing temporary fencing around the tree is the preferred option,” says Colin, “but in some situations, this is simply not feasible. In these cases, other alternatives, such as timber tree guards, will be specified.”
In the Tree Protection Plan, Colin will also indicate exactly where the tree protection is to be placed to ensure the canopy and roots are also suitably protected.
What Factors Determine Whether Tree Protection is Required?
There are many factors that will determine if a tree requires protection, according to Colin.
The height, diameter and species of the tree will be taken into consideration along with the location of the tree in question and the Local Council Legislation.
“The legislation varies between suburbs and councils,” says Colin. “Some suburbs will require all trees to be protected, while other suburbs will only require protection on trees that meet certain criteria. It all comes down to local council requirements”
Along with doing extensive research into local council legislation, Colin also works within Australian Standards – AS 4970-2009, Protection of Trees on Development Sites & AS 4373-2007, Pruning Amenity Trees.
How Long Does a Tree Need to be Protected?
This is one detail that usually stays consistent from project to project. The tree protection will normally remain in place for the duration of the construction work.
“The temporary fence or tree guard will be put in place before demolition starts and will stay in place for the entire length of the project.” says Colin. “Once the project is complete, the tree protection will come down.”
So, there you have it! Next time you drive past a tree surrounded by temporary fencing, you’ll know it’s under a Tree Protection Plan to ensure it is not damaged during construction work and will last for many years to come.
For more information about tree impact assessments and Colin Curtis, head over to his website, Complete Arborcare, to view his experience and the full list of services he has to offer.
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