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Advanced Tree Inspection

Last Updated:  01/07/2016

Location: Picton Castle, The Rhos, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire SA62 4AS

Cost: £295 per person

Dates: 17–18 October

Our two-day course provides advanced tree inspection training which will enable you to identify symptoms and defects from ground-based surveys.

The course is designed so you learn how to clearly and competently inspect potentially hazardous trees, recording your inspection process to form a part of a defensible system.

You will learn how to specify necessary remedial works, set against appropriate time scales, to manage tree related risk at accepted levels.

Who is this course for?

  • Anyone aspiring to carry out tree inspections at a professional standard
  • Existing professional tree inspectors who wish to consolidate their skills and update their knowledge

Ideally, you should be an experienced and qualified arborist, with at least a basic knowledge of plant and arboricultural science.

Also, some experience of carrying out tree surveys and inspections is preferred although not essential.

Course objectives

The course will provide you with training and information that will help you:

  • Understand your role in risk management, as a tree inspector
  • Understand the legal framework, statute and common law, affecting tree inspections and the duties / liabilities of tree owners and managers
  • Adopt a systematic and professional level
  • Consistent method for carrying out visual tree inspections at a professional level
  • Collect relevant field data using a suitable format (a survey template will be provided during the course)
  • Interpret the body language of trees to recognise a range of symptoms that could relate to defects or structural weaknesses
  • Confirm the presence of defects and measure them against published failure criteria
  • Consider the impacts of potential remedial works on the range of benefits and values that a tree may have, for example amenity, wildlife, historical, veteran, rarity and public access
  • Write an appropriate remedial works specification
  • Prioritise remedial works by setting time scales reflecting the current level of risk


The course is held at Picton Castle situated within the stunning Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Picton’s enchanting 13th century Castle is surrounded by a spectacular 40 acre RHS Garden.

The gardens host some of the largest and oldest trees in West Wales, these provide rare opportunities for those learning or honing their tree identification, visual tree assessment and risk evaluation skills.

As well as the gardens, Picton provides our lecture theatre for indoor sessions and the restaurant where a superb lunch is provided as part of the course.


£295 per person, including lunch on both days.

For bookings or more information, contact Clare at

Tree Inspection Equipment

To get the best from this course, please bring the following basic tree inspection tools:

  • Clinometer
  • Knife
  • Compass
  • Trundle wheel
  • Probe
  • Diameter tape
  • Mallet / Nylon Hammer
  • Binoculars
  • Secateurs

Reading List

The following books are considered essential reading and should form part of the tree inspector’s library:

Draper and Richards – Dictionary of Managing Tree in Urban Environments

Lonsdale – Principles of Tree Hazard Assessment and Management

Mattheck – Stupsi Introduces the Tree

Mattheck – Updated Field Guide for Visual Tree Assessment

Mattheck – The Body Language of Trees: Encyclopedia of Visual Tree Assessment

Mitchell – Collins Field Guide: Trees of Britain and Northern Europe