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BS5837 – Advanced: Tree Assessment for Planning


Newport, Gwent


Barrell Tree Consultancy

6 hours

Places Available

1 day (8:30 - 17:00 approximately) 

Exc. VAT Inc. VAT

Course Objectives:

Course objectives:

  • Explain where tree assessment sits within the planning framework
  • Review key tree assessment principles
  • Identify areas of confusion and clarify
  • Explore the range of opinions within the ground and identify their implications
  • Provide delegates with experience of assessing a range of trees to refine performance
  • Tease out persistent difficulties with tree assessment and seek solutions
  • Enhance delegate confidence in their ability to make reliable and defensible decisions
  • Set tree assessment into the wider planning perspective
  • Emphasise the importance of plans in the presentation of tree information


Who is the course aimed at?

All planning professionals who have at least some experience of preparing BS5837 tree surveys or review them in the planning system, e.g:

  • Arboricultural consultants & surveyors
  • Landscape architects
  • Tree officers
  • Planners.

It will be useful for beginners as an introduction, however this course will assist experienced professionals in refining their skills.

>> Download the course overview PDF.

Course Content:

Course content:

  • Introduction
  • Background to tree assessment and why it is necessary
  • What makes a tree sufficiently important to be a material constraint in a development context?
  • A new evolution complimenting the BS method – a quick review of the method going through the stages and a rapid look at each category
  • Examples and preparation for field exercise
  • Group discussion using selected trees to illustrate the assessment method, with a focus on how to manage trees that do not fit neatly into one category or the other
  • Putting the theory into practice – delegates will visit and assess a series of sample trees ready for further discussion in the classroom
  • Discussion of tree assessment results using images of each tree to go through delegate reasoning and what we would suggest as an appropriate categorisation
  • Analysis of difficulties that arise from subjective assessment and mechanisms for resolving conflicts/difficult assessments
  • Tree constraints as a design tool using tree categories to show how categorisation can assist in the design process
  • Using plans to simplify complex information in an engaging and useful format
  • Summing up and questions

Note: This course introduces an examination of BS 5837 methods of tree categorisation, and explores enhanced ways to provide consistency of implementation.  The Arboricultural Association does not formally advocate the use of 'TreeABC' but suggests you consider its application in comparison to the existing BS 5837 approach. Make up your own minds. At the very least, those that have attended the Spring 2016 series of these workshops should come away reminded of some things they'd forgotten, alerted to aspects they had never thought about or reassured they are doing a job comparable to other professionals.

 Facilities/Equipment required - Delegates:

  • Boots, outdoor clothing for all weathers

Course Materials provided:

  • Course hand out in the form of a take home manual
  • Notepad - Pen


  • Arboricultural Association attendance certificate

Course will include some outdoor practical sessions (please bring suitable clothing for indoor and outdoor sessions)

Refreshments and lunch are provided.


In association with
Barrell Tree Consultancy

Module Pre-requisites:

It is expected that delegates will understand, and have experience of, BS5837 (2012).

Terms of Cancellation or Amendments to details

  • We reserve the right to cancel courses and refund applicants if there is insufficient demand.
  • A FULL charge will be applied to any booking cancelled less than 10 working days before the event.
  • A £30 administration charge may be applied to changes made to bookings that have been received and acknowledged.

For all course bookings outside the UK and Europe, please email