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Hazard Tree Inspection - A Practitioner's Guide


Stirling, Scotland


Chris Simpson

12 hours

Places Available


Exc. VAT Inc. VAT

Course Objectives:

The two-day practical course is aimed at: ensuring participants are aware of current accepted industry approaches to hazard tree inspection; reviewing the significance of defect features and wood decay fungi and working towards the collection and presentation of appropriate data and defensible feedback for submission in a professional report format along with the creation of an online “Google Map” of surveyed trees. 

The course will be delivered by Chris Simpson, a Chartered Forester, Fellow of the Arboricultural Association, Member of the Expert Witness Institute, Lantra Instructor and City & Guilds assessor who has over 35 years’ experience working in the industry. In the last 22 years Chris has concentrated on assessing the safety of urban trees and providing advice to land owners such as Land & Forestry Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Tilhill, Scottish Woodlands, etc. Chris also provides expert witness reports for use in civil actions.

The course is eligible for CPD. Presentations will be made available for download.

Course Content:

Day 1:

  1. Methodology – VTA? NTSG? ISA? The array of approaches and stages will be discussed and clarified.
  2. Equipment – what do you really need and what should you ensure you have access to?
  3. Practical approach – suggested inspection techniques that will be quick but thorough.
  4. Recording your findings – ways to record findings and tree schedule templates.
  5. Structural defects – an overview of features that may mean failure may be “foreseeable”. To include: asymmetry, leans, cavities, deadwood, hangers, bulges, ribs, compression unions, etc.
  6. Wood decay fungi – a recap of the around 10 common wood decay fungi and their significance for tree stability. Maybe cover: K. deusta, M. giganteus, P. betulinus, F. fomentarius, P. squamosus, Ganoderma species, I. hispidus, H. annosum, L. sulphureus, Armillaria species.
  7. Lesser know fungi – a look at less well known fungi and why they are important to the inspector. Maybe include: P. ostreatus, F. velutipes, Stereum species, D. concentrica, H. fragiforme. etc.
  8. Lunch
  9. Practical – work in small groups and inspect perhaps 6 trees.
  10. Practical feedback – discuss findings and how to provide clear advice.
  11. Making recommendations – with reference to BS3998, how to give clear concise management advice.
  12. Question & answer session
  13. Close

Day 2:

  1. Starting out with a tree report – accepting instructions, what to record, how to feedback etc.
  2. Report structure – what to include and why.
  3. Risk rating – overview of risk rating schemes and the pros versus cons of risk rating.
  4. Tree Schedules – creating tree schedules that meet your client’s instructions.
  5. Practical – inspection of a number of mature trees.
  6. Lunch
  7. Practical feedback – discussion of findings and remedial measures recommended.
  8. Creating a Google Map/Report – a practical exercise where we use the information collected in the morning to create an online Google Map of the trees.
  9. Question & answer session.
  10. Close.
Please bring suitable outdoor clothing and any survey equipment you have.

Module Pre-requisites:

Ideally candidates will hold the Lantra Awards ‘Professional Tree Inspection’ award, although this is not essential.

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 training@trees.org.uk