TREE SURVEYS & DISPOSITION PLANS
What is a Tree Survey?
Our interpretation of a Tree Survey is a survey of the existing, protected trees on a piece of land. This survey identifies the locations and tag numbers assigned to each tree. This survey is typically performed either by a Surveyor or a Certified Arborist.
When locating the trees, typically the locations provided by the Surveyor are more accurate than when provided by the Arborist – as the Arborist utilizes a GPS system. It is more cost-effective to have the Surveyor locate and tag the trees when they are already on-site surveying the boundaries, etc…
Regarding tagging the trees, we have seen where Surveyors have used tree tags, flags, and spray painted numbers on the trees. Our preference is that they utilize aluminum tree tags as the flags may fall off over time, and spray painting the trees…well…I don’t think I need to comment on that one.
The Surveyor will provide the points/locations of these trees along with their tag numbers to us. We will then dispatch our Certified Arborist to provide the size, location, species, and conditions of these trees.
Can the Surveyor provide the sizes and species of the trees in lieu of having to send an Arborist? Yes, they can. That said, in our experience, the tree sizes are typically not accurate, and Surveyor’s aren’t trained to identify trees. We have seen where they may just put ‘Oak’ as the tree – not knowing that there are a whole slew of different varieties of Oaks (white, red, bur, live, etc…). Many jurisdictions want us to provide the varieties of the trees (to include botanical names) as well.
If the Surveyor is not contracted to locate the trees at the time they are out surveying the site, our Arborists can handle it at that time. Speaking again on cost-effectiveness, it may be better to just let the Arborist locate and tag the trees since they will be out there anyway, avoiding an additional trip charge from the Surveyor.
What is a Tree Disposition Plan?
Our interpretation of a Tree Disposition Plan is a separate plan designating which existing trees are to remain and be protected, and which are to be removed. This plan will also describe the protection measures for those trees to remain and any mitigation measures that may be required. All notes, specifications, and details regarding this scope are included.
Not all permitting authorities have a requirement for a Tree Disposition Plan to be prepared, and not all have mitigation requirements for when protected trees are removed. For those that do, the mitigation requirements may involve replanting new trees, paying into a tree fund, or a combination of the two.
At What Point Can These Plans be Prepared?
The Tree Survey can be conducted at any time. It is preferred to have this conducted early on once the Surveyor has been kicked off.
To prepare the Tree Disposition Plan, you will need the results of the Tree Survey, along with CAD files of the survey, the proposed site layout, the grading plan, and the utility plan.