The benefits of trees in a general way are widely recognised, especially in these days of increasing ‘green’ awareness. The list below gives some of the more specific reasons why trees play such a crucial role in creating a successful urban environment:
Conserving energy – carefully positioned trees and hedges can cut heating and cooling requirements in buildings, providing both shade in the summer and shelter from cold wind during the winter.
Character and charm – trees add beauty to their surroundings, bringing colour, softening harsh building lines and screening unsightly views.
Improving air quality – trees improve air quality by absorbing pollutants and intercepting harmful particulates.
Enriching habitats and biodiversity – they host a wide range of insects, birds and mammals that rely on trees for food and protection.
Enhancing health and wellbeing – the value of trees and green spaces for reducing stress and boosting mental health is now well-recognised.
Strengthening communities – creating and caring for green spaces helps people connect with their communities and surroundings.
Reducing flood risk – trees absorb water from the ground, reducing pressure on storm drainage and mitigating flood risk. They can also help prevent erosion and improve soil quality.
Along with the clear benefits which trees provide, it is essential to assess the risks and understand the legal duty of care which requires tree owners to take a balanced and proportionate approach to tree safety management.
Documented statistics show that the number of deaths and serious injuries resulting from falling or fallen trees and branches annually is low. However, trees are living organisms that naturally lose their branches or fail, and those of substantial size can represent a significant danger.
Potential and actual structural damage to buildings is well documented and is a familiar concern for property owners and managers alike.
Common-sense Risk Management
No tree can be guaranteed to be safe, of course, and we cannot achieve zero risk. A disproportionate response to the actual risks posed by trees to people and property could lead to unnecessary and costly interventions, particularly on roads and in public places.
It is deemed reasonable, therefore, to develop a management strategy that strikes a common-sense balance between these risks and benefits.
Normally, if an organisation publishes a maintenance plan which includes information on risk management of the trees they own, it can demonstrate it is fulfilling its duty of care.
Do you manage trees and have concerns as to trees and duty of care?
The Valley Provincial team have many years of experience working with property owners and managers to assist with all aspects of tree management, including planting, maintenance and tree surgery.
We also work with a number of consultants and like-minded professionals, ensuring our clients have top quality advice through a single point of contact.
Please contact us to find out how our straightforward and effective service can benefit you.