Professional Arborist Reports - Residential and Commercial

Before beginning any building or development project, many local councils will require you to submit an arborist tree report that offers a thorough evaluation of how your trees will either be safely removed or appropriately preserved. This kind of assessment is the property equivalent of a home inspection—that is, it provides a broad overview of any arboreal issues that could impact on development or deter construction. A professional arborist report is a vital component in applying for a tree permit or appealing a rejected permit, and a certified assessment can often include:

  1. Tips on pest and soil management
  2. Basic information on existing trees such as height and species
  3. Diagnoses of any problems/infestations/diseases affecting your property trees
  4. Thoughts on solving or removing tree hazards

There are four basic types of arborist reports:

Pre-Development Vegetation Assessments

This report, which is compiled during the early stages of a new development, can determine the retention value of trees that already exist on your site. During a pre-development vegetation assessment, the trees that currently stand on your property are thoroughly evaluated and flagged for either preservation, pruning or complete removal. Your architect may then proceed with a design concept that incorporates the nominated “protection zone” of trees (i.e., a designated area of trees that should be retained) or choose to employ a design that circumvents the zone entirely.

Development Application Reports

Sometimes you won’t be required to submit an arborist report until the middle stages of the development planning process. These middle-stage application reports will help you address any concerns expressed by your local council, particularly those that pertain to your proposal and its efforts to accommodate the trees that currently grow on your property. Your contractor will then use this report to modify their construction plans according to the report’s recommendations for retention or removal.

Tree Management Plans

When a site has a large population of mature trees, a complete tree management plan should be prepared. Public areas such as schools, golf courses and commercial properties will rely on these reports to monitor the health of their trees and to provide a safe environment for the public. Such a report may include a “safe useful life expectancy” (SULE) rating for existing trees and/or a comprehensive diagnosis of any current or potential tree damage.

As the result of a management plan, trees that present hazards will sometimes be earmarked for removal. Yet small alterations and/or the implementation of healthy vegetation management practices can aid in lowering risks so that they conform to acceptable levels. Suggestions for the retention of mature trees will be an important part of this report, and any thorough tree management plan will provide guidance for long-term tree care.

Hazard Tree Risk Assessments

Properties with a smaller number of existing trees may only need to establish risk ratings by presenting an assessment of current hazards. In cases where a desired tree removal conflicts with a local law permit or the Vegetation Protection Overlay (which ensures that any new development works to minimise vegetation losses as much as possible), this hazard assessment can serve as justification for a tree disposal. At Total Tree Care, we prepare our hazard tree risk assessments using aerial cameras. We likewise inspect trees from a close perspective in order to provide a unique view of each branch and to present evidence of structural defects that may not be visible from the ground.

Features that set Total Tree Care apart:

Total Tree Care goes above and beyond the normal arborist report procedures by emphasising the health of our public trees and the safety of our community. We work within the system to provide everyone involved in a development with the most complete and most accurate information available. We also understand that trees are a shared commodity and that they have the power to affect our communal health. We therefore perform our arborist reports using the utmost care and with meticulous attention to detail.

In addition, Total Tree Care has more than a decade of experience navigating the laws and regulations created to govern the planting and care of trees in the Melbourne metropolitan area and its surrounding suburbs. Consequently, we’ve helped countless clients achieve successful maintenance of their arboreal landscapes in accordance with government restrictions.

Finally, when choosing an arborist to help with your development tree report, keep in mind that a fast-tracked tree permit application for your garden or property will save you time, money and endless headaches. Total Tree Care prides itself on quick turnarounds. We’ll produce an exhaustive report for you on time and within budget. Plus, the carefully considered, impartial testimony of our professionals can lend a whole new level of credibility to your council submissions.

Cost of an Arborist Report

Every report’s cost depends on the scope and time required. Below are general indications only for residential reports.

$75-$100 for one to five trees
$20-$25 for each additional tree
$35 for a submission to council fee

Example of an Arborist Report

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