Tree Surveys in London

Before your local planning authority in London will even consider granting a planning application on a development site where trees are present, they will need evidence that a tree survey has been undertaken in the form of a tree report.

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London Trees

The capital of England and home to the largest city in Europe, London spans 1,572kmĀ² and houses just short of nine million people. Unlike a typical region, London is formed solely from the City of London in the centre of the region and the 32 boroughs of Greater London in the surrounding area. Despite 99.8% of residents living in recognised urban areas, London contains an estimated 8.4 million trees, equating to a reading of around 21% tree canopy cover.

Although a significant majority of London is urban, the city also offers a number of rural attractions. Examples include Battersea Park, Chelsea Physic Garden, Eltham Palace and Gardens, Greenwich Park, Hampstead Heath, Holland Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Kyoto Garden, Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park, St James’ Park, and Westminster Abbey. Across England, the average tree canopy cover sits at 16%, and while London is already at a stronger 21%, the mayor claimed that the city would increase this figure by an additional 10% by the year 2050. An emphasis on enhancing tree cover indicates that local authorities across London are taking the conservation, preservation and protection of local trees seriously.

While a focus on retaining existing trees and planting more trees will benefit the environment, it can act as an obstacle to both residential and commercial clients staging planning projects, particularly during the process of having an application for planning permission granted. Not only that, but dangerous trees that aren’t in particularly good shape due to damage or simply age can cause potential risks to individuals on the site and direct or indirect damage to buildings. As such, it is vital that developers follow health and safety measures and receive help from experts with a duty of care to ensure that any potential problems are eliminated, including trees that aren’t in a safe condition.

With trees located in conservation areas and certain individual trees given an ongoing Tree Preservation Order (TPO), operating on a development site where trees are present and situated in a conservation area or under Tree Preservation Orders can be troublesome. But with the correct tree survey from a licensed arboriculturist that can provide a professional service, all trees can be properly assessed and any of the other many factors that could impact the planning process and concern your local planning authority in London can be eliminated, leaving them with no choice but to grant planning consent.

trees in London

Wooded Areas in London

According to the Forestry Commission, London has around 65,000 sections of woodland in the city alone, covering a fifth of the entire region. Not only that, but from the 17,500 acres of wooded areas in London, 12,000 acres are expansive, and two-thirds are recognised as ancient woodland. An ongoing initiative to vastly increase the number of trees in the City of London and Greater London areas, 280,000 trees have been planted in the region since 2016 and current plans intend to continue the growth in tree canopy cover into future years.

In the list below, you will find every local authority in the London region, including every local council for the 32 wards of Greater London as well as the local council for the City of London:

Trees in London are Protected by:

  • Barking and Dagenham Council
  • Barnet Council
  • Bexley Council
  • Brent Council
  • Bromley Council
  • Camden Council
  • City of London Council
  • Croydon Council
  • Ealing Council
  • Enfield Council
  • Greenwich Council
  • Hackney Council
  • Hammersmith and Fulham Council
  • Haringey Council
  • Harrow Council
  • Havering Council
  • Hillingdon Council

  • Hounslow Council
  • Islington Council
  • Kensington and Chelsea Council
  • Kingston upon Thames Council
  • Lambeth Council
  • Lewisham Council
  • Merton Council
  • Newham Council
  • Redbridge Council
  • Richmond upon Thames Council
  • Southwark Council
  • Sutton Council
  • Tower Hamlets Council
  • Waltham Forest Council
  • Wandsworth Borough Council
  • Westminster City Council

Tree Surveys and Reports

An arboricultural assessment can come in one of many forms, but the option that often applies to the majority of development sites and suits most planning projects is the British standard BS5837 tree survey. Over the course of these tree inspections, a tree surveyor will physically inspect all trees on a development site before using the quality and value of each tree to issue them with a suitable grading.

Through the predetermined grading, the arboriculturist can develop suitable next steps for each tree between the options of retaining them on the site, relocating them elsewhere inside or outside of the site, or destroying them completely. Retention of trees will always act as the priority outcome, but in circumstances where surrounding trees are an obstruction to the design, demolition and construction work and are valuable or in good condition, the arboricultural consultant will suggest relocating them elsewhere.

As a last resort, the arboriculturist will recommend destroying trees, but only if they are in poor condition or need to be moved but aren’t worth relocating. However, any time a tree is destroyed, another tree of the same species will be planted elsewhere as a compensatory measure. Upon completion of the tree survey, the arboricultural surveyor in charge of the assessment will create a comprehensive tree survey report.

The detailed report will include information about the survey and the site, pictures and graphs to illustrate arboricultural features present, and actionable next steps that will explain how the development can progress despite the presence of trees based on the grading of each tree and the arboriculturist’s own expertise. Once the local planning authority receives the arboricultural report, they will have all the insight they need to grant planning applications on the site.

Arboricultural Consultants

Within our knowledgeable team of arboriculturists is an impactful combination of youth and know-how, and each of our tree surveyors possesses many years of experience and the necessary qualifications, skills, accreditations, reliability and competence to undertake BS5837 tree surveys capable of ticking every box a local planning authority will use to determine whether or not to grant a planning application. Due to the legal duty, fantastic experience and great service of our team, all tree work is offered with pivotal informed decisions and crucial arboricultural management recommendations.

Our friendly staff also holds an advanced understanding of tree species, tree care, tree health, tree roots and root protection areas that allows us to provide advice to commercial and residential clients on a multitude of tree constraints during both current and future work. Our connections also mean that we can pass you on to ecological survey experts if you need protected species surveys or ecology surveys on invasive weeds. Spanning across the entirety of England, our excellent service is available in all areas of London – including all parts of Central, South, West, East and North London – making it possible for you to book a tree survey regardless of your location.

The BS5837 survey may be the most common option in most cases for trees surveyed across new development projects, but our tree works extend to countless specific requirements. For example, our other highly recommended and extremely efficient services after tens of thousands of positive reviews include a tree protection plan, an aerial inspection, air spade and soil decompaction, Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS), Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA) and a mortgage tree report for mortgage lenders as part of the mortgage application.

Book in Tree Surveys for Planning in London

Considering the typical cost of land in London and the other financial considerations that naturally accumulate during any development, allowing other factors to pass you by such as disregarding protected trees will only lead to potential delays and penalties later in the process. The amazing service we offer has gone from strength to strength, helped by the work carried out in the past that has created an opportunity to collaborate with developers, home buyers, project managers, tree owners and other individuals and businesses that needed detailed reports for planning or insurance purposes.

The great work we’ve done with countless professionals has meant that it’s been easy for them to happily recommend the excellent job we do to others. All of our tree surveyors share the same intention to apply a first class service to all clients and guarantee great care in both our assessments and the measures we suggest in our tree reports. Tree inspections are applicable on sites in all of the London region – including both the City of London and Greater London – so we would recommend that all developers speak to us about a cost effective arboricultural assessment any time your project involves nearby trees and other vegetation.

Once you’ve given us details about your site and project using our handy quote form or by calling us via the number at the top of this page, we can give you a free quote at a reasonable price based on your bespoke specifications. Alternatively, feel free to check out our dedicated contact page. We will avoid delays by sending your no obligation accurate quote to your email address, and providing you are happy with it, we can work with you to plan a date and time for the tree survey carried out by our dedicated team. Completed tree reports will then be with you within a few short days, ready to support your application for a planning condition with your local planning authority.