Tree ownership comes with a set of responsibilities that can be overlooked by many. One of these responsibilities is the duty of care that a tree owner has in civil and criminal law. Neglecting this duty of care can lead to liability for any harm or injury caused by a defective tree. Tree owners need to take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable harm or injury, including regular inspections and maintenance.
It is important for tree owners to consider the risks posed by their trees and take appropriate actions to manage those risks in a reasonable and proportionate manner. This may include regular inspections for signs of damage or disease, as well as subsequent maintenance such as pruning or removing dead or diseased branches. Seeking professional advice from an Arboricultural Consultant can be useful if you are not knowledgeable in this area.
A tree risk assessment survey can be conducted by a professional to evaluate the likelihood and potential consequences of a tree failure. During this survey, the location of the tree is considered along with any potential damage or injury that could be caused if it were to fail. Factors that could affect the tree's stability or safety are also assessed, such as decay, disease, pest infestation, and structural defects. Based on the findings, a level of risk is assigned to each tree, and necessary actions to mitigate that risk are recommended. These may include pruning or removal of the tree.
By conducting a tree risk assessment survey, tree owners can prioritise tree care and management budgets, reducing the risk of tree-related accidents or damage. Regular inspections and maintenance can also help dispense the duty of care required of a tree owner.
In conclusion, tree ownership is not just about enjoying the beauty and benefits of having a tree in your property. It comes with a duty of care that must be taken seriously to ensure that the tree does not pose a threat to people or property. Seeking professional advice and conducting regular inspections and maintenance can help you fulfill your responsibility as a tree owner and avoid any adverse consequences.