The recent ‘weather bomb’ which hit the UK last week caused its fair share of loss, damage and disruption. The evidence speaks for itself…but what were the Arboricultural Impacts, and what can we learn from unpredictable events such as Storm DORIS.

Tree Risk Management

As was stated by a well known insurer last week “policies will cover storm damage….this is exactly the type of event that insurance is designed to cover…” [sic]

More often than not, however, there is a process to go through as described in your insurance policy small print. Insurers need to be satisfied that as the policy holder you have acted diligently, reasonably and sensibly.

Are your ducks in a row?

The general level of risk from trees is very low, BUT, limiting the risk of potential harm and making sure that you have behaved appropriately (as a responsible property owner) is ultimately the Duty Holder’s ‘get out of jail free card’.

In the event of trees falling and causing damage, ask yourself….have you managed tree-related risks such that they are ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable). Insurance is there in the event that otherwise LOW risks are realized by unforeseen circumstances such as Storm Doris.

PLEASE do not overreact to the sensationalist media coverage I have had the misfortune of reading over the last week – some of which I will put in another post. There is some very good, straightforward guidance freely available from the National Tree Safety Group about what you should be doing with regards your trees. The advice is proportionate to the risk posed by trees and defendable rather than defensive.


NTSG’s guidance “Common sense risk management of trees” is for anyone involved in tree safety management.