Customer feedback

….good to know that our work helps!

“We would like to express our gratitude…….the expert report you provided to us and our solicitors was critical in resolving this dispute. In producing the report we were extremely impressed with your professional approach to ascertaining the reasons behind our drive being damaged. We can confidently recommend Aspect Tree Consultancy as very professional and ethical people who are experts in their field.”
Janet and John F (Torbay)

“Can I first say how pleased I was with the service Aspect gave us in the quick turnaround with our pre-purchase mortgage survey, there aren’t enough companies or people in this world that help people out just for the sake of helping, myself and my wife are so grateful to Jon for his help in our unfortunate circumstance. I will most defiantly be recommending Aspect to anyone I can.”
Che and Emma B (Ottery St Mary)

New Cornish Consultant…

I don’t mean we are now offering advice on all issues Cornish (!)…..rather, that we have recently expanded and employed a new Cornwall-based arboricultural consultant. You may already be familiar with Simon Proctor who has been with us since April.
Simon has taken the leap from Tree Officer to join us at Aspect having spent a number of years with Cornwall Council and prior to that, Carrick District Council.
Simon is highly qualified and brings with him a breadth of knowledge and experience in tree risk management, statutory tree protection, visual tree inspections and planning policy. Simon’s primarily role as a Local Authority Tree Officer was to advise on matters relating to trees and development control.
Importantly he understands Trees, Cornwall, its Council and he is familiar with many of its Officers.

Trees, Sunlight and Skylight

Trees, hedges, buildings and topography can all have negative or positive effects on the levels of sunlight or skylight external to, or within buildings. Local Planning Authorities are now actively encouraged by the NPPF to demand demonstration of compliance with all relevant parts of; BRE209; BS5837; BS8206-2; and ODPM High Hedges & Light Loss, as conditions of planning permission.
Aspect Tree Consultancy employs in house specialists in this subject offering at least 7 different levels of survey, calculation and report – to suit every type of project and problem (from single dwellings to district Masterplans). Results can be presented in a range of formats – from simple plans and graphs up to 3D animations in real time. These will demonstrate the issues, provide arboricultural justification and inform building design solutions.
If you feel (or know) that trees, sunlight, skylight, shadow or shade are an issue for your land property or development, contact us and we will tailor our service to your needs and solve the problem.

Registered Consultant & Chartered Arboriculturist

Our very own top consultant has recently been awarded the accolade of ‘Chartered Arboriculturist’…..Well done Dom.

The formal credential represents the highest level of professional standard.  Dom has passed through a rigorous examination and professional development process that has brought him to the very top of the profession.  The prestigious acknowledgement was earned through the Institute of Chartered Foresters (IFC) – the Royal Chartered body for foresters and arboriculturists in the UK.

The ICF set and regulate the professional standards for the tree management sector.  All Consultants of the Institute  have been vetted for their professionalism, qualifications and experience in forestry, woodland and tree management.

Chalara dieback of ash – (Chalara fraxinea)

Tree health has been a hot topic in recent weeks following the introduction of a new tree disease into the UK. There has been much press coverage regarding the potentially serious threat to one of our most valuable native trees – Ash.

Chalara dieback of ash is a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Chalara Fraxinea. The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees, and usually leads to tree death.

The disease appears to have been introduced on imported nursery stock and is now being treated as a quarantine pest under national emergency measures. However, now that the disease has been found in older trees (East Anglia, Kent and Essex) with no apparent connection with plants supplied by nurseries, government scientists are investigating the possibility that it might have entered the UK by natural means; such as wind borne spores or birds coming across the North Sea.

It is still very early to judge what the position is and the Forestry Commission and DEFRA are still gathering information so the full impact that the disease will have in England is not yet known.

If we look to the other countries that have suffered with the disease it looks very likely that 60-90% of UK ash trees will be infected in the foreseeable future. Ash trees make up 5% of the UK tree population so this will have a significant impact on our towns and countryside.

The disease is a fungus that readily infects young trees and saplings but affects older trees more slowly. The main spread of the disease is through the movement of young plants and this is now being controlled. The majority of the reported outbreaks relate to young planting with a few cases of mature trees being affected.

The disease spreads slowly on its own (12-20 miles per year) and mainly through spores on leaf litter and twigs from June to September. This means that we will get a much better idea of the extent of the spread by the end of next summer. Our current knowledge of the spread is based on sample plots inspected by DEFRA.

There are no reasonable controls (at the moment) and it looks very likely that the policy will be to allow the disease to run its course rather than undertake sanitation felling. The problem with sanitation felling (removing all the trees in an area around an outbreak) is that it is expensive for landowners and you lose trees that may be resistant to the disease. So in the long term it is better to identify the resistant trees so that we can re-establish the ash tree population.

The current advice is that mature trees may live for some time after infection so felling trees hastily may be too harsh a measure when some benefit can still be gained from keeping the tree.

For more information go to:

Winter Weather Warnings

The recent and continued wet weather experienced across the UK and particularly here in the west country may pose problems for trees – the main concerns at this time of the year are the increased likelihood of winter storms and high winds.

Flooding can alter the soil structure by allowing the various aggregates to fall apart, thus resulting in a lack of, or reduced soil cohesion.  Saturated soils and high winds can increase the risk of trees falling over.  It is probably worth keeping an eye out for obvious signs/symptoms of damage; such as a leaning tree with recent soil or ground disturbance around its base.

Flooding can cause numerous problems for trees depending on the length of time the soil around them is saturated or submerged.  One such problem is the increased risk of water born ‘nasties’ such as Phytopthora which thrives in wet soils and has the ability to kill trees.

Tree growth in the following growing season may also be affected and soils which have been subjected to prolonged flooding may need to be decompacted or aerated and mulched with good quality organic matter to aid recovery.

It is important to be vigilant and to assess trees following any extreme weather event, but to also remember that the impacts of these events may be responsible for later symptoms of poor growth, decline or even mortality.

Aspect Office Move

After a successful 4 year start up period, Aspect Tree Consultancy has now moved to a new office in Hamlyn House, Buckfastleigh. It has great access to the A38, Devon, Cornwall and beyond. Situated on the top floor of an old mill, it meets our IT and space needs giving us the opportunity to keep growing.

We are also pleased to welcome two new members of staff.

We have been joined by:

Neil Cumming – an engineer with arboricultural qualifications and extensive experience in business and construction. Neil is running the arboricultural site monitoring as well as supporting the rest of the team.

Matt Paxton – Matt is providing all our CAD support and is a qualified engineer and CAD Technician.

The expansion has allowed us to strengthen the office support for the team and to speed up turnaround times for reports and plans.

BS3998:2010 National Roadshow

Following our very successful training seminar relating to the changes made to the revised British Standard B.S.3998:2010 Tree Work Recommendations, which we ran on a local level in Devon, we have been invited by the Arboricultural Association, to run the event on a national level.

The invitation has been extended to Aspect Tree Consultancy to run the event at various venues across the country in association with the Arboricultural Association.

Dominic Scanlon from Aspect and Paul Smith from the AA will be presenting the seminar on the following dates at the following locations.

25th March – Newquay, Cornwall
29th March – Haywards Heath, Sussex
30th March – Needham Market, Suffolk
6th April – Leicester, Leicestershire
7th April – Preston, Lancashire
12th April – Perth, Scotland

Further information and booking details can be obtained from the AA website.

The event highlights important changes which have been made to the British Standard which was last updated in 1989, since which time there has been significant progress within the tree care industry, brought about by research and development, changes to the Health & Safety and Wildlife & Habitat legislation, together with the introduction of new and improved equipment to aid tree climbing and pruning techniques/operations.

The changes call for more considered tree work specifications and improved practices when undertaking tree works.  The new document also emphasises the need to consider the whole tree including the management of the rooting environment and the wildlife which they often support and the habitat that they provide. All in all, the revised standard removes the emphasis on target pruning and tree surgery and focuses more on tree care which in my opinion is a very refreshing and welcome approach.

These changes will impact upon anyone who owns or manages trees and particularly so when applying to undertake works to protected trees or woodlands when compliance with the new standard will be essential.