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Tree inspections

There are estimated 120,000 street and park/green spaces trees that are under the management of the Tree and Woodland Team, which consists of three qualified tree officers with a combined experience of over 50 years in urban tree stock management. All tree work is carried out by an external contractor.

The tree stock that is managed by the Tree and Woodland Team is inspected cyclically between two and five years depending on where the tree is located, for example trees in busy roads with high traffic volume (pedestrian and/or vehicular) are inspected more frequently than trees in cul-de-sacs.

Additionally, trees are sometimes inspected in an ad-hoc way when additional monitoring is needed, or occasionally if prompted by an enquiry from a resident.

Tree and inspection data is held on a tree database called Arbortrack.

When a tree officer inspects the tree(s) they decide what action (tree work), if any, is necessary. On a rare occasion a second opinion will be sought from another tree team member. During an inspection they will consider:

  • Any works necessary to the tree with regards to any Health and Safety risks the tree may pose (such as low branches, dead, decaying or dying trees) or needed to release pulled BT cables (branch tips that brush against BT cables don’t fall within this category)
  • the priority that should be assigned to any recommended work
  • the amenity value of the tree(s), their positive contribution to the urban environment. 

If the inspection was prompted by a resident’s enquiry the officer will take the resident’s wishes into account. However, Sefton Council do not prune trees if the sole purpose of the tree works is to improve natural light to private property or to reduce overhang.  Such works can be carried out at the Council’s discretion only if Health and Safety works are identified to the same tree and they will not be detrimental to tree health.

Health and Safety work generally includes work that is necessary in the interests of public safety such as the felling of dead trees or the removal of trees with a serious structural defect. Also included in this category is the removal of very low branches that impede the safe use of the highway, branches that block light columns, obscure road signs or pull tight telephone wires.

Last Updated on Friday, May 17, 2024

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