Approved development applications usually have conditions attached to them. One of the conditions will likely be to provide proof of compliance with the tree protection measures and the appointment of a project arborist.
Assessing the compliance with the tree protection measures involves the project arborist to monitor the site through different stages of the development and provide the relative authority (local council or other government agency) with a compliance report. Tree protection measures will be specified in a Tree Protection Plan (TPP), which may be an independent arborist report or part of an arboricultural impact assessment.
When in the development stage should the compliance report occur?
Compliance of the tree protection measures will usually be required throughout the construction process of the development. The project arborist will monitor the site during 3 key stages of the construction:
- Post Construction
A compliance report will be provided at each stage after a site assessment, which can then be submitted to the relevant authority as per the development application conditions.
This stage is done before major works commence and any machinery is brought on site. It involves the project arborist assessing the site to ensure that measures such as protective fencing, ground protection, and trunk protection are correctly installed as per the TPP.
The project arborist will usually attend site visits at 3 – 6 month intervals to confirm compliance with the tree protection measures. A stop-works notice may be issued if the site is found to be non-compliant.
After works have been completed, and once all machinery is off site, the project arborist will attend the final visit to confirm whether the trees have or haven’t not been damaged from the development.
What information is required to complete a tree protection compliance report?
We require correspondence with the site supervisor to be informed when the initial protection measures are in place. We also need access to the site to be able to complete the compliance report.
What information is provided in a tree protection compliance report?
We provide a short report that confirms whether the protection measures have been installed in accordance with the TPP.
Why is tree protection compliance so important?
If the protection measures aren’t enforced by the relevant authorities, the trees on site can be damaged beyond repair. This can lead to trees being made structurally unsound and unsafe, the loss of valuable arboricultural assets, and costly removals.
How does the tree protection compliance report align with the Australian Standards?
Our compliance reports are prepared following the guidelines of section 5 from The Australian Standard Protection of Trees on Development Sites (AS 4970).
Can any arborist prepare a tree protection compliance report for me?
The minimum requirement for preparing a tree protection compliance report is a Diploma in Arboriculture (Australian Qualification Framework Level 5). The person completing the report should be the appointed project arborist and / or be familiar with the identified impacts on the site and have access to any previous arboricultural reports.
Blog written by Mark Fahy
Mark has a diploma in arboriculture (AQF level 5) and is a registered Quantitative Tree Risk (QTRA) assessor. He has been an arborist for over 10 years and is passionate about trees. He is committed to providing evidence-based solutions and thorough reports to clients. Mark is specifically enthusiastic about living with trees in the ever-changing urban environment.