Aerial Assessments

Trees come in different sizes and shapes. But when it comes to big trees, conducting a ground-level assessment may not always be enough. Many arborists and tree inspectors frequently require aerial assessments to be completed to collect data and images of tree features or faults, and potentially wildlife and habitat, where they cannot confidently be inspected or verified from ground level.

The types of features which may be inspected include wounds, cavities, areas of bird browsing, unions with included bark, co-dominant stems, fungal fruiting bodies, or cracked branches.

The presence of these features of faults may reduce the structure of the tree and increase the likelihood of failure, and potentially the risk posed. In some instances, these features or faults cannot be managed with pruning or target exclusion recommendations that may be made during a ground-based assessment.

The International Society of Arboriculture defines this as a Level 3 Advanced Assessment. These assessments are normally conducted after a ground-based assessment has been completed. They are performed to provide detailed information about specific tree parts, defects, targets, or site conditions.

Aerial assessments are typically only carried out on trees large enough to preclude a thorough inspection from ground level. Trees requiring this additional investigation are, by virtue of their size, likely to provide a mix of significant benefits, whether amenity, ecological or for wildlife, and hence, should warrant the additional expense which may be incurred by completing a more detailed assessment.

What’s involved in an aerial assessment?

Aerial assessments can be conducted from an elevated work platform (EWP), an adjacent building, via drone, or by climbing a tree. We find the latter to provide the best results as the aerial operative can closely inspect, measure, and probe the feature or fault. This results in better data, which translates into better decision-making for the management of the tree.

What should be provided in the aerial assessment report?

The content and quality of aerial assessment reports vary. At Canopy Consulting, we provide the following:

  • Details of who requested the report and why 
  • A brief overview of the method used, including the time frame for our risk assessment, follows. 
  • Qualifications of the aerial operative and report author
  • Overview of the tree and its surrounding environment photographs showing each inspected feature or fault and its location within the tree.
  •  Findings and discussion of each inspected feature A risk assessment of each inspected feature or fault using the TRAQ method. 
  • Options for risk mitigation and recommendations for the tree's future management
  • Consideration of the surrounding environment, species characteristics, and whether each fault feature increases the likelihood of failure cumulatively.

Why choose Canopy Consulting?

Many consulting arborists (AQF5) are not able to provide aerial assessment services via tree climbing and may rely on trade level AQF3 arborists for data capture. This often leads to misinterpretation of the structural issue or miscommunication between the aerial operative and the arborist.

When you partner with Canopy Consulting, we have extensive tree climbing experience and are able to provide detailed assessments and reporting for concerns you may have about your tree or to verify the concerns of a ground-based assessment.

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Canopy Consulting
Macquarie Park NSW 2113
1300 122 667
(1300 1CANOPY)
info@canopyconsulting.com.au

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