Tree Condition Survey in Baldock
In December 2014 we were asked to carry out a tree condition survey at School in Baldock.
During the survey we noted that there was a significant amount of a fungus called Ganoderma at the base of a very large mature Beech tree. This indicated to us that the condition of the tree may need looking in to further as there was decay present in the base of the trunk.
We recommended that the base of the tree was scanned using “sonic tomography”. The velocity of soundwaves is measured through a number of sensors on the tree to determine the density of the wood and whether it is decayed. This would give us a much more in depth idea regarding the condition of the tree and its trunk.
The scan showed that very little sound wood remained in the base of the tree. Using “Forbes-Laird THREAT analysis” which takes into account defects of the tree, what is nearby, and what impact this would have if the tree failed – we gave the tree a risk score. The tree was in poor condition, close to the school and the consequence of it falling would have been dire. The resulting score meant that the tree had to be taken down within 7 days and that area of the school not used until that point.
The tree was taken down, with the use of a crane, and cleared away leaving the school tidy and safe so that the children of the Baldock area were able to return to that area of the school without cause for concern. Although this case was extreme, it demonstrates the importance of further investigation and evidence based intervention.